Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is a global giant

Armstrong Williams | 5/9/2019, 5:35 p.m.
Once again, Israel is at the helm of discovering another monumental medical breakthrough.
Armstrong Williams

Once again, Israel is at the helm of discovering another monumental medical breakthrough.

Dr. Amir Tirosh from Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer in Israel, together with a team of scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have linked a commonly used chemical preservative in food, propionate, to dramatic increases in diabetes and obesity.

This groundbreaking research could become a game-changer for people who suffer from these diseases. And the state of Israel, tiny yet mighty, is on the frontline of pushing the limits of medical innovation and dreaming bigger than ever.

Israel’s national hospital Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer was just named by NEWSWEEK as one of the top 10 hospitals in the entire world, and I was not the least bit surprised. Having visited Sheba myself, I have witnessed Sheba’s modern-day medical miracles firsthand.

Israel’s emergence as a global medical powerhouse is no small feat. In a turbulent region, Sheba is an oasis of coexistence, whose mission is to save lives through the best of humanitarianism combined with top medical innovation.

To stroll through Sheba’s 200-acre campus is like walking through a futuristic medical city, unlike anything I have ever seen. The potent concentration of humanity, brainpower, persistence and ingenuity is unparalleled.

Sheba is the largest hospital in the Middle East, but it is not just the hospital’s size or number of patients treated annually that makes it so impressive. It is the quality of care, which spans the full continuum from preventative onward. It is the compassionate attention to detail, and the Sheba doctors’ spirit: doing everything to save lives in Israel and around the world. And if there’s something that may be medically impossible today, the doctors who also double as researchers are committed to defying the odds and creating a new reality for the future.

Just last month, a heart procedure dubbed the “first in the world” of its type was performed at Sheba.

Professor Victor Guetta, director of the invasive and interventional cardiology unit at Sheba, saved the life of a 29-year-old patient who arrived at the hospital with an aneurysm in the left ventricle of his heart that had ruptured and bled into his chest cavity. Prof. Guetta plugged the bleeding hole in the artery using a device typically used to unblock arteries.

This young patient had a long history of heart complications and had already undergone several heart procedures. Professor Guetta needed to find an alternative solution instead of performing yet another complicated, dangerous and invasive surgery. So he came up with a new idea and the patient returned home, discharged just two days later. This is Sheba Medical Center at its best.

Such displays of medical innovation are one of the many reasons Sheba is one of the global giants of medicine. Another Sheba value that never ceases to amaze me is its boundless humanitarianism.

Sheba treats patients of all backgrounds indiscriminately on its campus, also deploying humanitarian emergency medical teams around the world where people are afflicted by mass casualty tragedies, natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Sheba has traveled to Nigeria, Tanzania, Guatemala and Haiti to save the lives of victims, and the list goes on.