In the Photo: L to R Dr. James Rutka Neurosurgeon HSK , project leaderTed Garrard president Sick Kids FoundationDr. Myroslava Romach CCCF board member & project memberRenata Roman PT, co-president CCCCFDr. Michael Kondracki co- president CCCF
TORONTO – November 14, 2012 – SickKids Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Ukraine Child Health Fellowship Program made possible thanks to a $1 million gift from the Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund (CCCF). The Fellowship program will improve the quality of paediatric health care in Ukraine through an exchange of people, information and talent with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
The Ukraine Child Health Fellowship Program will provide physicians from Ukraine with opportunities to acquire high-demand skills through intensive training in paediatric specializations at SickKids in Toronto and in their home medical centres in Ukraine. An exchange of expertise and experience between Ukrainian and Canadian health-care professionals will ensure children with specific and often complex health issues are better able to access the care they need.
This is the first partnership of its kind for the CCCF which was established in 1990 to provide humanitarian aid and support for victims of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. The CCCF supports a variety of projects to improve health care and the general well-being of children in Ukraine. However, this is the first time CCCF is investing in a program with SickKids that will see Ukrainian doctors come to Canada for specialized training that will in turn increase paediatric health care capacity in Ukraine when they return home.
The $1 million gift was made possible by the estate of Mr. Frederick Tkachuk of Melfort, Saskatchewan. Mr. Tkachuck, a successful farmer of Ukrainian descent who was born in Star City, Saskatchewan, lived quiety in Melfort, and made this significant gift through his estate to the CCCF. The CCCF then worked with SickKids to develop the Ukraine Child Health Fellowship and then provided funding to support this fellowship program.
SickKids will work with partners in Ukraine to deliver the two components of the program: fellowships and advisory missions. Through the fellowships, each year Ukrainian physicians will come to SickKids for specialized paediatric medical care training for a period of time. Their training experience will be supported through program funding. Once they return to Ukraine they will play a role in training additional specialists there, so the impact of their training at SickKids is amplified many times over, helping to improve child health in Ukraine for generations to come. Through the advisory missions, paediatric specialists from SickKids will visit sites in Ukraine annually to provide expertise and share best practices in order to develop and enhance child health programs with our Ukrainian partners.
“The Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund established the Ukraine Child Health Fellowship with SickKids because of the hospital’s stellar international reputation in child health research and care,” says Dr. Myroslava Romach, Director on the Board t of the CCCF. “Together with SickKids, we can help ensure that physicians in Ukraine are able to provide the highest standard of care for Ukrainian children.”
The first phase of this program will focus on neurosurgery and as such, Dr. James Rutka, a neurosurgeon at SickKids of Ukrainian heritage has been appointed the role of project leader in implementing the fellowship program. Dr. Rutka joined SickKids as a neurosurgeon in 1990. He was appointed co-director of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at the University of Toronto in 1998. He is currently Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and holds the R.S. McLaughlin Chair in Surgery.
“At SickKids, everything we do stems from our vision of Healthier Children, A Better World, and it is programs like these that help us achieve our mission of improving the lives of children and their families around the world,” says Ted Garrard, President and CEO, SickKids Foundation. “We are grateful to the Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund for their leadership in philanthropy, enabling the establishment of this fellowship program, and for helping SickKids help children in Ukraine.”
About SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids — one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, SickKids Foundation made an investment of $61.3 million in children’s health, a direct result of community and corporate support. For more information, please visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.
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