From left to right - Dr George Gamota, Dr Daniel Driscoll, Dr Gennadiy Fuzaylov, Marianna Zajac,
 Dr Vasyl Savchyn and Olga Zabolotina, RN.

UNWLA and DCtoHC announce their collaboration to upgrade the quality of care of pediatric burn victims at Hospital #8 in Lviv, Ukraine and the immediate geographic region. This will be accomplished by supplementing the unit with medical equipment and supplies and by raising the physicians’ level of current burn care continuing education and latest methodology -- in order to better serve these patients.

The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc. is the largest and oldest Ukrainian women’s organization in the United States. It works independently as a charitable and cultural organization and has been granted 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt status by the IRS. The UNWLA was established in 1925 and unites women of Ukrainian descent as well as those who are active in the Ukrainian communities of the United States. Its mission is to preserve its cultural heritage, to provide assistance to Ukrainians within and outside the U.S., to support the Ukrainian Museum in N.Y. and to participate in the Ukrainian, American and international women’s movement. Marianna Zajac was elected its President in 2008 and she and her National Board are committed to this project and collaboration.

Doctors Collaborating to Help Children, Inc. is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit corporation dedicated to improving medical care for children throughout the world through advancements in medical education and training thereby improving their lives. Dr. Gennadiy Fuzaylov (physician who was involved in the care of Nasty Ovchar from Ukraine in 2005 and for whom UNWLA held an active fundraiser) and Dr. Daniel N Driscoll are the driving forces behind this organization and have assisted ten Ukrainian patients by organizing their care at Shriner's Hospital. Dr. Gennadiy Fuzaylov and Dr. Driscoll are physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Shriner’s Children Hospital is a health care system of twenty two hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing free pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.  Boston is one of the world’s leading centers for pediatric burn care.  Shriner’s inpatient and outpatient units are designed to allow children to recover in a safe, fun and friendly environment where family comes first. Because it is situated right across the street from Massachusetts General Hospital, it is able to share world-class doctors and researchers who are committed to continuously advancing burn care and treatment for children from all over the world. Shriner’s has sponsored and allowed this newly formed partnership to hold an Outreach Clinic, for the first time ever, in eastern Europe, this year, in Lviv. (please see below)

How did UNWLA become involved in this initiative?

Former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko (after meeting Dr Fuzaylov in Boston in 2005), invited Dr Fuzaylov to assess the burn care system in Ukraine. As such, Dr Fuzaylov traveled to Ukraine and, during his many encounters, met the Director of the Burn Care Unit of Hospital #8 in Lviv – Dr. Vasyl Savchyn. Upon visiting Dr. Savchyn’s burn unit, he was struck by the lack of many basics at the facility but was also highly impressed by the dedication and talent of Dr. Savchyn. Upon returning to Boston, he began seeking support from the Ukrainian diaspora for an ambitious project to assist in the upgrade of Dr. Savchyn’s unit. His search eventually lead him to the UNWLA. With an 86 year history of social welfare work, the Executive Board voted that this was an opportunity to truly make a difference and to be able to utilize the UNWLA Mary Beck Chornobyl Fund monies in an accountable and most transparent way. ! UNWLA’s honorary member, Mary Beck, established, through her will, a UNWLA Chornobyl Fund in 2007. Since it has been 25 years since this nuclear accident and it is difficult to identify direct victims of Chornobyl, it was decided, after consulting with legal counsel and our CPA, that these monies would be well spent and in the spirit of Mary Beck if used as a source for the improvement of this pediatric burn unit.

What will this partnership encompass?  And how will UNWLA contribute to this partnership?

** Improving Care for Pediatric Burn Victims in the Lviv, Ukraine, region

Ukraine has a good foundation for burn care with dedicated physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the resources for maintaining and updating facilities, education and training have suffered. As a result, children with burn injuries in Ukraine cannot get the care that they desperately need. In Ukraine, 4,000 people are killed by fires annually and over 50,000 adults and 10,000 children receive burns of varying severity. Of those who die, many die from blood loss or infection. Children in Ukraine with severe and debilitating burn injuries often do not receive necessary medical treatment because of limited resources in Ukrainian hospitals and/or the cost of treatment. These children do not generally have the opportunity to go abroad for treatment because of limited family resources. Through working with Ukrainian patients, their families, and their treating physicians in Ukraine, Doctors Collaborating to Help Children has developed a plan to improve burn care in Lviv that would focus on improving pediatric treatment there while identifying the most critically ill children in Ukraine for care at Shriner’s Burn Hospital in Boston.  

