In 1994, as a result of a major gift from the Jesselson family, Shaare Zedek established the Jesselson Heart Center, a 70,000 square foot facility encompassing the entire 10th floor of the Hospital. The Center was created in response to a long country-wide waiting list for open-heart surgery and invasive heart procedures such as catheterizations. Today, the Jesselson Heart Center is one of Israel’s leading providers of comprehensive cardiac care and an international center of excellence in the implantation of stents, stentless aortic valves and in the repair of mitral valves. The Center attracts patients from throughout Israel and even from abroad; 30% of its patients are not Jerusalem residents.

A complete spectrum of cardiac evaluation and testing is available in the Bendheim Department of Cardiology. A yearly average of 2,700 Heart Catheterizations (50% of which are interventional angioplasties with stent implantation) and thousands of echocardiograms, treadmill stress tests and Holter monitor tests are performed. In all, the Center’s outpatient clinics provide cardiac diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and preventative counseling for more than 12,000 men, women and children each year.

Despite the increased number of new non-invasive cardiac techniques, some cardiac problems must still be addressed by surgery. Other Israeli medical centers often refer their most difficult cases to the Jesselson Heart Center’s Ruth and Hyman Matloff Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. This department has achieved remarkable results in coronary bypass surgery, despite a patient mix with greater than average risk factors. Following the appointment of a senior thoracic surgeon in 2000, the department is now putting new emphasis on lung surgery, and has quickly become the primary destination for this type of surgery in Jerusalem.