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Financial Need for Emergency Care at Shaare Zedek Jerusalem Medical Center Escalates in 2000

Shaare Zedek Jerusalem Medical Center has launched an intensive effort this year to secure vitally needed funds, estimated to be at least $12 million, to support a much-needed expansion of its Department of Emergency Medicine.

The dire need arises out of a change in how Jerusalem-area hospitals operate their emergency systems. Until recently, a government-mandated rotation system determined the hospitals to which patients were transported and admitted. But this system changed in 1995 and gave patients jurisdiction over which hospital they wanted to receive emergency care. Almost immediately, emergency visits at Shaare Zedek rose 30%, indicating the faith Jerusalem's citizens have in the quality of Shaare Zedek's care, but also creating an unprecedented, and imminent need.

Jewish Medical Ethics: SZJMC is the leading authority worldwide via the hospital's Medical Ethics Institute which offers the Jewish approach in dealing with controversial issues including cloning, surrogate motherhood, circumcision, medical experimentation, terminally ill patients, and many other questions relevant to modern medicine. The institute even operates a hotline, offering ethical guidance on medical dilemmas around the world.

Open Door Policy: This Israeli hospital offers compassionate medical care to all people, regardless of their backgrounds, race or religion. The "open door policy" can especially be seen in the Pediatric Dialysis Unit where Israeli and Palestinian patients lie in beds side-by-side. SZJMC also offers a program where these Israeli and Arab pediatric patients with kidney disease vacation together, accompanied by doctors, nurses and social workers.

Live-saving Role in Israel in Times of War and Peace: Designed in the early 1900's with the help of the Israeli military, SZJMC has been designated the official hospital in Jerusalem for the care of victims of chemical warfare and other major emergencies. Three levels of the hospital are underground to function in the event of wartime attack and the Israeli army regularly conducts military drills in the hospital.

The Study of Genetic Diseases: SZJMC is a pioneer in the field of researching various genetic disorders, with particular emphasis on those affective people of Jewish descent.

Women and Heart Disease: Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality for adult women in the United States. More than 500,000 women died from heart disease in 1999, which is more than twice the number of women that died of all cancers. Likewise, the statistics are just as staggering in Israel. Heart disease in Israel is the leading cause of deaths among Israeli and Arab women. Shaare Zedek, with the help of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company is working to fulfill that need and bring down the alarming statistic with a new Women's Heart Consultation Clinic.

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