Highlights – 2002-2020
The hospital continued to grow, breaking new ground in pediatric medicine and gaining attention from the global community.
In April 2002, the Pediatric Nuclear Medicine Unit opened – to this day the first and only such unit in Israel and the Middle East.
In 2003, specialists at Schneider Children’s identified a string of rare neurological presentations in a number of babies. Investigations revealed that all the infants were being fed with a non-dairy milk substitute produced by a brand named Remedia. Following Schneider Children’s alert, the Ministry of Health ordered all Remedia products to be removed from sellers’ shelves within 24 hours, thus preventing a much greater tragedy. It was subsequently found that the substitute lacked an essential component, Vitamin B1, which caused severe neurological damage to the infants. The episode, known in Israel as The Remedia Case, shook the country; thanks to physicians at SCMCI, many infants’ lives were saved.
In 2006, the hospital opened its first off-site branch, Schneider in the Community – increasing its outreach into the community and increasing accessibility to healthcare for children.
2007: Schneider Children’s agenda focused on expansion plans of several key departments including the ER, Day Care Hospitalization, Cardiac Catheterization and Cardiac Intensive Care. The Cardiac ICU was the first to be completed in November of that year.
In 2008, Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement took place at SCMCI. Representing a technological breakthrough, an artificial pulmonary artery valve was successfully implanted via catheterization in children suffering from a congenital heart defect (CHD). Until then, valve replacement required open-heart surgery. Schneider Children’s was one of 40 centers in the world – and the only one in Israel – to be selected by the manufacturers to utilize the advanced system.
2010 was another eventful year:
Expanded ER Opens – After more than a year of reconstruction and complicated logistics, the upgraded and expanded Emergency Medicine Department opened. The new ER introduced many changes including treatment tracks for smoother patient-flow.
New Gene Identified – Schneider scientists identified SOBP, a new gene responsible for the development of mental retardation. The results of the research were published in the October 2010 edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Schneider Children’s introduced advanced Video Capsule Endoscopy for the diagnosis of colon disease for children from the age of two or younger (weighing 10kg). The test, which previously was only used for children over the age of 10, is solely conducted in Israel by the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases.
Also that year, the Artificial Pancreas, aimed to provide a real solution for diabetics, was tested successfully outside the borders of the hospital by a team of specialists. The innovative trial of the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas (MDLAP) illustrated the potential of a “normal” life for diabetic youngsters. Later, in 2014, this continued with yet another breakthrough achieved by specialists in the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, the National Center for Childhood Diabetes, at Schneider Children’s: The latest trial successfully tested management of patients’ glucose levels over three consecutive days via a digital tablet, thus obviating the need for diabetics to check glucose levels at all times of the day and night.
Following the disastrous earthquake in Nepal, in 2015, two small premature babies of 32 weeks and 34 weeks were transferred by ambulance from the airport to Schneider Children’s for evaluation and monitoring in the Neonatology Department. The infants were both discharged in good health nine days later.
The last week of July that year was an especially dramatic one: within 48 hours, 7 children received a new lease on life following organ donations in a marathon of operations, one after the other.
In May 2016, ground was broken for the construction of the new Southern Wing of the hospital.
That year, Schneider Children’s also received prestigious accreditation accorded to hospitals worldwide for quality and medical safety by JCI (Joint Commission International) for the second consecutive time.
2017 was a festive year, celebrating the hospital’s 25th anniversary.
To celebrate, the hospital published a historical review of pediatric care worldwide and in Israel in particular, emphasizing the huge contribution of the medical center to pediatric care. Entitled “Schneider’s Children”, the book describes the history of Schneider Children’s since its founding, landmark events that led to its establishment of the unique medical center, the vision of its founders, and its breakthrough achievements in clinical arenas and research.
As part of the infrastructure work for the hospital’s extension, controlled demolition took place of the veteran pedestrian bridge connecting the parking area with the hospital building. The bridge, over which hundreds of employees headed daily to work and thousands of patients and their families walked over the years, was successfully dismantled.
The Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes and the International Diabetes Center (IDC) in Minneapolis, USA, were awarded a competitive prestigious grant of $7 million towards second generation research of the artificial pancreas system aimed to treat youngsters with Type I Diabetes. The grant aimed to lead the artificial pancreas system through the process of licensing and commercial use.
2020 will be remembered as the year of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Schneider Children’s responded with alacrity to the new infectious disease by establishing designated sterile Corona wards with individual bed settings, harnessing staff and reorganizing schedules, establishing a kindergarten for the children of staff, acquiring protective suits and additional equipment, and instituting new regulations for patients and their families, including setting up a hotline. In the shadow of the coronavirus, Schneider Children’s continued its daily mission of saving children’s lives, and inter alia, conducted three life-saving organ transplants in children, removed foreign objects in about 10 small children after ingestion, issued tips to reduce anxiety, and conducted laparoscopy in a 2.5kg newborn.
2020 will also be remembered for induction of the hospital’s new CEO, Dr. Efrat Bron-Harlev, following the retirement of Prof. Joseph Press, who headed Schneider Children’s since 2008. Dr. Harlev introduced her approach to propel the medical center “Above and Beyond” its past accomplishments and forge a rethinking of programs and strategies for the future.