The other day, as I looked at the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower from a distance and then walked through the inside, I thought back to when the construction began and how Hadassah’s skyline and future has been changed forever. From the outside, it seems as if the building has always been part of our Ein Kerem campus. It dominates the skyline. Yet the continued presence of workmen and construction equipment, constantly remind me that just four short years ago, the campus looked quite different.
Looking back, I remember one of our guides pointing to the School of Nursing and identifying it to our visitors as the site of our new, state-of-the-art Hospital Tower.
Many of us had a deep and sentimental attachment to the 45-year-old Nursing School building we demolished in April 2007. Yet, letting go of the past was made easier when contemplating the magnificent facility that would stand in its place
And so began our daily fascination with following what was going on below ground – and later on – above. We watched as the workmen installed the new infrastructure that would integrate the entire campus and then began excavating the area in front of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center
We eagerly awaited the new parking facility that would accommodate 1,000 cars. It opened last year. This year, although not yet functional, the bridge that connects the parking lot to the Tower was installed in just one – but very long – night.
After digging down 67 feet and hauling away tons of dirt in 60 double-length trucks – every day, we were filled with excitement when we began laying the foundation – five floors below ground. Soon the 300-man construction crew began working six days a week around the clock — and still does – working to help us meet our goal.
Then everything began to escalate and time took on a different dimension. “It is clear we have moved from the dream level to ground level,” I wrote in July of 2008 – and indeed we had. Soon we were looking at four floors above ground, then ten. Six months ago, we reached the twelfth floor and at Chanukah, we also celebrated completion of the Tower’s concrete shell and welcomed the holiday with a giant menorah on the roof.
Today, the Jerusalem stone facing that adorns the outside of the building climbs higher every day. In Ben-Gurion Square, the glass dome of the Art Rotunda below is sheltered beneath a protective cover, its curving contours silhouetted against the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower behind it.
While work continues outside and in, we continue to anticipate the pleasure of our patients and the delight of our staff when – just thirteen months from now – they move into the departments on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors.
In October 2012, when we dedicate the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, fourteen of the Surgical Center’s operating rooms will open, as will the Surgical Intensive Care Floor.
I hope you will be with us to celebrate this amazing accomplishment.
All of us here at Hadassah – and all of you around the world – embraced this vision of the future when it was only a concept; supported and sustained it as we moved from those early days to the realization of where we are now – and what will be in the exciting months ahead. Together we laid the foundation for all that has followed, all that will be – for the people of Jerusalem, the people of Israel.
Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef
Hadassah Medical Organization