Renovating the Pediatrics Department at
Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus
Better Serving Jerusalem’s Children
Hadassah Hospital–Mount Scopus first opened its doors in 1939, the first modern medical facility in the region. For 10 years, Hadassah Mt. Scopus faithfully served all
the peoples of the area, without regard for race, religion or ethnic origin. From 1948 -
1967, when Hadassah-Mt. Scopus was cut off from the rest of Jerusalem, the building
stood abandoned and deteriorated. In the early 1970’s, when Mt. Scopus was again
accessible for all Jerusalemites, the hospital was renovated and expanded,
preserving the historic building and adapting to modern needs. In 1978, completely
restored to its former beauty with all vestiges of war and neglect erased, the hospital
re-opened its doors, and today serves both Arabs and Jews from the northern
it is again time to enable Hadassah’s top-notch pediatric medical staff to neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the surrounding towns and villages, as well as
perform at maximum capacity with suitable facilities and up-to-date equipment. patients who come from all parts of the country. After nearly 30 years of dedicated
Description of the Pediatrics Department
The Department of Pediatrics at Mt. Scopus is the largest
General Pediatric Department in Jerusalem. Because the
hospital’s surrounding area consists of highly diverse
Jewish and Arab populations with mainly young families,
the hospital serves a large number of children in its
Pediatrics Department. The challenge facing Hadassah is to
provide excellent medical care, including high-quality
ancillary services such as nursing, nutrition, child-life, and
social services, while at the same time being sensitive to the
ethnic and cultural diversity of its patients.
The Department encompasses two medical wings with a total of 30 general beds, a 4-bed Intensive Care Unit and a full-service emergency
room. Other services include subspecialty clinics including pulmonary, neurology,
cystic fibrosis, endocrinology, gastroenterology, metabolism, familial dysautonomia,
and allergy-immunology. The Department also has close associations with other
pediatric services within the Mount Scopus campus that include neonatology,
pediatric surgery, child psychology, and physiotherapy. Hadassah is particularly
proud of the Elie Douer Family Center for Pediatric Genetics and Chronic Diseases, a
unique service in Israel, which aims to provide accessible, integrated and
comprehensive medical, psychological and social support to children with chronic
diseases and their families. All in all, there are nearly 9,000 visits per year, and 3,500
hospital admissions per year.
The staff of the Pediatrics Department consists of 11 attending physicians, 13
resident physicians, 43 nurses, 2 dietitians, 2 child-life workers, and a pediatric social
worker. Most of the staff physicians hold academic appointments at Hebrew
University-Hadassah Medical School and are active in teaching medical students
and residents, as well as involved in basic and clinical research.
The Need to Expand and to Adapt
Unfortunately, after nearly 30 years of loving use,
the current conditions in the Pediatrics Department
are very difficult. The population of northern
Jerusalem has increased significantly over the past
three decades, and with it, the number of children
requiring attention. The size of the Pediatrics
Department, however, has stayed the same. As a
result, the wards are seriously overcrowded:
? Annual occupancy is well over 100%, reaching 150% in winter months.
? Regular hospital rooms hold 4 patients each, more than originally planned.
? Overflow patients must stay in the hallways, separated from one another and
passersby by a simple hospital curtain.
? Certain treatments such as insertion of an IV or other small and sometimes
painful procedures must be carried out in the rooms or in a niche in the corridor.
? Sensitive consultations, in which doctors discuss the intricacies of serious cases
with the parents, must be conducted in the far-from-private staff lounge.
? Parents, who are critical components in contributing to the welfare and well-
being of their children, have little room to maneuver if they wish to sleep or
spend time next to their child.
? Public areas in which to relax are restricted to the hallways.
? Extra equipment must also be stored in the hallways, due to a lack of storage
? There are not enough restrooms for patients and their families.
The Plan of Action
The Pediatrics Department is part of the original building that was built in 1939 and
is registered as an historic landmark, with strict codes and rules regarding any
changes. Thus, the task of expanding and renovating the Pediatrics Department will
be very complex, but it is vital to better meet the medical needs of children and their
The Pediatrics Department is planning to utilize space formerly occupied by the
Neonatology Unit, which moved to a different floor next to the maternity ward and
baby nursery. The new expansion will add an additional 585 square meters and the
upcoming renovations will include:
? Patient rooms for 1-3 patients, with space for
parents to stay by the child's side round the
clock (which is an enormous improvement
over the current rooms set up for 4-5 patients
? Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with an
? More regular hospitalization rooms.
? More beds.
? More restrooms.
? Private consultation room for sensitive doctor – parent discussions.
? Treatment room for painful treatments and small procedures.
? Suitable staff room that will enable staff to hold meetings and have a cup of
coffee in decent conditions.
? Seminar room.
