Save a Child’s Heart is a hospital-based project offering all of its varied services in cooperation with the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel.
The Wolfson Medical Center is affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and is a governmental non-profit hospital, whose management and medical personnel are fully committed to the success of the Save a Child’s Heart program.
A Dedicated Pediatric Cardiac Medical Team
A complete pediatric cardiac medical team, including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, an Intensive Care Unit team, anesthesiologists, heart-lung machine technicians, and nursing staff, is on call for the program 24 hours a day. All of the members of this unit, numbering approximately 70 persons, volunteer a substantial part of their time to the program, as they do not receive any remuneration for services they render to Save a Child’s Heart through the Wolfson Medical Center.
A Major Center of Pediatric Excellence for All
The establishment of the Save a Child’s Heart program at the Wolfson Medical Center has facilitated the development of a major center of pediatric cardiac excellence in an area where there was previously none. The Wolfson Medical Center serves an economically challenged segment of the Israeli population, comprised of both Jews and Arabs living in the areas south of Tel Aviv, including Holon, Bat Yam and Jaffa—10 percent of Israel’s population. This population now benefits from the skills, equipment and facilities that have been made available to serve the Save a Child’s Heart program. The Save a Child’s Heart program has upgraded the hospital in terms of equipment and personnel, not only in the field of cardiac surgery, but also in many other interrelated departments such as intensive care, radiology, tropical diseases and others.
A Well-Established Center of Learning
Twenty five years ago, Israeli children suffering from heart disease could not be treated in Israel and the only option was to send them abroad. This led to Israeli physicians traveling abroad in order to train and develop their expertise which was lacking in Israel at the time. Many of the Save a Child’s Heart physicians at the Wolfson Medical Center have returned from fellowships overseas and today are using their know-how to teach others in the global community about how to become self-sufficient in the various fields of pediatric cardiac care. From this experience, we has learned that in order for any health system to develop, it is essential to further the knowledge of physicians by sending them for additional training at well-established medical centers. Save a Child’s Heart now considers the Wolfson Medical Center to be such an established center. It is Israel's second most active center for pediatric cardiac surgery.
A large metropolitan hospital and referral center, Wolfson is also a teaching hospital affiliated with Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine. The Wolfson Medical Center has 60 hospital units and 700 beds, and includes a full range of facilities found in the most advanced medical centers in Israel. Save a Child’s Heart benefits from its state-of-the-art operating rooms, outfitted with the most advanced equipment available.
Modern Medicine for the Best Health Care
Wolfson's pediatric cardiology department provides the highest level of care offered by modern medicine. Its Catheterization Unit, including the Pediatric Cath Lab, is among the most active in the country and enjoys an extremely high rate of success. The Pediatric Cardiology Unit is outfitted with the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment, thanks to a gift of the latest 3-Dimensional Echo Machine.
Helping Save Lives and Build Bridges
The fully-equipped 10-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit works around the clock to provide severely ill children with excellent treatment in a warm and caring environment. Out of 550 children treated there every year, 50% are Save a Child’s Heart patients. Children who have undergone surgery spend their first hours in the pediatric intensive care unit and are then transferred to the Wolfson Pediatric Surgical Department. That's where Save a Child’s Heart children from Africa, Asia and the Palestinian Authority play happily together with Israeli children. It's there that our contribution to building bridges through greater mutual understanding is clearly visible.
Save a Child’s Heart is currently focusing on the construction and equipping of the International Pediatric Cardiac Center which will serve as a Children’s Hospital at the Wolfson Medical Center.