Prof. Leonard 'Lennie' Blieden receives Award for Lifetime AchievementCategory: People Issue No. 163
The Award for Lifetime Achievement for health workers was presented by the Minister of Health to Prof. Leonard ‘Lennie’ Blieden in appreciation of his being among the founders of modern pediatric medicine in Israel, a teacher and educator, and an example to all those working in this field
Prof. Leonard Blieden was born in 1938 and immigrated to Israel from South Africa after graduating from medical school. He was among the first pediatric cardiologists in Israel, and was the first director of the Pediatric Cardiology Unit that became the Cardiology Institute at the Schneider Children's Medical Center. His outstanding contribution to this field of medicine established pediatric cardiology in Israel as a worldwide leader in the profession, to the great benefit of thousands of children suffering from congenital heart conditions or other heart diseases.
Prof. Blieden has also educated generations of pediatric cardiologists. He has worked to have pediatric cardiology accepted as an independent specialization and established the Union of Pediatric Cardiologists. Most important of all, his great contribution has been felt in his treatment of thousands of children with congenital heart conditions, saving their lives and improving their quality of life.
Prof. Blieden continues, even after retiring, to offer his vast experience voluntarily in the Cardiology Department at the Rabin Medical Center, as well as in coaching doctors and students.
Many children with heart defects remained on at Schneider into adulthood. When Prof. Blieden retired from Schneider in 2006 he transferred to Beilinson Hospital where he now follows the development of hundreds of these patients. He says that this is probably the most satisfying period in his career. Patients with heart defects of all severities, many of whom have had several operations, have now been monitored by him consecutively for between 20-40 years. "Nothing can be more gratifying than to see these once desperately ill children grow up and have their only families and live normal lives. For me it is a dream come true!"