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A Special Tribute: Jerome Liebman, MD 1927-2016

Department of Pediatrics - January 2017


Jerome Liebman, MD, Jerome Liebman, MD - 2015has been widely recognized as a father of pediatric cardiology. A master clinician, educator, and innovator in the field, Dr. Liebman, a Professor Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and former chief of the division of cardiology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, mentored every pediatric cardiologist, resident and fellow to pass through the division over the last five decades.

Dr. Liebman received his medical degree from Harvard University in 1955, then completed pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in 1957 and a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liebman returned to Cleveland, where he became the founder and chief of the division of pediatric cardiology at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. In 1972, he earned the rank of Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

During his tenure as Chief, Dr. Liebman established the division of pediatric cardiology as one of the first 21 centers nationwide to offer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for babies with cardiac and pulmonary problems, performed the region’s first newborn cardiac catheterization, and designed the first angiographic equipment specifically for children. After stepping down as Chief, he continued well into his eighties to assist the division with interpretations of electrocardiograms and to instruct pediatric cardiology fellows and residents in doing so.

Jerome Liebman, MD

Dr. Liebman authored more than 200 peer reviewed articles and many book chapters, and served as editor of numerous pediatric cardiology textbooks. He was recognized for his lifetime accomplishments by the American Academy of Pediatrics subsection of pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery as the recipient of the Founder’s Award in pediatric cardiology. He also served as past president of the International Society of Electrocardiography.

Beyond his profound and lasting professional contributions, Dr. Liebman is widely known for his lifetime commitment to the promotion of human rights and social equity. He will be greatly missed by all faculty and staff at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and remembered for his lifelong work in establishing and advancing care for children with congenital heart disease.