Since their arrival in the Holy Land in 1848, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition have been involved in offering education and health services to the residents of this country. Following Christ’s example, the congregation and the hospital are committed to the destitute, the impoverished, and the afflicted. They provide compassionate care to all, regardless of religion, race, sex, culture, lifestyle, or economic status.
Saint Joseph Hospital serves the general population of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. It was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition after the 1948 Nakba that separated the two sectors of the city, preventing the Arab Palestinians from reaching the hospital in the western sector of the city. Since then it has functioned as a nonprofit general hospital in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
Our team of health care specialists provides professional medical services through distinguished and complex surgical procedures in thoracic, neurological, urological, and general surgeries that are followed up by professional, efficient, and evidence-based care (over 4,000 operations annually). Operations are performed in four fully equipped modern operating theaters backed with a special six-bed surgical, medical intensive care unit for constant and close monitoring.
With its new Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Birth Center, and Well-Baby Care, Saint Joseph Hospital offers state-of-the-art maternity and neonatal care, including the option of water birth, mainly for Palestinian women.
Our Accident and Emergency Department operates around the clock and is supported by 20 special beds. It provides initial treatment to patients who present with a broad range of illnesses and injuries, some of which maybe life threatening or require immediate attention. After initial assessment and treatment, patients are either admitted to hospital or discharged. Our ER is backed by a radiology department that offers modern imaging services with advanced equipment, ensuring that patients obtain the most accurate and precise results. The staff of two specialized doctors in diagnostic and invasive radiology and three radio-graphic technologists provide patients with excellent images that facilitate the most accurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
The laboratory services are provided around the clock throughout the year to support the needs of both inpatients and outpatients, with 80,000 tests performed annually. The lab provides services in the medical specialties of clinical hematology and coagulation, biochemistry, microbiology and body fluids analysis. The lab works under strict quality-assurance standards.
On April 4, 2015, Saint Joseph Hospital inaugurated the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Birth Center, and Well-Baby Care, with maternity and neonatal wards. It was a momentous milestone for Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories: the largest medical infrastructure development in East Jerusalem since 1967, a project envisioned more than a decade ago and finally realized after much commitment, hard work, and courage.
With a new three-story building erected on the hospital grounds in Sheikh Jarrah (Jerusalem), 7,000 square meters and 75 beds (bringing the current hospital-bed total to 150), we are proud to bring high-quality, evidence-based, and compassionate care to women and newborns during pregnancy and childbirth.
Our strong team of providers (licensed midwives, nurses, and physicians) brings together extensive national and international experience in obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics/neonatology, and anesthesia and helps us offer an alternative birthing experience to the women of Jerusalem.
As we aim for normal and natural deliveries, we have introduced water birth, a process of giving birth in water using a birthing pool and under the supervision of qualified health care provider. Some women choose to labor in water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for delivery. The theory behind water birth is that since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for nine months, birthing in a similar environment is gentler for the newborn and less stressful for the mother.
We have succeeded in lowering the Cesarean section rate to 8 percent, putting us ahead of other hospitals. Moreover, our natural deliveries post-Cesarean section range between 90 and 95 percent.
The Department of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care at Saint Joseph Hospital takes care of some 2,500 newborn infants annually. The Division of Neonatology offers comprehensive neonatal care and includes a multidisciplinary unit that is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for all newborns. It is comprised of two main wards: The Well-Baby Nursery and Special-Care Baby Unit (SCBU), which cares for approximately 500 infants annually, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which treats some 300 premature and newborn infants each year by providing a wide range of treatments using the most advanced technologies and techniques.
The birth of a baby is a wonderful yet very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for mother and baby. So our philosophy is to make this an unforgettably positive event and to maintain a safe environment, one that encourages the highest standard of skilled, compassionate care for our babies. Our highly qualified team encourages and promotes bonding between a mother and her baby from the first few minutes of life by offering a skin-to-skin experience to help babies adapt to extra-uterine life. We are proud to be a baby-friendly hospital by promoting and encouraging breastfeeding, so we offer full or partial rooming-in possibilities where the mother and baby are kept together as much as possible to achieve this goal.
Our larger goal of continuing to expand our medical services to meet the needs of our communities can only be accomplished with rigorous research, the monitoring and evaluation of our services in real time, patient need and satisfaction assessments, and multidisciplinary teamwork.