Soroka's Emergency Medicine Department, the most active in Israel, excels in service and in the medical quality indices of the Ministry of Health.
Captain Ziv Shilon, who was seriously wounded in the Gaza Strip and was evacuated to Soroka where his life was saved, spoke at the ceremony. The audience was moved by his personal story of coping with his injury.
The cornerstone laying ceremony for the expansion of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Unit at Soroka Medical Center was held at the hospital and attended by members of the donor family – the Kirsh family; representatives of UJA Federation New York and UIA-Keren Hayesod; Prof. Ehud Davidson, Director General of Clalit; Prof. Mickey Sherf, Deputy Director General of Clalit and head of the Hospitals Division; Dr. Shlomi Codish, Director of Soroka Medical Center; members of the hospital's administration; and staff members of the emergency and trauma system.
In view of the natural increase in the population, the IDF's transition to the Negev, and the expected increase in the number of patients, and as part of the hospital's master plan, it was decided to expand the emergency and trauma facilities in order to provide a suitable response to the expected number of patients in the coming years.
As part of this project, the ER area will be expanded, with the addition of 43 treatment stations in the emergency medicine area and two in the trauma room. In total, the Emergency Medicine Department will include 116 ER treatment stations and eight stations in the Trauma Unit. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021. The end result will be a spacious treatment area for the hundreds of thousands of patients who arrive at Soroka's ER in times of war, peace, and emergency. The cost of the project is approximately NIS 50 million.
The Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Unit at Soroka are the most active in the country, with some 250,000 visits per year, and serve the entire population of the Negev, from Eilat in the south to Kiryat Gat in the north, from victims of road accidents and travelers visiting the area to soldiers from the various Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bases in the region and patients from other hospitals.
During every period of escalation of terrorism in the area and in every round of fighting in the South, Soroka Medical Center stands at the forefront of the medical treatment of the wounded, civilians and soldiers alike.
In recent years, unique and innovative procedures have been implemented at the ER at Soroka, resulting among other things in shorter waiting times and stays in the ER and the provision of information to patients and their families in real time, all contributing to the general satisfaction of patients. Soroka's ER ranks first among the largest hospitals in Israel in the Ministry of Health's Patient Satisfaction Survey.
The Department of Emergency Medicine will be named for Nathan and Frances Kirsh, who, in honor of their fiftieth wedding anniversary, made the decision to make this generous donation. The connection to the Kirsh family for this project was initiated by the Jewish Federation of New York, which defined the contribution to Soroka as a strategic goal.
At the ceremony, a special scroll buried at the building site was signed by representatives of the donor family, Prof. Davidson, Dr. Codish, Dr. Dan Schwarzfuchs, Deputy Director of Soroka and head of internal medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine, representatives of the management of the Department of Emergency Medicine, and representatives of Keren Hayesod and UJA Federation New York.
Mr. Nathan Kirsh, patriarch of the donor family, stated: "It is an honor for us to attend this moving ceremony at Soroka and our great fortune to contribute and take part in a project that is so important for the welfare of the residents of the region. Thank you for granting us this great privilege. "
According to Prof. Ehud Davidson, Director General of Clalit: "The project of expanding the Emergency Medicine Department is a significant and important one for the residents of the Negev and will enable us to enlarge the most active ER in Israel with a leading and outstanding team."
"The Jewish Federation of New York thanks the Kirsh family and other donors for their support of this critical project," said Eric Goldstein, CEO of the UJA Federation New York. "The expanded emergency department at Soroka will provide the most advanced medical services to all residents of the south of Israel while strengthening the status and centrality of the city of Beer-Sheva."
Dr. Shlomi Codish, Director of Soroka Medical Center, stated, "Soroka, as a leading medical center in Israel and as a tertiary hospital, is a strategic asset to the State of Israel both in times of routine and in emergencies. In order to fulfill this mission, we have taken upon ourselves, Clalit and Soroka, to increase the infrastructure and expand our life-saving capabilities at the medical center. We appreciate and thank our wonderful donors, who allow us to continue to save lives."