He helped many disadvantaged residents in his neighborhood find jobs and improve their lives, provided basic medical services - using his skills as a former military doctor - and once even helped a farmer round up dozens of sheep after they ran away in a heavy storm.
Lyu Jianjiang died on Dec 1 in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, after suffering a heart attack believed to have been brought on by overwork. He was just 47.
In 2003, under the firm leadership of the Party and the government, the Chinese people, united as one, won a decisive victory in their combat against the severe acute respiratory syndrome pandemic. Learning a lesson from this experience, the government took comprehensive measures to improve public health services, and the prevention and control of serious diseases. Marked progress was made in the prevention and control system for serious diseases, in the response mechanism for public health emergencies, in the development of community healthcare services in rural and urban areas, and in the new-type rural cooperative medical care and basic medical insurance for urban residents.
On Tuesday, Lyu was honored by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee as a "model of the era" at a ceremony in Beijing organized by China Central Television, the State broadcaster. His family was present to accept the award.
The reform of the medical sector has produced noticeable results. Within a short period of time, China was able to achieve the following: developing the world's largest basic medical insurance network that covers all citizens, providing insurance for patients of serious diseases, enabling patients to receive emergency medical services, and improving medical assistance. All this has provided institutional guarantee that patients have access to medical services. The state has gained effective control over serious infectious diseases, has kept the spread of AIDS at a low level, has achieved the tuberculosis control target of the UN's Millennium Goals ahead of schedule, has reduced the number of schistosome infections to the lowest level in history, and became a polio-free country in 2000. China set up the world's largest online direct reporting system of notifiable epidemics and public health emergencies in 2015, and the average reporting time has been shortened to four hours from five days before the introduction of the system.