On 9 February 2017, Renata Blecha, President of the Center for Child Support (Fundacja pomocu dzeciam) in Żywiec, Poland met with rector of Ternopil State Medical University, Professor Mykhaylo Korda to discuss areas of cooperation.
Center for Child Support is one of the largest and best-equipped facilities in Poland and Europe. It employs over 80 experienced professionals (speech therapists, developmental-delay therapists, physiotherapists, rehabilitators, psychologists, etc.) that assist 300 children with special needs. The institution provides a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation. More than 50 children attend school classes at the center. They are enrolled in a special program. The center assists people from infants and up to 25 years of age with problems of the musculoskeletal system, diseases such as cerebral palsy, autism, developmental disabilities, and hearing, speech, vision impediments. The institution has patients from Poland, Britain, France and Slovakia.
During the meeting Renata Blecha told about Center’s work. Each day children are taken from their home to the center by bus. This allows their parents to go to work and carry out normal activities. The little patients are brought home in the evening.
The center employs and offers training to medical students of Polish universities who are interested in rehabilitation and want to work in this field in the future. The center have been expanding its services offering adult programs. The latter will also be implemented in Ukraine.
It was not the first time Renata Bleha and her colleagues have visited Ukraine. During previous visits, they have provided humanitarian assistance to families with special needs children.
Dr. Korda thanked Center staff for their charitable activities and for interest in working with TSMU. He stressed the importance of cooperation since the Ternopil State Medical University trains students in specialties of General Health, Medical Rehabilitation, and Physical Rehabilitation.
One of the directions for cooperation of Ternopil State Medical University with the Center for Child Support is applying for grant funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland program to help children with special needs and people displaced from the eastern regions of Ukraine. The latter group requires psychological and physical rehabilitation.
Another collaboration priority of the Center with TSMU is improving professional motivation and competence of specialists in rehabilitation. The highly skilled experts of Polish institution will give lectures for our teachers, doctors, and students involved in rehabilitation of children and adults. The project will include purchasing of ultramodern equipment for rehabilitation, which will be installed in within university. This will ensure that students will be able to master the latest techniques, including methods such as extended waves therapy. This method is new to Europe, while it is widely used in the US. The results of the grants competition will be known in late April.
Another line of cooperation with Ternopil State Medical University is organization of training at the Center for TSMU professors and students. Those interested can take two weeks of training; it is scheduled for June and September of 2017. The training consists of equal theoretical and practical parts (working with patients, development of rehabilitation methods and workshops).
In November 2017 Renata Bleha and her colleagues plan to come to Ternopil State Medical University to give a lectures on “Early detection of malformations in infants and modern methods of correction.” Also planned is publication of health care and rehabilitation manuals in Ukrainian language with the involvement of the Center staff and their Polish colleagues.
The meeting resulted in the signing of a cooperation agreement.