Good news for Israel’s north: The Unit of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Rambam, one of the leading units in its field, recently received a substantial gift to improve its hospitalization and treatment conditions. Behind this exceptional contribution stands successful businessman Dr. Avi Katz, a former resident of Haifa who chose to share part of his success with the local residents.
Approximately 20 women with high-risk pregnancies are hospitalized daily in the Unit of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Rambam Health Care Campus, the biggest unit of its kind in northern Israel.
The hospital's OB-GYN system, which is considered one of the leading and most experienced in the field, deals with a variety of unique situations related to the pregnant woman and the fetus. Currently, thanks to a donation of more than NIS 1 million from businessman and former Haifa resident Dr. Avi Katz – who was contacted by Professor Zeev Weiner, Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rambam, the unit received a significant investment in the improvement of the hospitalization infrastructure and adapting it to high, advanced standards, for the benefit of the women being treated there. The donation is dedicated to Katz’s parents – Edith and Dov – both of whom were Holocaust survivors who dedicated their lives to advancing medicine and research in Haifa. The renovated unit, in the name of Mrs. Edith and Prof. Dov Katz was inaugurated on Thursday, November 1st, 2018, in the presence of representatives of the hospital management, the OB-GYN system, and the Katz family.
The Maternal and Fetal Medicine Unit at Rambam has 20 beds and treats women from all over the north and other parts of the country, as well as from abroad. The cases under the unit’s care are complicated and varied, and are at different stages of pregnancy as well as pre-pregnancy counseling. The unit staff, which includes eight doctors certified in fetal and maternal medicine, is credited with many successes. Alongside the unit’s specialists is the interdisciplinary team at Rambam - the largest hospital in the north of the country, providing holistic vision and treatment for the mother and the fetus due to cooperation between the OB-GYN experts and other experts at Rambam, such as the Genetics Institute, the Department of Medical Imaging, The AIDS Center, the Center for Tertiary Counseling, and more.
“To be the biggest unit in the north for maternal and fetal medicine and one of the leaders in its field is a binding reality,” explains Professor Weiner. “We have a great responsibility to provide the best treatment to women who are dealing with abnormal pregnancies that can place them and their unborn babies in danger. This requires extra sensitivity, unique expertise, and experience in treating these situations. Currently, thanks to the gift that we received from my friend Dr. Avi Katz, we can continue to this work in a better way.”
Investors in Haifa: An American Businessman Born in the City Closes a Circle
Dr. Avi Katz, a businessman currently based in San Francisco, is the man behind the significant donation given to Rambam. Dr. Katz, a graduate of the Technion who was born and raised in Haifa, has become a success story over the years, with an exit of $250 million after selling the company GigPeak to IDT a year ago who today holds the position of investment fund manager at the shelf company GigCapital, which specializes in technological activity acquisitions and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. One month ago, he was appointed chairman of the Kfar Saba-based wireless charging company Humavox, which is responsible for developing a unique wireless technology.
His decision to translate some of his business successes into investment in the Haifa public sphere is credited to his parents, Mrs. Edith and Professor Dov Katz, who were active all their lives for the good of the city and for Israel. The Katzes, both of whom were Holocaust survivors (each one was the sole survivor of their families) met at random in Israel in 1946 following a long war for survival. Together they decided to “start from the beginning” and build a new life in Israel while giving of themselves in their own ways to the state, to the IDF, to education in Israel, as they built a family. After many years of contributing to the defense establishment, Professor Katz focused on education for excellence and knowledge, utilizing his professionalism for inventions and improvements for the benefit of medicine. Professor Katz was a pioneer in the invention of bone glue in the 1980s and its use, together with Rambam researchers and doctors. Edith Katz spent her entire life promoting the Technion, the students and researchers, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to the younger generation and to visitors from abroad. She was also a strong proponent of education, improving medical treatment conditions and options for compassion, making a quiet contribution to the advancement of the community and the state.
“This gift to Rambam represents in retrospect the important principles of their lives,” says Dr. Katz at the inauguration ceremony for the renovated unit in the name of his parents. “These were the values that stood before them all of their lives, and these are the values that we are excited and happy to continue and to promote in their names today.”