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Professor Miloš Velemínský, renowned expert and prominent figure of FHSS USB, has passed away

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Professor Miloš Velemínský, a renowned physician, teacher, and scientist, on Saturday night. He was 87 years old and very active until his last days. The professional and general public has lost a great professional as well as a kind and helpful person, who will be remembered with respect and gratitude by several generations of South Bohemians. Prof. MUDr. Miloš Velemínský, CSc., doctor honoris causa, was a prominent figure of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences of the University of South Bohemia (FHSS USB). He started to cooperate with it in 1991 and expanded his scientific activities there. From 1998 to 2004 he was the Vice-Dean for Science and Research, then he was the Dean FHSS USB for seven years and remained active there until now.

Dean of FHSS USB Mgr. Ivana Chloubová, Ph.D., was very saddened by the news of Professor Velemínský's passing. 'A great man who cared about people and the running of our faculty even in his old age has passed away. He followed the events and activities that we organized, the projects that we acquired, he was not indifferent to the evaluation of teaching – in short, he lived for and with the faculty. Together with other former deans ( doc. Šemberová, doc. Vurm and prof. Tóthová) he set the direction of our faculty and contributed significantly to its development. As a physician, he perceived the need for quality education in non-medical medical programs, the necessity of social overlap in human care and the importance of professional intervention in dealing with crisis situations. Although he was a specialist in paediatric medicine, where the focus of his teaching was, he was also actively interested in the knowledge of students in preclinical fields and their general outlook. In the Introduction to Studies course, he guided the students around the faculty premises and tried to make them soak up the atmosphere of faculty life and embrace it as their next home. He viewed the faculty staff as his second extended family and I believe he loved us and we loved him,' said the Dean of FHSS USB.

Professor Velemínský was born on 14 August 1936 in the family of a veterinarian from České Budějovice. He graduated in 1960 from the Faculty of Paediatric Medicine of Charles University in Prague. He worked in the children's ward of the hospital in Jindřichův Hradec. In 1969, he joined the children's ward of the regional hospital in České Budějovice as a surgeon. He was the head of the neonatal ward for 13 years and was responsible for the creation of the first intensive care unit for pathological newborns in the Czech Republic in the 1970s. In 1984, he founded the first independent neonatal ward in the Czech Republic in České Budějovice. He was also the founder and director of the Medical First Aid Service in Třeboň. Until the end of last year, he was still practicing at his pediatric practice in Třeboň, for which he had previously searched long and carefully for a pediatrician to replace him.

He has received a number of prestigious awards for his work. He has received the Zlatá šupina Award, given to those who have contributed to the development or reputation of the region through their actions and lifetime work, and the Třeboň Town Award. He was the recipient of the golden Janský plaque, and in 2010 he received the Purple Heart civic award for his contribution to neonatology. In October 2018, President Miloš Zeman presented him with a high state decoration: the Medal of Merit at a ceremony in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle.

In addition to many professional publications, this well-known paediatrician was the author of several popular science books that appeal to the general public through their clear and broader context. The book 'The Sick Child - A Guide for Parents' is a strong incentive to establish a qualified and mutually enriching contact between doctors and parents. In his paediatric practice, prof. Velemínský has met many mothers with difficult life stories that have stuck in his memory and in his heart. He has summarized their stories in several books, which also focus on social issues. He wrote a book about families who have a disabled child, 'Celebrities Against Their Will'. Then, with journalist Ivana Karaskova, he wrote an autobiographical book in 2018, 'Such is Life,' an interview interspersed with real patient stories that bear witness to extraordinary parental dedication and will. In 2023, they co-authored another book based on authentic stories called 'Mom, Dad, What About Me?' about the impact of divorce and breakups on children's lives.

An interview with prof. Velemínský was also published in a book by the Syndicate of South Bohemian Journalists entitled 'How not to waste your life'. Another publication is currently in the press: it is called 'Science is Life, Life is Not Science' and consists of eight interviews with scientists and teachers from the University of South Bohemia and the Biology Centre CAS in České Budějovice. The chapter on Miloš Velemínský includes a very apt quote from one of the mothers who used to visit him with her child. She emphasized his humanity and his ability to communicate with parents about the most sensitive things – his ability to love people, even in their weakest moments, made him an excellent doctor and human being. This book, including unfortunately the last major interview with Miloš Velemínský, will be launched on 11 April at 4 pm on the campus of the University of South Bohemia at the Václav Havel Bench next to the Rectorate building.

Dear professor, we appreciated you very much and we will not forget you. Rest in peace. We honour your memory!

Foto: Václav Pancer

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Branišovská 1645/31a, 370 05
České Budějovice
Tel.+420 389 032 191 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.jcu.cz

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