The Ida Cabakoff Children’s Medical Center



On January 2, 2012, The Kaplan Medical Center opened the doors of the new Children’s Medical Center  and activated two completed 60 beds hospitalization wards and the Pediatric Emergency Room. The completion of the additional internal construction on the remaining two floors is scheduled  for the end of 2012, pending the availability of funding.


Named IDA CABAKOFF CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER, this new facility is slated to cost $37 million, fully equipped.

In 2008, through the generosity of an anonymous donor, $13 million had been raised, allowing the construction to begin. Of the remaining $24 million needed, Clalit has pledged to match dollar for dollar.  Thus, $12 million of philanthropic support can complete this world-class facility and the Middle East’s most advanced pediatric center.

Major gifts may be recognized through significant naming opportunities, allowing donors to attach their names, and those of loved ones, to an institution that saves many thousands of young lives each year.

Why the New Children’s Medical Center is Urgently Needed

Located in Israel’s central region, Kaplan’s current pediatric department boasts a renowned medical staff of 40 physicians. They work, however, in three one-story barracks, built in 1953. Young patients are crowded into rooms with eight beds, with no privacy either for them or their families. There are no isolation rooms to treat oncology patients at risk of infection or young Ethiopians suffering from tuberculosis – and who might infect others. Parents cannot stay overnight with their children, a real hardship especially for infants and toddlers.

Because of the long distances between the pediatric department and Kaplan’s advanced diagnostic facilities, children must be transported out of doors in wheel chairs and motorized stretchers when testing is needed. Every day, scores of children travel over 1500 feet in all weather – three-tenths of a mile – between their rooms and the medical care they need.

The Children Served and the Care They Need

Kaplan Medical Center treats patients from throughout Israel; many travel long distances to be treated by its outstanding faculty. KMC’s Outside Pediatric Clinics cover a vast catchment area stretching from Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi in the south to Rishon LeZion and Nes Ziona in the north. Having seen Kaplan’s caring staff in the clinics, young families trust that the Hospital will provide outstanding care.

  • 23,000 emergency room patients
  • 6,000 hospitalized for extensive stays
  • 25,000 children are served in the outpatient clinics
  • 1,000 are treated in the pediatric day hospital

Kaplan, along with Israel’s other pediatric facilities, cannot keep pace with the demands of Israel’s growing young population.With its top-flight medical staff having passed rigorous American JCI accreditation standards, Kaplan’s 40 pediatricians offer advanced care in a dozen specialties:

  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Nutrition
  • Liver diseases
  • Neurology
  • Allergy and immunology
  • Rheumatology
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Genetic and metabolic diseases
  • Hematology-oncology

The hospital’s neonatology and intensive care unit for pre-term infants are also part of the pediatric department. The new Pediatric Medical Center will allow the medical staff to provide advanced training to its staff in three additional sub-specialties. This will allow for advanced medical training and important clinical and basic research projects.

The hospitalized young patients also benefit from a large staff of teachers, some of whom are trained as art, drama and music therapists.  While hospitalized, the children continue their studies in fully computerized classroom, also equipped with other teaching aids.  When necessary, they are also assisted by the Psychology Services of the hospital.

Ethiopian Children – Poorly Acculturated and Underserved

While Kaplan sees youngsters at every socio-economic level, it is unique in its care of Ethiopian children. The Ethiopian community has the highest percentage of larger families in Israel: 48% of families have three children or more compared with 30% in the rest of Israel’s population.

This community suffers from poverty, neglect and a lack of parental authority; 60% are single-parent households, and immigrants often cannot cope with Israel’s technologically advanced and Western culture. Because Ethiopian families often have a poor understanding of Israel’s health protocols, the Kaplan emergency rooms – both adult and children – also serves as their primary care clinic.

