Rambam’s Trauma Care in Peace Time & WAR Time


From chips to healthcare, we leave Zoran in Haifa and drive north to Rambam, one of Israel’s five major hospitals and the only tertiary care center serving the northern third of the country. They take ‘everyone’ in, so an Israeli soldier could be lying next to an Arabic terrorist. IDF soldiers, UN and US Sixth Fleet troops have all passed through these doors. Some never leave.

The center was named after Rabbi Moshe Ben-Maimon “the RAMBAM,” the greatest Jewish physician of ancient times.

A photographer follows us all into a large overly air conditioned room (I think Israelis ‘think’ that yanks need to have rooms at subzero temperatures because its so hard to find a public space in the states that isn’t “iced”…). It turns out that he typically shoots body parts during an operation.

Rambam’s Director of Public Affairs David Ratner talks to our group. We learn a bit about its history before we get the ’emotional story.’ It was built in 1938 by the British as a government military hospital. They now take in roughly 83,000 annually, and there are 120,000 emergency department visits and 44,000 surgical procedures.


All of this is handled by only 700 physicians; 23% of these doctors are Jewish, Muslum and Christian Arabs. Located only 35 kilometers from the Lebanese border, they have gained international recognition in trauma medicine since they took care of so many wounded during war time. They’re also making significant progress in stem cell and genetic research.

A renovated emergency trauma center is currently the top priority of Rambam’s campus wide Vision of Adam master plan. Their dream is to render ER into a full emergency medicine center 24/7. That means a self-reliant ER with emergency medicine specialist physicians trained to provide primary care to every incoming patient.

They host a trauma program four or five times a year where doctors from around the world can come and learn ‘best practices’ of what the Rambam medical team learned while under attack.

When missiles started hitting in June 2006, patients were admitted to Rambam from various sources: from deadly missile attacks in the immediate vicinity, from other hospitals unable to handle the injuries and from helicopters who were bringing in wounded from the border. Today, they treat a lot of people from the West Bank. Arabs and Jews. This is not an issue.

The medical center is also located between two navy bases. During times of peace, there is an area that is being used as a parking lot. During war time, it would only take 72 hours for them to turn this lot into a place where they can treat an additional 750 people.

Trauma comes to them in many forms. David reminds us that a bus accident full of injured children is far worse than three soldiers who have been shot.

Rambam is also doing a lot of work cardiac tissue engineering. Rambam and Technicon are both working on combining cardiac stem cells and polymer to generate artificial cardiac contracting sheet.

This center deserves more recognition than it has received worldwide – perhaps not enough people know. The Rambam Healthcare Center an amazing example of co-existence in Israel and how life ‘could be.’

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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