Cancer Center in EMC- Project of the Decade

The best way to predict the future is to dream & build it!

EMC Medical Center (EMC)

EMC’s evolution is in line with a vision and dedication to be the healthcare provider of choice for the majority of northeastern Israel’s population, to excel as an academic Level 3 medical center and to assure better healthcare within adequate facilities for the  population in northeast Israel.   

Annual Hospital Activity:

  • 145,000 emergency department visits
  • 33,000 inpatient admissions
  • 17,000 surgeries
  • Over 200,000 visits to outpatient clinics and institutes

The population in our region is among the most diverse throughout Israel as it includes waves of immigration from the last century that characterizes Israel’s periphery.  Our region includes small cities, development towns, kibbutzim and moshavim that neighbor many Arab Muslim, Christian and Circassian communities.  Regardless of race or religion, all receive equal care in EMC.  The Northeast of the country is one of the most beautiful areas in Israel, however we are dealing with the emigration of a strong and educated population due to lack of suitable vocational opportunities.  EMC is the largest employer in the Northeast (over 2,000 employees).  It is an important regional socio-economic anchor and thus contributes to solving this major demographic and vocational challenge. 

Despite being on the periphery, EMC, uncompromising when it comes to standards of patient safety and healthcare, in 2008 became the first hospital in Israel to receive the prestigious JCI internationally acclaimed accreditation.

EMC is closely affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion and in recent years the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine is EMC’s Professor Eliezer Shalev – attesting to EMC’s level of excellence.  EMC academic activity as a teaching institution is on a very high level while the institution is deeply committed to medical clinical and basic research.

EMC’s Big Dream

Establishing a comprehensive and advanced Cancer Center has been our vision and dream for more than 10 years. This dream can become a reality - Under one roof and in accordance with the highest international standards, in the new Cancer Center EMC will offer modern treatment of malignant diseases that require collaboration between different disciplines; surgeons, oncologists, imaging experts, interventional radiologists, experts in the field of pain management, palliative care specialists – together with other health professionals; psychologists, nurses and social workers with an emphasis both on diagnosing & treating malignant diseases while focusing on the healthy aspects and wellbeing of patients and their families.
Research is the true pathway in the quest for more knowledge and innovation in medicine and a Research Center in the Cancer Center will be the optimal platform for collaboration between clinicians and researchers.
The new Cancer Center in EMC, affiliated academically with the Technion will be the only such Center in the North and it will raise the level of EMC and help strengthen Northern Israel.

Project Background

Currently, about 4,000 patients with malignant diseases are diagnosed and operated on annually.  Another 10,000 chemotherapy treatments are administered each year.  The cancer patients of our region who also require radiation therapy are forced to travel distances from 50 – 100 km to receive radiation treatments in Rambam Hospital in Haifa.  Our population is in the medium to low socio-economic level and traveling such distances is particularly difficult and even prohibitive for them.  Because there is no such Cancer Center facility in northeastern Israel, many of these suffering people are required to use public transportation and spend hours each day on the road to receive a few minutes of radiation therapy!  Negative resulting impact on medical services for our regional population base:

  • 7 – 8 week wait for radiation, prior to surgery or chemotherapy
  • Need to travel long distances each day
  • Minority of referrals for palliative care radiation
  • Inability to plan split daily treatment; chemo & radiation

Being the primary healthcare provider for 500,000 residents of our northeastern region, EMC is naturally positioned to deliver more comprehensive lifesaving services.  Our regional population depends upon EMC to treat and save them. 

Our peripheral population needs and prefers to be treated nearer to their homes, especially when dealing with serious illnesses that require treatments lasting weeks, months and even years.  These people need and deserve to be close to family and friends in a familiar environment where critical emotional support is there for them.  Our children have a critical need to be treated near home so as to maintain contact with their friends and schools.  The establishment of this comprehensive cancer center for the people in our peripheral region will answer these needs, like those people living in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are already accustomed to.