AIDS remains prevalent in the Ethiopian community. Kaplan has Israel’s only AIDS facility: The Neve Or AIDS Treatment and Research Center. Its staff includes Ethiopian nurses and aides who themselves have contracted AIDS and can treat their patients with greater understanding. Ethiopian youngsters may suffer from tuberculosis, a disease otherwise almost unknown in Israel. Type 1 diabetes is rampant and children suffer from mutations of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis as well. Ethiopian teens, having grown up in difficult conditions, also come to Kaplan suffering from alcoholism and other aggressive behaviors. 


The 2008 original grant — matched dollar-for-dollar by Clalit Health Services — enabled Kaplan Medical Center to begin construction of the new four story children’s hospital.This technologically sophisticated and eco-friendly facility will boast 80,000 square feet of interior space, with 30 semi private inpatients rooms (60 beds) and easy access to and from the general emergency room and Kaplan’s other diagnostic facilities of the Kaplan Medical Center.

Stage One of construction includes the building’s outer shell, the lobby and the 3rd and 4th floors and is slated to be completed by November 2011. Stage Two can begin as soon as funding is secured.

Pediatric Hospital Schema

STAGE 1 – Completed Facilities

Pediatric and Orthopedic Surgery Departments: (Fourth floor)  

The pediatric and orthopedic surgery departments will have 26 beds for post-surgical hospitalization and treatment.  The floor will also include treatment rooms and medical offices, as well as educational facilities.

Architectural rendering of the new inpatient wards

Medical Pediatric Department and Pediatric ICU: (Third floor) 

    • Pediatric ICU: The six bed pediatric intensive care unit will care for youngsters who are victims of trauma (such as terrorist attacks), poisoning, accidents, or who need major post-operative care, for example.  Since Kaplan is within firing range of Katyusha rockets coming from several borders, the unit must be built to Israeli advanced bomb-shelter standards and will be equipped with emergency power generators, air filtration systems and regulation constructed walls and window.
    • Parent housing and social services: A separate apartment will house six bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and comfortable lounge for parents’ use when overnight stays are needed. Also on the floor will be physician and social work offices.
    • Medical Pediatric Department (Ward A): Ward A will consist of 40 beds with separate groupings for infants and preschoolers, older children and teenagers. The floor will have sealed isolation rooms for patients with infectious diseases and children undergoing chemotherapy, preventing the airflow to the rest of the ward.  The ward will also have educational facilities, a library and a fully computerized classroom area. Youngsters needing prolonged hospitalization will be able to continue their schooling and social routines.

Pediatric Emergency Room (Second Floor)

    • Pediatric ER: Treating over 23,000 children annually, the new Pediatric ER will be located on the second floor, and will be fully triage equipped.  It will also include a large waiting area for parents and family, also able to accommodate the large Ethiopian population that uses the emergency room as its primary care clinic. The ER is designed to be a bridge between this underprivileged population and the appropriate health clinics to provide young patients and their parents with extra resources; health care education, counseling and at home emergency health care instruction.

STAGE 2 – Uncompleted Facilities

Outpatient Clinics and Day Hospital (Second Floor)

    • Pediatric Outpatient Clinics:  The new outpatient clinics will include child development and pediatric endocrinology, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, oncology and pulmonary diseases.  While some 25,000 children currently visit the current outpatient clinics, we anticipate that these numbers will significantly increase in the new facility. Classrooms and conference rooms on this floor will be dedicated to training medical students.

    • Pediatric Day Hospital:  This 4,000 square feet space is designed for children with chronic diseases and immune deficiencies, among other ailments, who need daily treatment.  Some 1,000 children annually can be sent home after treatment without requiring overnight stays in the hospital. This substantially cuts medical costs and speeds healing.  The day hospitals will multidisciplinary facility, comprising treatment areas, a playroom, two rooms with four beds each and two single rooms for cancer patients who require isolation.

Entrance Hall and Auditorium (first floor) 

    • A large entrance hall will serve as a welcoming transitional space into the hospital and will feature food services and gift shop. The 500 seat auditorium will host medical events and lectures and will also be open for use by the community at large.
Atrium RenditionAtrium Rendition
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