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Nursing Partnership with Ukraine

By Susan C. Greenbaum Sometimes the road curves in an unexpect- ed direction, as Dr. Lauren Arnold, assistant professor of nursing, discover

When she first traveled to Kiev in 1992, she was part of a team whose mission was to help improve the health of mothers and ba-

undervalued and were literally serving as handmaidens in the hospital environment. At one hospital visit, I saw nurses serving a luncheon to participants in a meeting,” noted Arnold, who also is clinical director of obstet- rical/neonatal nursing at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

With the guid- ance of Dr. Ar- nold and three other American nurses, Ukrainian nurses met in Moscow earlier this year to estab- lish a nursing association. Their efforts got a boost when Dr. Arnold helped arrange a meeting with Hillary Clinton, who accompa- nied the President on a visit to Ukraine in May.

Hillary Clinton greets Dr. Lauren Arnold.

White House photo

Through a translator, Mrs. Clinton spoke with the group and reinforced their commitment

bies. Through interactions with Ukrainian health-care providers, her work quickly took another twist—as a pioneer in a movement to

to improve health care by upgrading their profession. “What was most difficult,” Dr. Arnold

organize and upgrade the professional status of said, “was encouraging these nurses, all of

the Ukrainian nursing profession.

whom are women, to take risks by speaking

“During my first visit, I was disheartened to see that Ukrainian nurses were extremely

out and defining their own roles. As women, as nurses and as citizens, these people have

long been op- pressed. It was challenging just to get them to express themselves.”



By the time she left Kiev, the organizing group of Ukrainian nur- ses had written a mission statement and won the support of the minister of health. Since then, two follow-up meetings have been held. The director of nursing education for Ukraine has visited Penn’s School of Nursing Dean Norma Lang and Associate Dean Mary Nay- lor to discuss nursing curricula when she became a representative of the Kiev-Philadel- phia Partnership, a part of the federally funded American International Health Alliance, which was created by the U.S. Agency for International Development to foster partner- ships between American hospitals and the stressed medical facilities in the former Soviet Union.

The Philadelphia-Kiev Partnership links the Hospital of the University of Pennsylva- nia, Penn’s Nursing and Medical Schools, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with Kiev Children’s Hospital No. 2 and Obstetri- cal Hospital No. 3.

Over the past three years, nurses and phy- sicians from the Partnership have worked with their counterparts in Kiev to reduce low birth weight and perinatal mortality, shorten lengths of hospital stay and implement a family- centered birth experience. The project also helped to expand family-planning services, introduce infection-control practices, develop a prenatal-evaluation service and improve neonatal-resuscitation techniques.

Susan C. Greenbaum is coordinator of media relations at the School of Nursing.



Doctoral candidate in material science, Jeffrey Pfaendtner (SEAS ’89), spent last month in Finland, where he competed in the World Rowing Championships, sculling in the men’s lightweight quad. He has made the national team seven of the past eight years, which is only a few years more than he’s been working on his Ph.D. degree (five years now, with his proposal just accepted this spring). Friends have a running bet as to whether he’ll spend more years at Penn or on the U.S. National Rowing Team, where he’ s won one silver medal so far. He also won a silver in the 1995 Pan Am Games. ••• When students come back to Sulzberger Middle School this week, they’ll notice something new. Many of the classrooms and hallways in the West Philadelphia middle school will be a lot cleaner and fresher thanks to the hard work of close to 60 staff and family of staff from Penn’s Office of Facilities Management. On one of those endlessly humid days in August, they helped put in new ceilings,

painted classrooms, installed new floors and repaired electrical wir- ing. Six of Sulzberger’s classrooms received a major face-lift for the new school year. ••• You have to wonder if James Zink, who works on the environmental services staff, is on a diet of tofu and soy. He was awarded a Penn jacket for working six consecutive years with- out a sick day. Paul Stevenson was right behind him with five con- secutive years without a sick day. Both men were awarded jackets as part of an employee-recognition perfect-attendance program orga- nized by Norman O’Connor, director of Physical Plant’s environ- mental services. A total of 28 employees in environmental services were recognized for their perfect attendance. ••• Dr. David P. Pope, chairman and professor of materials science and engineering, spends a good deal of his precious free time as president of Friends of Wis- sahickon Park. This summer, the Friends planted 1,100 six- to eight- foot trees in the park, which is part of the Fairmount Park system.

ALMANAC September 5, 1995


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