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LAST UPDATED Dec 20, 2004


PRESS RELEASES - "Operation Cardio Observation and Training (OpCOT)"

November 22, 2002 - For Immediate Release
Contact 201-652-4762

Ukrainian Gift of Life Launches Training Program

Glen Rock, NJ: Ukrainian Gift of Life, Inc., (UGOL) has launched Operation Cardio Observation and Training (OpCOT), a training program intended to expand UGoL’s effort to advance pediatric cardiology in Ukraine. Dr, Lyubomyr Solovey, the first Fellow to participate in this program, is observer training at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHoP), a leader in pediatric care in America, under the supervision of Dr. Gil Wernovsky, medical director. The visiting fellow graduated from the Medical Academy in Ivano-Frankivsk in 1994 with an honor diploma and fulfilled his residency requirements at Lviv Cardiological Center in anesthesiology and intensive care, where he continues to practice.

Dr. Solovey recently addressed the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Ukrainian-American Medical Association of North America (UAMANA) and extolled the importance and benefits of this UGOL program. "In Ukraine, you do not see the quantity and variety of complex cases as I did in this short period. Even as Ukraine begins to catch up in technology through the efforts of organizations like UGOL, who procure much needed and usable capital equipment items, it is still behind on the experiential level," he explained. He continued to describe how this opportunity at CHoP has enhanced his skills and exposed him to a high level of competence and team management. Dr. Solovey reviewed for his fellow physicians some of the cases at CHoP that he has been able to follow from admission and how he is now able to anticipate procedural direction in complex cases. He expressed his desire to bring that experience back with him to Ukraine and the other physicians at his hospital. He concluded with an explanation of how these skills will be applied during surgeries made possible in Ukraine through UGOL’s Operation Child Cardio Care program (OCCC). He went on to explain that there are not sufficient disposable funds for healthcare in Ukraine. "OCCC has increased the number of children’s surgeries that can be performed at the Lviv Cardiological Center as well as provided opportunity for the entire surgical and post-operative team to refine their extensive skills." UGoL coordinates efforts of individuals and organizations to sponsor a specific child’s surgery through purchase of the necessary consumables, which cost approximately $1000. Donors are provided with correspondence and photographs from the surgical candidate’s family, forming a bond with the child.

Dr. Vasyl Salak, president of the UAMANA chapter and chair of the meeting, introduced George Kuzma, UGOL president. Mr. Kuzma expressed the gratitude of the UGOL Trustees and Board to those who make these programs possible. He first thanked Dr. Wernovsky and his staff at CHoP for their outreach in this venture. He then acknowledged Theodore Kurman, director of the UGOL training program, who in turn, thanked Fr. Frank Estocin, pastor of St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its president, Mr. Ed Zetick, and the entire parish for joining in the launch of this project, welcoming Dr. Solovey and providing housing and support for him. Dr. Solovey’s two-month training program will soon come to an end and he will return to Ukraine, his wife, twelve year old son and his work. In response to a question from the floor, George Kuzma closed with the thought, "If we wait until the hospitals in Ukraine can process all the pending children’s cases, it would be generations before Ukraine becomes self-sufficient in this area. Our plan is that Dr. Solovey, the student, will become teacher to his peers, and they to their peers..." Everyone in attendance was given a video produced by television station WB11 about UGOL’s history and mission, entitled "Journey to Heal a Child’s Heart". Kuzma suggested that if anyone wanted more information about any of UGOL’s programs, desired additional copies of the video or wished to make a contribution to support the organization’s efforts, contact: UGOL; 233 Rock Road; Glen Rock, NJ 07452.

Ukrainian Gift of Life, Inc.
233 Rock Rd., Glen Rock, NJ 07452

E-mail "ugolinc@aol.com"