History and progress

Leningrad Academic and Research Institute of Maternal health and babyhood protection was established on the 7th of January in 1925 on the basis of the city children hospital on Viborgskaya side opened in 1905. Among the first founders of the Institute were Z. O. Michnik, A. N. Antonov (the authors of the Institute project), V. O. Mochan (the first director), A. Y. Goldfeld, M. S. Maslov, P. S. Medovikov, P. I. Lublinskiy, L. I. Erlix, A. V. Popova, D. A. Soloduho, L. L. Okinchits. Julia Aronovna Mendeleeva (1883-1959) − the second director has a special role in organization of the Institute formation, continuously running the Institute almost since its foundation till 1949, during the siege years also. She managed to turn the Institute into an authoritative high school, intended for pediatrician education. In the subsequent years the Institute was expanding its activities, deepening scientific researches, that has affected its name − Research Institute of Maternal health and babyhood protection (1928-1932). In 1932 the Institute started training students from their student hood on full-time and evening departments and got status of medical high school hospital. 82 students were accepted on first course in autumn 1932. This was one step closer towards preparation of qualified pediatric doctors for growing network children health-care institutions in years of industrialization and women economical emancipation movement, their involving in industrial production process. Country leadership understood that children health predetermines the new generation of soviet people’ health, provides defensive capability of the country (children made up 1/3 of the country's total population). In February 1935 the medical school hospital gets high school medical status and transforms into Leningrad pediatric medical institute. The first graduation of 51 pediatric doctors was held in 1936 and in the following years, till the World War II beginning, five graduations have been implemented, over 530 children doctors have been trained. Over 3000 doctors have got in the Institute professional development.

For department heading remarkable scientists were invited: A.F. Tur, R. R. Vreden, K. K. Skrobanskiy, M. G. Danilevich and other important soviet scientists. Emphasis was placed on comprehensive studying of healthy and sick children, patterns of morphological, functional and psychological child development depending on social and biological factors. The Institute was among the first in the country who started working on social-medical problems of maternal health and babyhood protection, as a result turned out to be in the vanguard of the soviet pediatrics. By year 1941 faculty comprised 37 professors, 88 associate professors and 160 assistants. 20 guidebooks about different pediatric problems have been issued, 2072 research papers have been published. Clinical hospital was provided with 1215 beds, women and children consultation, milk and food station, and several nurseries of Viborgskiy district attached. Institute’s stuff efforts were not limited by departments, clinics and laboratories. Scientific searches results have got recognition in the country, many scientists’ names became known outside its borders. A valient page in the history of LPMI were years of World War II, during which educational, medicative and scientific activities didn’t stop. In Leningrad under shelling, under frequently raids of enemies’ planes, in cold clinical and department spaces, in bomb shelters classes took place with students and doctors, continued science researches, administer weakened and sick children. The Institute was mentioned on the German map of shelling as «object 708» − a special mark to be destructed. Despite direct hits in the Institute building, none of the children got injured.

400 000 children, who were not evacuated, stayed in Leningrad in siege years. Many of them survived due to selfless devotion of LPMI stuff. Thanks to A. F. Tura, M. N. Nebitovoy-Lukyanchikovoy, S. I. Poliakovoy, N. V. Balinskoy workings, 18 milk substitutes for children feeding from soya, malt and from other products were made. Staff members saved not only kids. In the first days of war hospitals for sick, injured soldiers and civilians have been set. Experienced surgeons of the institute: N. E. Surin, N. E. Berg and others did a great job. The Institute managed to realize 7 graduations, prepare 947 doctors in exceptionally hard conditions. Students took active part in defensive works, went to peat digging, built bomb shelters on the territory of the institute, took part in city clean-up month campaign. All hardships of siege years teachers shared with the students. Director Y. A. Mendeleeva, A. F. Tur, K. K. Skrobanskiy, A. B. Volovik, A. N. Antonov, S. Y. Kofman, E. S Gurevich, S. S. Mnuhin, Y. A. Kotikov, S. A. Novoselskiy and others stayed in Leningrad and continued working . Actual problems of military time were explored – children and adult dystrophy, avitaminosis, war-related injury. Courses for medical stuff about actual problems of military time continued functioning, volunteer nurses were trained from factory workers.