Canada-Ukraine Foundation

(CUF)

Welcome

By New Pathway -Mar 27, 2019

Ukrainian doctor Vadym Vus (left) during a resuscitation training at the hospital in Alberta

Victor Hetmanczuk, Canada Ukraine Foundation for New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

Canada Ukraine Foundation has been assisting Ukraine in various medical needs since 2014. The poor conditions of Ukrainian rural medicine have been in the spotlight for quite some time. When President Poroshenko announced in August, 2017, that Ukraine was going to invest into improvements of its rural health system UAH 4 billion (CAD 200M), it was time to start assisting Ukraine in this process. One of the ways to do that was to share the experience of Canada’s rural medicine with Ukrainians.

In September, 2017, CUF’s President Victor Hetmanczuk sent an email to the Acting Minister of Health Dr. Ulana Suprun to propose a project that would bring three rural doctors to the University of Calgary’s annual Emergency Medicine Conference for Rural Hospitals in January 2018.

The Ministry of Health sanctioned the trip in October, 2017. Candidates would be selected through an open contest. They had to work in villages, speak English and write a 300-word motivational letter why they wanted to attend the conference.

Out of 50 clean applications, in December, 2017, Victor Hetmanczuk from CUF and Deputy Minister of Health Oleksandr Linchevskiy picked three successful candidates.

CUF became the sole sponsor and organizer of the project, starting from Canadian visas, travel arrangements to facilitation during the visit. The total budget of the project amounted to CAD $ 14,400.

The Ukrainian doctors participated in the conference on January 19 to 21, 2018, in Banff, Alberta and were able to observe local hospitals and emergency services. As the conference’s sessions progressed, Ukrainian doctors showed genuine interest and asked questions of the main speakers and other participants.

The doctors also visited a hospital in Canmore, population 14,000, and a Community Mental Health clinic located in a shopping centre in Calgary.

At the University of Calgary campus, they watched a live demonstration of the Rural Videoconference Program. This is a series of weekly, one-hour educational sessions via video conference presented by clinical experts. There were over 60 sites connected for this session. Presenter was in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Each presentation was focused on evidence-based information that is directly applicable to rural primary care and hospital environments.

A one-hour meeting was held with the Director of the Continuing Medical Education program who explained to the Ukrainian doctors how the system works in Alberta.

The Banff Rural Hospital was next door to the conference venue, so participants had the workshops in a real emergency room. They also studied the STARS air ambulance system and visited the STARS mobile training bus, parked in the hospital parking lot.

It needs to be noted that Canadian rural hospitals are not equivalent to the Ukrainian ones – there is a big gap in infrastructure and services performed. Some topics at the conference were not applicable for the Ukrainian participants due to current state of affairs in the Ukrainian rural health system. But this gave the doctors valuable information on how the Ukrainian system needs to develop.

One of the participants, Ihor Zastavnyy, a general practitioner from Krakovets, Lviv oblast, noted that a plan needs to be formed for development of Emergency Rooms in Lviv oblast. He was ready to participate in trainings for rural doctors in emergency medical care. He also planned to implement changes at the Krakovets ambulatory based on the medical knowledge he gained at the conference.

A family doctor Vadym Vus from Karpуlivka, Rivne oblast, noted that at the conference he gained information that would allow him to raise the quality and lower the cost of services he provides. In Canada, he obtained numerous contacts for such future endeavors as medical staff exchanges, acquisition of medical devices and cooperation with professional organizations.

The Ukrainian doctors also had a chance to learn about the Ukrainian Canadian community and its history. They visited the Internment Museum in Banff and St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cultural Centre in Calgary. On one of the evenings, they had a meet and greet session with the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Calgary at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church. They also were hosted in a private home of a Ukrainian Canadian family for supper.

The long-term impact of the visit on professional careers of the Ukrainian participants and changes to the rural health in their villages is going to be monitored by CUF for at least three years. The participants have already started up an NGO group, Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine. They are training other doctors about the ICPC-2 (International Classification of Primary Care) program. As events unfold, we will report the results.

Victor Hetmanczuk, Canada Ukraine Foundation for New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

In June 2018, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) announced the successful grant recipients from the Defenders of Ukraine Fund.

A total of $100,000 will be distributed among four projects, to be used for the rehabilitation and benefit of Ukraine’s wounded soldiers and veterans. The successful recipients are:

  • Ukrainian Social Academy for “Boots to Business” entrepreneurship training program for veterans
  • Donbas ATO Veterans Union, Centre Poruch for psychological support of veterans and their families
  • Veterans House for ATO veterans providing temporary shelter and rehabilitation programs
  • Pobratymy & Dopomoha Ukraini, “Training in Overcoming Combat Shock Trauma and Preventing PTSD for Veterans”

One key factor in evaluating the projects has been the use of evidence-based methodology by its organizers.

