A Travellerspoint blog

Day One-I left out lunch

I left out lunch

Our van broke down, so we took three separate cars to the "Warm House" where a group of very warm, Jewish elderly folks had put together a luncheon with music that they both played and sang. As the accordian blared and four singers in full regalia from their days in the military belted out nationalist songs...we ate herring and beets and sardines and other weird things that were essentially-weird.

It was the celebration of Victory Day for which they were awarding their compatriates for their participation of emancipating the state of Ukraine-little orange and black striped ribbons were pinned onto us and sure enough...Shalom Alechem was being sung by all of us.

A token of this day is to give 100mL of vodka...which we received-and tried not to take advantage of, it was only lunchtime!

Posted by LeaStoneB 12:45 Archived in Ukraine Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Day One


What did we see???


Children in the Reznick Center, Dr. Weisleder and I saw four complicated cases-endocrine-ology, respiratory, cranial and failure to thrive among other inquisitions and readouts.

We also did consultations at Bayteainu-a program for Jewish children to attend day school or after school in a positive Jewish environment-they had some attendees there that had special needs and we met with the children and their parents.IMG_3249.jpgIMG_3259.jpg

In true style, we saw a variety of severity, with a variety of information (some had write-ups from their doctors, some had nothing and just parent report, some...even the parent was unwilling to report...read: I can't talk about that)

In each case, the Dr. collected pertinent information, discussed with the parent the primary concerns and possible origins of the problem and the OT, PT and I would give some suggestions about work, exercises and ideas to help their children in their day to day life.

We saw epileptics, autism and ataxia second to stroke.

Needless to say, some parents were more accepting than others. Some cases were more sensitive than others and we were careful to explain things to them in a way that was clear...concise and hopefully it was translated appropriately.

The children were given gifts...chocolate and Israeli flags (unless their teeth were bad...then they got pens).
I dropped party blowers and colored straws at Bayteinu for their birthday parties.

Thanks to Sol and Dina for translating and making it fun!

Posted by LeaStoneB 12:33 Archived in Ukraine Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Day One

I woke and went to breakfast in the hotel and met my team. Naomi (Occupational Therapy), Hemda (Physical therapy) and Pedro (pediatrician). We ate and were greeted by the Irina, Valerie and Nicolay with the van in the morning.

9am JDC (Joint Distribution Commision) where we were oriented to the Hesed mission and the funding allocations for Jewish sponsored programs in Ukraine. Welfare, homecare and medicine is distributed to the Jewish Community in Ukraine where Dr. Nelli is the leader of all medical programs.

The JDC distributes funds restituted by the German government (if you don't know why..ask a Jew), Swiss banks, German banks and various American Federations. Local contacts also sometimes fund programs for which all Ghetto survivors and "righteous gentiles" are all supported.

There is more!

There were 70 synagogues in all of Odessa, now there are two.

There are four organizations developed in Odessa for Jews of various involvement. Chabad, Litvaks, Migdal JCC and Hillel. There is also a Hesed (welfare) building that is as pristine and spacious as any JCC! Many of these programs have an office here.

Of course, there is more to this story that meets the eye...and we are finding out the underpinnings of these prgrams and how they are utilized as we go.
Reznick Diagnostic Center

-Established 13 years ago and expanded only four years ago, this diagnostic "hospital" is primarily used to diagnose difficult cases, define clinical tactics for follow-up at a local center.

The diagnostic hospital has only 20 inpatient beds and sees up to 300 children per day. There is a separate neonatal unit and a separate cardiac/gastroenterology unit at the Medical University.

The institution is state funded, and no client has to pay-though donations are encouraged.
They may be referred to a private institution if it is established that the family can afford payment to allow patients that cannot afford it be seen.

Posted by LeaStoneB 12:17 Archived in Ukraine Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

20-some odd hours to Odessa

After battling traffic on the LIE, I made it to my flight (almost 9 hours from JFK to KIEV). I sat next to Gregory, a nice Ukrainian man that lives in Hicksville, Long Island-go figure. He was nice enough to chat with me for a few hours and show me Ukaraine money (grivna) and tell me a bit about Odessa. We had dinner on the plane-Remember when they served meals on the plane?

I slept for about 6 of the nine hours.

Gregory said he had tried to wake me for breakfast, but I didn't wake.

He tried to help me in the Kiev airport but we lost each other at customs.

I had a circuitous route to the next flight, Kiev to Odessa and met Al (a pediatric cardiologist, on another mission to Odessa). We layed over almost 10 hours in Kiev airport...Al's cardiology team met us there a few hours before the flight to Odessa, and they were all very interesting.

Their mission was to perform cardiac surgery for children in Odessa, for Two weeks, all paid for by their respective hospitals. So when Al turned around at the ticket counter for AeroSvit airlines and said "are you with the pediatric mission?" Of course, I said "yes!" They are two separate missions and I hope I hear from them sometime!

I arrived at the Odessa airport (after sleeping another 1 and 15 minutes on the connecting flight) and met Irina (logistics coordinator), Valerie (translator) and Nicolay (security) at the airport...they took my to the Hotel...and sent me to BED.

Posted by LeaStoneB 12:08 Archived in Ukraine Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

JHI Mission Statement

We're going out there to attend to those in need

At each site we strive to meet community needs by:

* Coordinating teams of JHI volunteer medical professionals from the United States and Israel
* Providing advanced training, lectures, consultations, home visits and public health education.
* Donating durable medical goods and equipment,
* Enhancing the quality of healthcare education
* And improving overall health outcomes for the communities served

These days, when medical advances are beyond our wildest dreams, the number of unmet healthcare needs in worldwide communities is staggering. JHI addresses these needs in the name of the global Jewish community through the work of its volunteers.

Our partners throughout the world have come to see JHI as a source for action when it comes to life or death situations that cannot be solved locally. These range from coordinating long-distance consultations, to procuring medications, or arranging for surgeries in the U.S. and Israel. JHI has assisted in numerous situations with successful results. A few of these situations are included in our success stories.

JHI’s mission is guided by three Jewish values;

* Tikun Olam (repairing the world): JHI volunteers take responsibility for others through their volunteer service in at-risk communities.
* Tzedakah (acts of charity): The donation of education, medical goods and pharmaceuticals are act of Tzedakah, as these markedly improve or save lives.
* Mitzvot (acts of goodwill) - helping people help themselves: JHI enables communities to become more self-sufficient, improving the quality of life for all residents.

When you teach a healthcare worker how to improve care,
it empowers them to share their knowledge
and provide better care for others for years to come.

Posted by LeaStoneB 18:14 Archived in Ukraine Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

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