The Israel Prize committee (the most prestigious prize in Israel) for 2009 said that it was awarding Prof. Shani “for a lifetime of exemplary public service, and for being the guiding light and father figure for medicine and the health system of Israel.”
“Prof. Shani was central to the establishment and development of the Sheba Medical Center; the reorganization of Israel’s psychiatric services; the founding of the school for health policy at Tel Aviv University; the drafting and passage of Israel’s national health insurance policy and legislation; and the founding of many medical research institutes and scientific foundations (that have produced hundreds of scientific studies); and the mentoring of generations of doctors at Sheba.”
“In all these capacities, and through his tenures as director general of the Israel Ministry of Health, Prof. Shani had an enormous impact on the health and welfare sectors in Israel, and specifically on the care for Israel’s weakest strata and most vulnerable populations, in Israel’s peripheral areas and all across the country. He is an enormously impressive and accomplished man by any international standard; the natural and undisputed leader of Israel’s health system. Nobody has had a greater influence than him,” concluded the prize committee in its formal award citation.
Professor Mordechai Shani, was director general of the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer for 33 years; served two terms as director general of the Ministry of Health; was the architect of the 1994 reform of Israel’s health system; was a key player in the creation of the landmark Patient’s Bill of Rights; was co-founder of the Alut Israel Association for Autism; founded Israel’s “National Institutes of Health”, known as the Gertner Institute for Health Policy and Epidemiology, at Sheba; was chairman of the all-powerful Pharmaceuticals Approval Council in the Ministry of
Health; and founded the Ziering National Center for Newborn Screening. Furthermore, for the last 20 years Prof. Shani has been leading a reorganization of the mental health services in Israel. Today, he is the President of the Tel Hashomer
Research Foundation, among many other activities. The Israel Prize committee’s formal review of Prof. Shani’s career accomplishments (in Hebrew) runs five pages long!
For the past ten years Prof. Shani has been devoting his time to research in the field of e-Health combined with disease management and Tele-Medicine. For the achievement in Tele-rehabilitation, in 2014 his team got the first prize for innovation by TED MED.
Prof. Shani was nominated recently as the Chairman of the National Committee for Tele-Medicine which is part of the National Council of innovation in health (in 1994 Prof. Shani established the National Councils in Israel, 21 of which function today).