Our Vision

(areas and costs are estimations)

The Cancer Center - The Big Dream will include:

1. Adult Division

  •  Breast Health Center / 400 sq. meters
  •  Adult Ambulatory Division / 2,000 sq. meters
    • Hematology Clinic
    • Oncology Clinic
    • Chemotherapy Center divided into specific sectors
  • Inpatient Onco-hematology department planned and designed according to specialized units, including 4 isolation rooms and 2 intermediate care facilities / 2,100 sq. meters
    - 40 beds

2. Pediatric Division / 760 sq. meters 

  • Oncology Clinic:  2-3 physicians
    - Day center for chemotherapy:  6 stations  
  • Hematology Clinic:  3-4 physicians
    - Day center for administering blood transfusions for Thalassemia patients:  6 stations

  3. Radiation Institute / 1,320 sq. meters

  •  Immediate preparation for two linear accelerators + designated area for a third future device

4. Research Institute / 500 sq. meters

  •  3 - 5 research labs
  • Conference and lecture hall
  • ‘a star fund’ for attracting leading specialists

5. Pharmacy for robotic preparation of chemotherapy
6. Underground parking for 150 vehicles - also for wartime emergency protection
7. “Well Being’ Center for patients and families / 600 sq. meters

  •  Information Center & Services
  •  Palliative Care Center including spiritual accompaniment
  •  Hair Salon (wigs)
  •  Exercise facility
  •  Music room
  •  Cafeteria 
  •  Healing Garden

8. Inpatient Hospice / 500 sq. meters

  •  3 – 5 small units for patients & families
  •  Support & staff area

9. Advanced Equipment for the Cancer Center

  •  Linear accelerator –$2,500,000 (see Appendix 1)
  •  PET CT:  $1,750,000
  •  Chemotherapy Robot:  $2,600,000 (see Appendix 2)
  •  Digital Tomosynthesis:  $400,000

10. Research equipment – to be determined at a later stage


Design Concept & Principals

The guiding concept behind the design of this much-needed facility will make it an inviting, modern, comfortable, reassuring, accessible and efficient treatment center for patients, their families and the EMC staff.

Design principles to achieve these ends will include pleasant environmental surroundings, green gardens, straight clean architectural lines, convenient parking and wide accessible walkways.  Interior designs will embrace ample natural light while eliminating direct sunlight, an array of bright colors, use of quality natural materials, wide corridors, comfortable furniture and private treatment areas with medical instrumentation installed so as to create a home-like atmosphere rather than a sterile medical air. 

The building will be ideally located to merge with future campus growth and designed to blend in seamlessly with hospital facilities that also serve many of the same patients.  Multiple entrances will offer easier access to patients, while ample parking will provide relaxed accessibility.  Principles in green, ecologically friendly construction will be applied to conserve energy, preserve water and to protect the environment.             

Total estimated project cost = $45M - $50M

Appendix 1

Linear Accelerator
Clalit Health Services Group is currently evaluating two highly advanced Linear Accelerators, one of which will be chosen for the EMC Cancer Center. 
This system offers seamless integrated imaging, beam delivery and motion management for unmatched synchronization. This advanced technological instrument is a revolutionary and elegant solution with improved operation, unmatched power, precision and speed.  The higher efficiency and treatment speed means the chances of a patient moving during treatment is considerably lessened.  Patients may be treated more effectively, with less collateral damage to surrounding tissue.  Enhanced communication technology enables a constant interaction between the patient and the therapist who operates the equipment. Closed-circuit television systems enable the therapist to monitor the patient at all times, while music can be played during treatment, helping to increase patient comfort.



Appendix 2

  • Robotic Preparation of Chemotherapy Admixtures
    With a focus on Improving Safety, this advanced facility will be located either on the 3rd or 4th level of the Cancer Center and this decision will be made as planning progresses.   
    The system is designed to perform both chemotherapy and antibiotic admixture preparation safely and accurately.
  • This technology addresses operator exposure to chemotherapy and antibiotics because all compounding occurs in a fully enclosed, ISO Class 5 environment. This dual zone ISO Class 5 environment keeps the compounding area at a negative (to ambient) pressure to minimize operator exposure and the inventory area at a positive pressure (to ambient) pressure to ensure outside air is kept out of the system. For preparation of chemotherapy admixtures, the system is configured so that the HEPA filtered exhaust air from the system is fully vented.
  • System design is also ergonomic. Touch screens are moveable so operators can adjust as required and inventory racks are easy to load with little physical manipulation required.
  • Because the system automates the preparation of admixtures, it can potentially reduce operator repetitive strain injuries by automating repetitive tasks.