Profile: Amram Cohen

Amram Cohen (on left) during Operation Desert Storm. (Source: NMAJMH)

Amram “Ami” Cohen was born in 1954 in Washington, and lived in Israel for his early childhood before returning stateside to Maryland in the 1960s. Cohen pursued a medical degree, and joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a reservist. He served as the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac surgery at the Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD, and deployed in 1991 with Operation Desert Storm. As a Lieutenant Colonel, Cohen worked in an Iraq Army hospital treating wounded American soldiers.

While Cohen was deployed, he managed to stay very connected to his Jewish faith. He regularly volunteered to lead Shabbat services for soldiers, and on Purim he traveled within Iraq to read the Megillah with Jewish paratroopers. Amram Cohen felt so connected to his Judaism that upon returning home from his deployment, he and his wife decided to make Aliyah with their family.

Logo of Amram’s non-profit foundation. (Source: Save a Child’s Heart)

In Israel, Cohen was working at the Wolfson Medical Center when he decided to found Save a Child’s Heart. This non-profit organization helps to provide children in developing countries with life-saving treatment for cardiac illnesses.

In August 2001, Cohen passed away while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with his daughter. His memory and legacy lives on with Save a Child’s Heart, which to date has helped to save over 4,700 children from 56 countries around the world.

To learn more about Save a Child’s Heart, visit