Medical Development for Israel
Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel was inaugurated on October 29, 1991 (see milestones), and officially opened to the public in April 1992. The medical center owes its establishment and name to its founders and major benefactors, Irving and Helen Schneider of New York, USA. It was built following a comprehensive study of Israel's healthcare system and its national pediatric medical needs. The survey was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Schneider, who had previously been involved in the development of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, and recognized the need for a similar facility in Israel.
Conducted by an international committee of experts between 1986-1988, the survey concluded that there was a critical necessity for a modern tertiary care hospital solely dedicated to children in Israel and the Middle East. The results also emphasized that a children's department in a general hospital were insufficient to respond to the special needs of children.
A building with an area of about 20,000 sq. meters was originally suggested, much less that what was finally built (35,000 sq. meters). Designed by Americans Marvin Bostin, a specialist in the planning of children's hospitals and Jerry Switzer, a renowned architect, the planning of the seven-story building took about three years. Each floor comprised a central passageway, which divided the area into two main sections: hospitalization wards on one side and day clinics on the other.
Mr. Schneider himself was involved in every detail from the start. Once or twice a month, he and Mrs. Schneider visited Israel to follow progress. The whole family participated, including their two daughters, Lynn and Mindy. Towards the final stages of construction, Helen Schneider became the guiding spirit behind issues of aesthetics and it is due to her elegant style and impeccable taste that the choice of materials and coloring are so unique to the medical center.
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