New unit at Hadassah
New unit at HadassahAvi Hayon

Last week, Hadassah Medical Organization opened a new pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Unit at Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. The unit, in the Sharett Institute of Oncology, was established and equipped thanks to a $4.75 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust last year. In recognition of this magnanimous grant, which will enable Hadassah which will enable Hadassah to treat and save the lives of more children, the new unit will be named after Helmsley.

The unit functions within the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation & Immunotherapy at Hadassah Ein Kerem, and is dedicated to treating children requiring BMT, in full compliance with Israel's Ministry of Health instructions. The new expanded Pediatric BMT Unit is headed by Prof. Polina Stepensky, a world-level pediatric hemato-oncology and BMT specialist, and is managed by a team of physicians specializing in pediatric oncology. Together, they provide the highest level of care, tailored to the patient's age.

The Helmsley grant will also enable HMO to double the number of pediatric BMT procedures performed to approximately 100 each year, once the new unit is fully operational. In the past year alone, more than 70 pediatric bone marrow transplantations were performed at Hadassah. This is an all-time high number of transplantations for other units in Israel, and internationally.

Helmsley Trustee Sandor Frankel said, “The Helmsley Charitable Trust is proud to support this important project, given the demonstrated need to improve pediatric BMT infrastructure and units in Israel, and Hadassah’s unique ability to provide this treatment to people in the greater Jerusalem area. The new unit will significantly expand Hadassah’s pediatric BMT capacity and will enable the hospital to provide life-saving BMT treatment to approximately 100 children each year.” Helmsley’s Israel Program, which began active grantmaking in 2010, has committed over $280 million to causes and organizations in Israel.

“History was made today at Hadassah, when we opened a complete unit from scratch, in line with Hadassah's commitment to the Ministry of Health," said Hadassah Director General Prof. Zeev Rotstein. "A unit that is totally dedicated to treatment and bone marrow transplantation in children; rooms that allow for total isolation, as is required following BMT transplantation; a child-friendly environment in pleasant colors that soften the difficult experience; and most importantly, with our terrific team who specialize in treating such children, who need every hug and every specialist that will advance his/her treatment. Hadassah Medical Organization is very grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for its vital support, which has enabled us to create and equip the new expansion of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit.”

Prof. Rotstein also emphasized that, “the demand for these highly specialized treatments is constantly increasing. The world-renowned specialists at Hadassah will now be able to double the number of pediatric bone marrow transplantations, saving the lives of more children, and that is the reason why we are here. In the past year alone, the Department performed more BMT transplantations than ever recorded in an Israeli institution. Hadassah is excited by this vital new partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust.”

Hadassah serves approximately 1 million residents of Jerusalem and neighboring communities, including Judea and Samaria. It is the only facility in the greater Jerusalem area that offers complex oncology and BMT treatments for children, from across Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other countries in the Middle East and around the world.