City Front: Off the ground floor

TEREM will move around the corner of the MDA building by April.

term 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
term 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In less than three months, the tens of thousands of Jerusalemites who for the past 18 years have gone to Terem - the 24-hour-a-day urgent medical care facility in the Magen David Adom station at the capital's western entrance - won't find it. But they won't have to go far - only across the street and around the corner to 80 Rehov Yirmiyahu - and the three-minute walk will be worth the effort. Terem, founded by the late Dr. David Applebaum - who was murdered with his daughter in a Cafe Hillel suicide bombing in 2003 - is investing some $750,000 in the second floor of the Beit Yahav building, where it will have 920 square meters of space, some 600 meters more than its former MDA quarters. The floor became available when the bankrupt Heftsiba construction company evacuated its offices. The round-faced building, which houses the Chief Rabbinate on the first floor, has a magnificent panoramic view of the entrance to the city. But that is only a small part of what will be offered. Terem was initiated by Applebaum as a private business to diagnose and treat patients with acute conditions - from shortness of breath to broken limbs and chest pain - and provide an alternative to hospital emergency room visits, relieving hospitals of tens of thousands of patients. Fewer than 10 percent of Terem customers (most of whom enjoy subsidies from their health funds) have to be referred to hospitals. The new facility will have 17 treatment rooms (instead of the current eight), a spacious waiting room, a playroom, special treatment rooms for children, an advanced lab, observation rooms where patients can receive treatment and be watched for several hours at a time and space for additional medical specialists. In addition, almost all the medical equipment, except for the computers, will be new, including improved X-ray machines (with a dressing room) that emit less radiation, defibrillators and ultrasound machines, say Terem director Dr. Joe Djemal and his deputy, Dr. Nachum Kowalsky. There will also be 25 underground parking spots. On Monday, the two took In Jerusalem on a tour of the gutted floor in Beit Yahav, whose new facilities have been designed by Zvika Rubinstein, who also designed Shaare Zedek Medical Center's new emergency department. Unlike the MDA station facility, the Beit Yahav space is not on the ground floor. Therefore a Shabbat elevator and a handicapped-accessible ramp are being built. "We looked at a lot of places, and Zvika even made tentative plans for them, but when we saw the Beit Yahav facility, we knew it was for us," says Djemal. The move, which may require the hiring of additional doctors, nurses and other staffers, will be accomplished without closing Terem even for an hour, says Kowalsky. "Just having plenty of room in pleasant surroundings will lead to more efficiency, improved and expanded services and less tension," he says.