The Francisco A. Hernandez Lectureship was created by Dr Gerold L. Schiebler in 1970. Established Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Florida, Chairman of Pediatrics, University Assoc. Vice president for health External Affairs, Distinguished Service Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus, UF Lifetime Achievement Award 2004.As Division Director Florida CMS, established regional perinatal centers, as well as programs in genetics, diabetes, child abuse, poison control etc. He was Dr Hernandez’ personal friend colleague, and tireless advocate for Florida’s children. There was mutual respect and an enduring friendship between Dr Hernandez and Dr Schiebler. They were able to work together to influence state CMS policies, to the benefit of Florida’s children. The lectureship was created under the aegis of the Florida Heart Association and the University of Florida Foundation in 1970, to recognize Dr Hernandez as the first pediatric cardiologist in Florida, and one of the nation’s grandfathers in the evolving field of pediatric cardiology. The lectureship speakers have many nationally renown pediatric cardiologists.
The present Division of Pediatric Cardiology is a result of his early vision for the new specialty. He worked to refine methods, and to encourage innovations that permitted accurate diagnosis and effective treatments for a population of children who had never previously had a chance to live. The continuing effort to bring the best to our community is a fitting tribute to the early work of Francisco A. Hernandez. It is appropriate that we continue his tradition of pushing the limit of our understanding as we deal with fetuses, infants, children and adults with heart disease, for the years to come.