We’re so proud!

Dr Leon Geffen, Executive Director at Highlands House

On 22 September Executive Director of Highlands House, Dr Leon Geffen was recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Decade of Healthy Ageing as one of the Healthy Ageing 50: Leaders Transforming the World to Be a Better Place to Grow Older.

“I have the pleasure of recognising these world-changing leaders who — often with limited resources — show what can be done, and how, to improve health and well-being for older persons,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO said in a statement.

“We recognise these inspirational champions who showcase what is already possible in the area of healthy ageing, at local, national, regional, or global levels. From combatting ageism and developing age-friendly environ-ments, to implementing integrated care and
ensuring access to long-term care, the Healthy Ageing 50 demonstrates that actions taken across sectors can transform our world to meet the needs and aspirations of current and future generations of older people.” 

Leon was honoured as the Director of the Samson Institute for Ageing Research (SIFAR), which provides an engine for research and innovation to improve the health and wellbeing of older persons in the African region. He recently worked with the WHO Regional Office for Africa to develop a guide and roadmap to implement the UN Decade of Ageing in the African region, connecting local and regional contexts to a global framework.

Leon has worked as a General Practitioner since 1990, and became involved in aged care in the mid-90s. He’s done work with multiple local community-based organisations and continues a strong relationship with the Department of Health, developing public-private partnerships for the delivery of primary care services to older persons. Last year, with the Highlands House medical team, he rolled out vaccinations for DoH at multiple care facilities, providing over 2000 vaccinations. He was mentored by Dr Mossie Silbert for many years. Leon thanks his daughters Shayni and Hayli and his partner, Dr Ferial Abdurahman for their continued support. When not working, he enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, listening to music and occasionally walking on the mountain.

Highlands House www.highlandshouse.co.za

• Published in the November 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.

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