In Tribute to Dr. Shlomo Bleiberg, z"l
Jan 15, 2014
“Today I am in rehabilitation at Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, following a year and a half of oncology treatments. Here there is not only professionalism, but also warmth, love, personal attention and a deep connection between the therapists and the patients.
I have not come across this kind of care anywhere else. Everywhere today, especially in our world, everything is pre-set; everyone comes to do their job and then leave – and that is all. Here the connection is very strong. It continues and sometimes even creates a connection so strong that patients cannot bring themselves to cut themselves off from this place”.[Dr. Bleiberg in an interview with Nissim Keinan, in the Ruach Dromit-Southern Wind program, broadcast on Reshet Bet radio].
In the early days of the rehabilitation wing, in conversations with Dr. Bleiberg with Masada Sekely, Director of Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, he would say the “the place would grow like a fungus: first there will be a trickle of patients, but all at once it would burst with a steady flow” – and that is exactly what happened.
Dr. Shlomo Bleiberg accompanied the establishment of the Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitation Village from its inception. He saw in it an addition stage of development in strengthening the Negev region and its population.
Dr. Bleiberg was first and foremost a loving, caring man. He was attentive to his patients, felt their pain, and fought their battles for their right to the best care and social equality. Every time we turned to him for help he answered positively and he served as a close advisor – one who cared about the development of the village and its strengthening.
In his work with the village he participated in the establishment of 2 centers:
The rehabilitation wing and the high-dependency hospital wing.
In his position as the head of the regulations and supervision of the southern division of the Klalit Health care Fund, Dr. Bleiberg referred developmentally delayed babies to the hospital wing, as well as people who required rehabilitation following an accident or hereditary illness – to the rehab center.
Dr. Bleiberg was partner in helping to advance agreements, in promoting the village and referring patients, from his perspective that residents of the Negev region, where he was born and raised, deserve the best and most available medical services.
During the past year, this dedicated man, who took care of so many others with love and devotion, turned from doctor to patient himself in the rehab center.
As he got sicker and his condition progressively worsened, he himself availed himself of the services of the rehab center, arriving a few times a week to receive a variety of professional medical treatments and therapies.
In the hallways he would meet people who were once patients of his – now together, they would go in to receive treatments.
From time to time we would arrange tour of the village for hundreds of visitors, and Dr. Bleiberg would always tell his personal story in order to raise awareness for the need for excellent medical care. Thus, he became a regular part of the visits.
He was interviewed on the radio and for newspapers on the subject, willingly, from an honest desire to improve the quality of life for residents of the Negev, whom he loved so much.
Dr. Shlomo Bleiberg loved the village and its residents. You could feel his love from the way he spoke, from his sparkling eyes when he spoke of happenings and developments in the village, and from the manner in which he cared so tenderly for children in the village, as thought they were for him a precious treasure.
We had the great privilege and honor of knowing him, of being witness to his desperate struggle with the disease that bowed him, and which forced him give up his life.
The pain of his loss encompasses the whole village. We all share in the sorrow, and express our deepest condolence to his wife Leora and his daughters Yael and Liran.
His legacy will accompany us as we continue to develop and expand Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, and what he has contributed to the village will remain etched in many hearts, forever.
May his memory serve as a blessing.
Dr. Bleiberg passed away on 8 January 2014. יהי זכרו ברוך
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