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Health Sciences Professors Help Open
Women's Wellness Center in Russia

By Amanda White

 

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During their visit, the Kentucky team held a three-day workshop for Russian teenagers, focusing on effective habits for successful teens. The topics for the workshops came from the results of the Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was administered to 837 Russian teenagers during winter 2001.

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July 18, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences faculty members returned recently from opening a Women's Wellness Center in Pereyaslavka, Lazo Region in the far eastern part of Russia.

The Center resulted from work on a three-year, $750,000 grant awarded to Elizabeth Schulman, Ph.D., assistant professor, UK College of Health Sciences, to improve rural health care in the Lazo region, an area similar to Eastern Kentucky.

Thomas C. Robinson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Sciences, Elena Domatov, US - Russia partnership coordinator, Mel Bennett, M.D., a primary care physician in Georgetown, and Schulman traveled to Russia in May to open the Center.

The Women's Wellness Center links services with the Health Education Center, which the partnership opened in Russia last year. While the Women's Wellness Center services primarily focus on family planning and the treatment of sexually transmitted infection, the Health Education Center provides adolescent consulting services, community health classes and health education and promotion activities.

During their visit, the Kentucky team held a three-day workshop for Russian teenagers, focusing on effective habits for successful teens. The topics for the workshops came from the results of the Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was administered to 837 Russian teenagers during winter 2001.

"In Russia and the U.S., health education emphasizes things that students should not do in order to be successful," said Schulman. "Our approach was focused on things the students should do in order to be successful. This was a different approach and the students' evaluation forms confirmed that it was well received, interesting, and very helpful."

"I learned that it is necessary to develop a plan of actions, have a goal and move towards it choosing honest ways, not to live separately from others, to work in the community," said one Russian student who attended the workshop.

Along with the UK College of Health Sciences, UK Colleges of Medicine, UK's Center for Rural Health, based in Hazard, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health are participating in this Russian partnership project.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and coordinated by the American International Health Alliance (AIHA), the project allows the Kentucky team to assist the Russian community in identifying the health needs in the area and helping them plan and develop services to meet those needs.


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