This project followed the training created by Ditte Marcher, Director of Bodynamics International, and is based on the 30 years of experience working in the war zones. The training was first carried out in Denmark for the Danish veterans in 2013-2014. The first training in Ukraine was taught by Ditte Marcher and the Ukrainian assistants in 2015 based on the contract and the request of the Healing War Scars organization. Four groups of veterans graduated the training based on this methodology in 2016, two of these by the “Pobratymy” organization and two groups (1.0 and 2.0) by Healing War Scars.

The training consists of the 4 levels. At each level, the veterans are expected to increase awareness of their own psychological states, start to create the safe places and find safe people; the veterans are provided with the opportunity to find and realize resources for rehabilitation in one’s own body; the participants investigate their own shock history and assimilate the peak experience; the veterans are provided with the opportunity for reorientation and post traumatic growth.

In order to estimate effectiveness at the different training stages, the following physiological evaluation methods have been used: PTSD probability evaluation and symptoms manifestation, Mississippi scale for traumatic reactions evaluations, Dissociation disorder, Depression disorders, Post traumatic growth evaluation and employment Risk and Resiliency Inventory-2.

Pobratymy Report on Peer Support Groups (by Ivona Kostyna)

Under the Defenders of Ukraine Project, from 24th of July till 20th of December 2018, Public Organization Ukrainian Public Union “Pobratymy” has conducted 44 Peer Support Groups for veterans and their spouses on a regular basis at the Veteran Hub in Kyiv. Throughout the project, there were 157 veterans and 182 wives involved.

The support groups were held as open meetings based on the “Peer-to-peer” principal. Peer Support Group is a special format of group work, where members of the group can share their experiences and difficulties not only about warfare and waiting for their spouses from war, but also the experience of the consequences of the traumatic events.

There are some rules established such as confidentiality, the prohibition of alcohol and drugs, the criticism of the participants of the peer support group, giving advice and political discussions.

The groups were led by professional psychologist and veteran Andriy Kozinchuk while the graduates of past psychotherapeutic training organized by Pobratymy and volunteers from veterans or their wives assisted.

Groups have been given the opportunity to free up from the behavior of aggression, receive support from individuals with related experience and verbalize those topics that are not widely spoken in society. Fear, the lack of identification in civil activities, anxiety, feeling of guilt, lack of emotions or aggressive behavior towards loved ones are the main topics that rise at peer support groups. The participants have been given the opportunity not only to think about these kinds of unpopular topics, but to talk about them. A peer support group is a place where you can say everything you cannot say anywhere else and feel secure.

As a result of peer support groups, three veterans discovered new kinds of activities for themselves and five veterans strengthened themselves in their actual activities. According to their words, relations in their families have improved and the level of communication with children has increased. We can’t affirm that this was all because of peer support groups, but the indirect influence of it was confirmed by the participants themselves.

Personal stories (Written with the permission of the participants):

Oleksiy, 26 years old. He was seriously injured, due to that he is limited in heavy physical activity. He had problems communicating with his family. To solve this problem, he had to go to a psychiatric hospital. With the support of the group, he overcame communication problems, successfully passed a course of treatment in a psychiatric hospital and discovered a new activity for himself – a sand therapy.

Andriy, 36 years old. He had difficulties in the family and at work. Through systematic meetings, he improved communication with his wife, solved the issues at work and took new projects. Andriy has a strong desire to be a co-trainer of the Peer Support Group.

Each member of the group has its own story and is proud of it. We at Pobratymy and Dopomoha Ukraini are proud of our participants.

To continue the program in 2019, Canada Ukraine Foundation requests assistance to raise $26,000. Tax receipts available.

(CIUS: Edmonton, 18 September 2018)

The boards of three Ukrainian Canadian foundations and Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies are proud to announce the Professor Manoly R. Lupul Endowment to Advance Ukrainian Language Education, co-founded to support programs in Alberta and
beyond through the activities of the Ukrainian Language Education Centre (ULEC) at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), University of Alberta.

2018-09-CIUS-NR-New_Endowment_Honouring_Lupul-Eng

Trillium Foundation

Ukraine Rebuilding Fund

Defenders of Ukraine

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Holodomor Awareness Tour Project

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