City of Health: Sheba Executives Reveal the Secrets of Their Award-winning Healthcare
Sheba Medical Center, the largest, most advanced hospital facility in the Middle East, takes pride in being recognized worldwide as a leading force in medicine. Recently, Forbes listed approximately 190 staff members from Sheba on their prestigious list of the “best doctors in Israel.” And this praise came right after Newsweek ranked Sheba as one of the “10 Best Hospitals in the World.”
In the words of Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba, “We are incredibly proud to see so many of Sheba’s top doctors in this prestigious magazine … Our doctors strive to provide first-rate medical care via their innovative methods to patients across the entire spectrum of Israeli society and around the globe, 24/7, 365 days a year.”
The clinicians and scientists at Sheba are motivated by a dual goal: to treat all present patients at Sheba, and to research new treatment methods to help future patients. For example, researchers are working around the clock on CAR T-cell therapy, a revolutionary method that involves manufacturing CAR T-cells (genetically modified white blood cells to kill cancer) to treat oncology patients who are critically ill. CAR T-cell therapy has the potential to help individuals who suffer from leukemia and lymphoma with a more efficient and more affordable cancer treatment.
As Sheba’s staff actively pursues cutting-edge research, the multidisciplinary specialists also join together to provide effective treatments for all medical conditions.
Dr. Tzipi Strauss, Director of Neonatology, describes some of the teamwork scenarios she has witnessed many times, such as – if a newborn experiences severe respiratory and cardiac distress, a top cardiologist and pediatrician are called urgently to the maternity unit, where they provide life-saving care. Because Sheba is an extensive hospital with a wide range of disciplines, experts are always close and available.
“We are all proud to work at Sheba and believe we are better doctors when we work as a team,” Dr. Strauss says. “Everyone does what they can for the patient, no matter the cost.”
Almost three decades ago, Dr. Amir Grinberg came to work at Sheba as a nurse in the Oncology Department. Presently, he manages the hospital’s highly capable team of 3,000 nurses. Along with the pride he takes in Sheba’s supreme standards of excellence, he also expressed how the hospital will never rest in their quest to push forward.
“This is one of the best hospitals, yes,” says Dr. Grinberg. “But not because of Forbes or Newsweek. Every good hospital has innovation and a cutting-edge research center. But if you ask anybody here what makes this hospital unique, it’s our spirit.”
Underlining this message, Prof. Arnon Afek, Associate Director General and Acting Director, says, “The people of Israel are so bright, smart, highly motivated and humane. This is the essence of why we’re so good.”
What do patients remember most about their experience at Sheba? The personal interaction with doctors and nurses. Dr. Grinberg also attributes Sheba’s excellence in medical care to good, old-fashioned hard work. However, he points out that Sheba’s popularity comes with a price – the hospital is running out of room on their massive campus. Although he wishes that Sheba could hire more nurses and expand their services to meet the growing demand, there simply isn’t enough space.
“Everyone wants to come to us,” he says. “We’re like the best restaurant in town, but we only have so many seats.”
In response to the limitations of physical space, Sheba is now working on new ways to treat patients remotely. By 2025, the hospital hopes to introduce their inventive design for medical centers that are founded with a blend of the newest technologies and outstanding patient care inside and outside their walls. Called the City of Health, this project will offer services from rehabilitation to cancer research to geriatric disease treatments; it will serve as a beacon for medical progress for Israel and the entire world.
This transformation of Sheba into the City of Health is an overriding mission. As Prof. Arnon Afek, Associate Director General and Acting Director, states, “We’re not thinking about 2019; we’re redesigning the hospital for 2030 and beyond. We want to adapt to the future of medicine. Every hospital in the world will have to do this, but we’re leading the way toward this goal.”
Shortly, Sheba will inaugurate their ARC (Accelerate Redesign Collaborate) Innovation Center by breaking ground on its 237,000 sq ft (22,000 sq m) complex. The ARC Center aims to revolutionize the future of digital health.
“The ARC Innovation Center will allow us to keep the best minds of Israel at Sheba. We will also collaborate with our friends in the States — universities, hospitals and private companies,” says Prof. Afek.
With dedication to national and international collaboration, Sheba joins forces with some of the world’s brightest minds to help eradicate deadly diseases. Sheba physicians work together with specialists from the premier Weizmann Institute for Science, in Rehovot, to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.