US developer’s $25 million funds cancer center to serve northern Israel

Andrew Silow-Carroll

(JTA) — Supporters of Emek Medical Center in Afula broke ground on a $25 million cancer center that will serve northern Israel.

New York real estate developer Chaim Katzman, the primary donor, was among those on hand for the ceremony. The center, which is expected to open in December 2019, will be named Beit Shulamit, or House of Shulamit, for his late wife.

Dr. Shulamit Katzman, a pediatrician and health care activist, succumbed to cancer in 2013. She was 49.

The center will offer daily care and have 36 inpatient beds, as well as a radiotherapy clinic, breast cancer center, children’s department, day clinic and surgical facilities for oncology patients.

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Emek Medical Center has an oncology wing and center for chemotherapy, but does not admit patients and radiation therapy is not available, according to a news release.

“There is a real shortage of oncology services in northern Israel, with many patients having to travel long distances for care and treatment,” Orna Blondheim, who heads the medical center, said in a statement. “This new center will go a long way in alleviating their discomfort and improve quality of care.”

The fundraising was facilitated by The Israel Healthcare Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports the Clalit medical network in Israel.