? The physical infrastructures, such as water, electricity, heating, cooling,
telephones, lighting, flooring, which were renovated in the 1970’s, must be
? Specific hospital infrastructures, which are exceedingly complex, must also be
? Equipment such as monitors, medical equipment, beds and other furniture must
be updated as well.
The Pediatrics Department is divided into two
wings. Wing A has recently undergone
renovations and has nearly reached completion,
while Wing B is planned to undergo the same
type of renovations. Thus far we have secured
funds for 50% of the renovations to Pediatrics
Wing A, however, in order to complete the project
we are still seeking funds to match the second half
of those renovations as well as full funding to
cover renovations to Wing B.
The funds still needed for building renovations total $1 million. The funds for
updating the equipment total $491,802 (see attached equipment list).
Total funds needed: $1,491,802
Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus – Building Bridges Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus primarily serves northeastern Jerusalem, with its
patient population reflecting the heterogeneous character of the Jewish and Arab
neighborhoods surrounding the hospital. In addition, patients are referred from the
Palestinian Authority, nearby Arab countries and from populations all across Israel.
Considerable religious, cultural, and ideological diversity exists among these
varying groups, and the challenge facing Hadassah's staff is to provide excellent
medical care while at the same time being sensitive to these diversities. Delivering
high quality and equitable health care is made even more challenging in the face of
the turmoil and strife that confronts the region. The heightened suspicion, distrust,
and open hostility of the different groups towards each other compounds the
problem, and the nearly insurmountable barriers resulting from differences in
language and culture make the tasks of the physicians and support staff more
Despite these many challenges, we believe
that the ethnically and culturally sensitive
and caring environment, which has been
engendered within Hadassah, is primarily
due to two factors. One factor is the hospital’s
policy, in place since the founding of
Hadassah, of “equal care to all.” The other is
the fact that all patients and their families, no
matter what their background, share the
same common enemy – disease. While in the
hospital, families share the same aspirations of treating the disease that threatens the lives of their loved ones.
When first admitted to the hospital, families oftentimes do not appreciate the
common bonds that unite them. However, as contact between families increases,
there is a gradual dissipation of the pervasive suspicion, fear, and hostility between
Jewish and Arab parents who are watching over their sick children in the same room.
One mother may be in the washroom when her child begins to cry, and another
mother will replace the baby’s pacifier, or pick him up to comfort him. A mother can be sleeping when a food tray is brought, and another parent sharing the room saves
her portion. In time, one family goes down to the cafeteria for coffee, and brings
back snacks for the other families. It makes little difference if these families are Arab
or Jewish. As parents from opposite sides of the divide come to know one another
as individuals, perspectives gradually begin to change and stereotypes blur. To each
other, they are seen as parents of sick children battling a common enemy together.
Unfortunately, current conditions in the pediatrics department can no longer
facilitate our mission of providing dignity and respect to all. The rooms are crowded,
and patients and families are often located in the corridors, thus creating a situation
which prevents the environment necessary to encourage dialogue between parents.
Equipment List – Pediatrics Department
Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus
Item No. Quantity Description Price 1 4 Infusion pump $7,744 2 8 Monitors $115,920 3 6 Blood Pressure Machines $23,990 4 16 Syringe Pump $33,264 5 10 Hanging equipment for monitors $9,800 6 4 Individual Beds $20,160 7 2 Portable Respirator $33,912 8 10 Oxygen Inhaler $5,164 9 Computers including 17 in' screens, mouse,
24 keyboard, projector, CD burner $42,336 10 8 Laser printers $1,690 11 2 scanner $360 12 2 Laser color printer $1,680 13 Toys / stationary $4,634 14 Creative stationary $1,816 15 6 Fridges $7,312 16 0 2 Fridges + 4 microwaves + 2 LCD $10,514 17 26 Garbage cans $1,738 18 4 Swivel chairs $668 19 32 Chairs for learning center $1,008 20 102 Chairs $11,642 21 28 Garbage cans $2,302 22 42 Clocks $532 23 60 Toilet roll and paper towel holders $1,976 24 2 Projector and screen $7,120 25 4 Fax Machines $2,926 26 2 Secure safe $2,602 27 2 Autoscope $2,260 28 2 Cordless keyboard and mouse $144 29 20 Suction regulator $3,200 30 30 Anti-bacterial soap dispensers $748 31 30 Flow meter $5,338 32 30 Telephones $17,350 33 4 On call doctor's beds $2,846 34 32 Soap dispensers $1,540 35 32 Baskets for suction tubes $1,852 36 2 Centrifuge $4,572 37 38 LazyBoy Chairs for parents $16,750 38 2 Hot/Cold Water Bar $1,454 39 Cork Notice Boards $664 40 2 Monitor $22,680 41 8 Hanging equipment $14,248 42 6 Treatment wagons $11,504 43 8 Small cupboards $3,294 44 LazyBoys $16,750 45 18 Pictures $11,798