December 22, 2014 - The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) celebrated the inauguration of the Dr. Salim Firzli and Nabil Firzli Pediatric Education Room in the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine on December 22, 2014. The room is a state-of-the-art educational facility that supports education, training, and highest standards of patient care.
This major initiative recognizes and celebrates the Firzli family’s contribution while at the same time strengthening AUBMC’s commitment to leadership in pediatric patient care for the future. “The honoring of Dr. Firzli for the opening of an academic educational room in perpetuity of his name and his son’s name is a simple manifestation of gratitude, respect, and loyalty to a person whose wisdom will always be rooted in our minds as a pioneer and mentor in general pediatric and blood diseases,” said Dr. Taher, Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Firzli, a great name in the history of pediatric medicine in Lebanon, “was fully dedicated to this university and its medical center, and from day one, he lived his profession with passion,” said Dr. Elie Firzli who represented the family together with his mother, Mrs. Nabila Firzli, and his brother Mounir who also dedicated a few words in memory of his late brother Nabil during this special occasion.
The late Dr. Salim Firzli earned his degree from AUB School of Medicine in 1947 and had been a member of many organizations which sought the welfare of children’s health in Lebanon and the region ever since. Dr. Firzli was one of the fathers of pediatrics in Lebanon and the first pediatrician to specialize in pediatric hematology/oncology in the Middle East. Over time, he established a comprehensive service at AUBMC for the care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Amongst his many initiatives were setting the foundations of the Lebanese Pediatric Society (LPS) in 1957 and participating in supporting Mrs. Mouna Elias Hraoui, former First Lady and president of Chronic Care Center, in establishing the first of its kind, Chronic Care Center specialized in the treatment of chronic diseases such as thalassemia and diabetes in children in the year 1992.
Dr. Ibrahim Dabbous recalled working with Dr. Firzli, soon after he had established the first clinic in Pediatric Hematology Oncology in the region in 1960. “The service of pediatric hematology-oncology was always very active, and Dr. Firzli was dedicated to treat his patients with utmost attention and care. During that period, the department flourished,” said Dr. Dabbous. “It was a pleasure and an honor to work with Dr. Firzli throughout those years,” he added.
“The role of pediatrics in our current AUBMC facility is of critical importance and as part of the 2020 Vision it will grow even more so with the children's pavilion that will be housed in the new medical complex,” said Dr. Fadi Bitar, Associate Dean for External Medical Affairs and Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, representing Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh, VP of Medical Affairs and the Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “Such expansion and growth would not be possible without the support of our dear friends of AUB and AUBMC such as the Firzli family.”
Dr. Firzli has left an indelible mark on AUBMC, in Lebanon and in his specialty as a leading physician. “Through this generous gift, Nabila will ensure that Dr. Firzli’s legacy lives on. By donating a much needed educational facility, the Firzli family is contributing to making AUBMC and the Department of Pediatrics a better place as they always did,” said Dr. Miguel Abboud, Chairman, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
The Firzli family donation will promote a scholarly environment that fosters a balance of personal and professional growth and enhance patient health in a department which has always been adored by Dr. Firzli.