With its 20,000th birth for the year recorded on December 24, 2013, Shaare Zedek Medical Center became the most active maternity facility in the Western world.  Shaare Zedek finished the year with 20,466 births!

The baby boy, baby 20,000, is the youngest of five children and was born to Ariella Spero of Beit Shemesh at 6:50 am. The newborn was delivered by Yael Shachor who was praised by Spero for the support and caring she provided during the labor.

Ariella and Yisrael Spero are the niece and nephew of Debra Applebaum who attended the Symposium for Preparedness for Mass Casualty Events in Los Angeles on October 28, held to commemorate the 10th yahrzeit of her husband, Dr. David Applebaum and daughter, Naava. Debra also reported that ten hours later, her son Yitzchak and her daughter-in-law Yael had a baby girl down the hall from their cousin.  Dr. Yitzchak Applebaum works at Shaare Zedek’s Department of Emergency Medicine which his late father, Dr. Applebaum, designed and served as Director, and he was also at the Los Angeles Symposium.

Shaare Zedek, which has held the distinction as Israel’s number one hospital for maternal deliveries for several years, is currently involved in an ambitious development and construction project to respond to the ever increasing number of births in the hospital.  The Hospital will soon open the top two floors of The Next Generation Building on its main campus to serve as a comprehensive center of pediatric medicine.

Those floors, home to the Huberfeld Family Birthing Center, will house an additional two maternity departments as well as the Huberfeld Neonatal Intensive Care, the largest and most advanced facility of its kind in Israel.  Immediately upon occupancy of the new facilities, the hospital will embark on a significant expansion of its delivery room suites to eventually offer 22 individual rooms for labor and delivery.

Professor Jonathan Halevy congratulated the 20,000th baby, presenting the baby’s mother with a bouquet of flowers and his warm wishes. “This accomplishment can in part be credited to the parents, but of course wouldn’t be possible without the remarkable dedication of our doctors and nurses because more than just reaching a number, this is about ensuring that every case is treated individually and with compassion,” he said. “This number is a true source of pride for Shaare Zedek, for Jerusalem and indeed for the state of Israel and her friends around the world.”

Professor Halevy acknowledged that the constantly increasing popularity of the hospital created the need for space on the maternity wards which has made the ongoing development projects that much more pressing. “The opening of these new departments will add about 45 percent to the amount of space that we have for maternal and neonatal care,” he said. “The new facility has been designed and built to accommodate the highest medical standards in an ultra-modern working environment. We can now ensure that Shaare Zedek’s reputation as an international leader in the care and research of obstetrics and neonatology is sure to be only enhanced in the coming years.”

Shaare Zedek currently operates two separate delivery centers; one in its main campus in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood and a second in its downtown hospital located in the city center.