Irena Zakarija Grković, co-director of Cochrane Croatia, and Matko Marušić, head of quality assurance at Cochrane Croatia, both received awards from the city of Split.
The Split City Council, on May 4, 2020, decided that the traditional awards of the city of Split should be given to two members of the Cochrane Croatia. The personal award was given to Irena Zakarija Grković, co-director of Cochrane Croatia, for selfless commitment and work on the popularization of breastfeeding. A second award was given to Matko Marušić, head of quality assurance at Cochrane Croatia, for the book "Mi Hrvati".
Irena is a family medicine specialist and an internationally certified breastfeeding counsultant (IBCLC) and president of the Croatian association of IBCLC breastfeeding consultants (HUSD). She became a specialist in Melbourne, Australia, where she gained twelve years of clinical experience working with various groups of patients, especially people with special needs and Croatian-speaking emigrants. There she also became an internationaly certified breastfeeding consultant. Her areas of scientific, teaching and professional interest are breastfeeding and the protection of mothers and children, evidence-based medicine and education in basic clinical and communication skills, and she has published numerous scientific papers in these areas. She is a member and founder of the National commission for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding at the Croatian Ministry of Health, an educator in the UNICEF program "Baby-Friendly Maternity Hospital" and an assistant professor at the Department of Clinical Skills and co-head of Cochrane Croatia.
Matko is one of the leading Croatian scientists, writer and professor emeritus of the University of Split. He graduated from the University of Zgreb, School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1970 with the Rector's award for Best student. Since 1971 he has been working as an assistant at the Department of Physiology of the School of Medicine in Zagreb, where he received his doctorate in 1976. He became a professor at the School of Medicine in 1980. He is the author of numerous works in the field of medical science as well as literary works. He described his childhood in the book "Snijeg u Splitu", which he dedicated to his eldest son Berislav. The book has been reprinted several times since 1987, and is also read as part of primary school reading. His second book, "Plaču li anđeli?" (1997) was dedicated to his son Stjepan Ljudevit. In that book, he described the horrors of the Croatian War of Independence and described the people who fought against and evil and superior enemy, and the victory of good people. Since he wrote books for his children, he also wrote the book "Škola plivanja" for his youngest daughter Maria Franka. In that book, which was published in 2005, she describes Marija’s growing up, narrating innocently and with parental love. In 2006, he published the book "Medicina iznutra", in which he spoke openly about various aspects of life in medical profession, including corruption. In 2019, he published the book "Mi Hrvati" as his long-term project made out of love for the Croatian people. As a professor at the School of Medicine in Zagreb, he was elected vice dean of regional medical studies in Split and Osijek in 1982 and is credited with founding today's School of Medicine in Split (1997), where he was dean from 2009 to 2010 and the School of Medicine in Osijek (1998). He also provided significant assistance in establishing the School of Medicine of the University of Mostar. In 1990, he started Croatian Medical Journal, which he edited and managed until 2011. He has published over 250 scientific papers, of which more than 190 in internationally indexed journals. His most internationally recognized scientific contribution is in the research of the thymus, and on immunology in bone marrow transplantation.
We warmly congratulate Irena and Matko on the great recognition of the city of Split!