A partnership between the Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation and the North York General Hospital Foundation will help to transform pediatric facilities in Toronto and Jerusalem.
The Bridging Children’s Health campaign was created to unite the two hospitals in a shared commitment to improving health care for children, teens and their families, they said in a statement.
The campaign culminated in an event presented by First Capital Realty that featured keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.
The campaign raised $1.1 million toward the redevelopment of North York General Hospital’s child and teen program facility and the construction of the New Generation Building, which houses the Wilf Children’s Hospital at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Lisa Colt-Cotler, national executive director of the Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation, said “what started as a small seed of an idea between a member of our board and North York General’s executive vice-president of philanthropy grew into a successful fundraising initiative. We knew that our donors and friends in the community would embrace this partnership to support pediatric facilities at both hospitals.”
The Shaare Zedek Medical is in the final stage of its $60-million campaign to complete the construction of the New Generation Building housing the Wilf Children’s Hospital, the most active maternity hospital in the western hemisphere with approximately 15,000 births each year.
The existing pediatric facilities were built nearly 30 years ago and, since 1979, the number of children treated as in-patients has risen by 400 per cent. The New Generation Building is one of the most significant and ambitious projects in Israeli medicine, with its focus on providing maternal, infant and pediatric care together in one facility, she said.
Colt-Cotler said that the $150-million campaign for North York General is the largest comprehensive campaign ever undertaken by a Canadian community hospital and will provide it with the resources to remain a centre for exceptional care and teaching in a diverse community of more than 400,000 people.
The campaign hopes to raise $5 million to redevelop the hospital’s child and teen program facility, which will include a greater number of private in-patient rooms, and will provide greater comfort and convenience for children, teens and their families.
The Bridging Children’s Health campaign honoured two doctors who have provided extensive contributions to heath care.
Dr. Ofer Merin is a cardiothoracic surgeon, lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defence Forces and deputy director general at Shaare Zedek.
He has close ties to Toronto and North York General, having completed his fellowship in Toronto and having led grand rounds at North York General on a recent visit. He was given responsibility for emergency readiness at Shaare Zedek in 2007, and was subsequently appointed as director of the hospital’s trauma unit.
As commander of the IDF field hospital over the last 10 years, he has also served as the director of surgical operations in the field hospital that has performed emergency relief in Haiti and Japan following natural disasters.
The second honoree, Dr. Noah Forman, began his career in emergency medicine at North York General Hospital and also serves as medical director for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Fire Services.