 **UNWLA’s Contribution

UNWLA has thusfar purchased for this pediatric burn unit in Lviv  sterilizing equipment with appropriate accessories, a stainless steel operating table and an accompanying surgical lamp.  UNWLA is in the process of arranging for medical supplies donated by Massachusetts General Hospital to be shipped to this burn unit.  All purchases and shipments have been made with the cooperation and supervision of the Soyuz Ukrainok Ukrainy, Lviv chapter.  UNWLA’s social welfare projects in Ukraine have been developed since 1991 (year when SUU was renewed in Ukraine) with the oversight of Soyuz Ukrainok Ukrainy.
** The partnership and collaboration of UNWLA and DCTOHC has enabled –

The support of Doctors Collaborating to Help Children and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America as U.S. based charitable organizations compelled local officials to realize the value of the project and the importance and potential of the Lviv Burn Center. As a result, the project garnered a significant amount of local publicity and the city government allocated funding for the much needed renovation effort of the unit. We believe that this modest amount will enable the center to dramatically improve the care that it provides to its patients.

** A first – Eastern European Shriner’s International Outreach Clinic in Lviv, Ukraine on June 20 – 26, 2011

1.  The First Eastern-European Shriners Hospital Outreach Clinic in 8th Lviv Hospital's Burn Center, Lviv, Ukraine 2011 established due to collaborating efforts of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America who funded this trip, doctors from Shriner’s Hospital (Dr. Fuzaylov and Dr. Driscoll) who donated their time, and Shriner’s Burn Hospital in Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital who donated their supplies. Dr.Vasyl Savchyn organized this clinic and is the Director of the Burn Unit in Lviv. UNWLA is very proud to have been able to make this landmark outreach clinic a reality!

2.  During this clinic twenty two patients, including four Shriner’s patients, were examined by Dr. Gennadiy Fuzaylov & Dr Daniel Driscoll of Doctors Collaborating to Help Children, Inc.

3. Surgeries were performed on five burn-injured children on June 21st and 22nd with a Ukrainian team including Dr. Savchyn.

4.  These patients were followed in the hospital until their discharge, except for one child who is still under Dr. Savchyn’s care.

5.  Three educational lectures regarding burn care were delivered in Lviv.

6.  Surgical and anesthesia supplies ($8,000 value) were donated to the Burn Unit in Lviv.

7. Dr. Fuzaylov and Dr. Driscoll, together with Dr. Savchyn, met Mayor Sadoviy of Lviv and solicited and gained his support for the collaboration and the medical/educational project.

** UMANA (Ukrainian Medical Association of North America) has joined the partnership

Dr. Savchyn’s proposed visiting observership at Harvard Medical College  -- tentatively scheduled for September 2011 – On the initiative of UNWLA, partial funding has been secured from Ukrainian Medical Association of North America. Both UNWLA and DCtoHC are very excited to welcome UMANA to join this ambitious project. Future continuing education platforms to be arranged by Doctors Collaborating to Help Children


Partnership to be strengthened and the development of the Lviv Burn unit to continue through a newly established comprehensive system

1.  Medical supplies and equipment to be further purchased and/or donated; shipping and particular purchases to be funded by UNWLA

2.  UNWLA President, Marianna Zajac, and three members of its National Board to visit Lviv burn unit in August 2011, meet with Dr Savchyn and Mayor Sadoviy of Lviv

3. Obervership/Visiting professorship of Dr. Vasyl Savchyn at Harvard Medical College in the process of being arranged by Dr Gennadiy Fuzaylov

4. Dedication of burn unit facility upgrade to be attributed to the memory of UNWLA Honorary Member and the “ UNWLA Mary Beck Chornobyl Fund”

5.  System of burn patient care – with Lviv as its central hub – to be developed in regional satellites by Dr. Savchyn and the systematic support of DCTOHC

6. Shriner’s International Outreach Clinic to be held and funded annually in Lviv

7.  Shriner’s Hospital for Children will continue its program of bringing pediatric burn victims to its hospital in Boston for cost-free and world class care

It is the goal of this partnership and cooperation between Doctors Collaborating to Help Children, Inc. and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc. to make a difference in the medical care of pediatric burn victims in the western part of Ukraine! Together we WILL make that difference!

Should you wish to contribute to this initiative, feel free to show your support by sending a check to UNWLA, 203 Second Avenue, and New York, NY 10003. Please note “Pediatric Burn Project, Lviv, Ukraine”.



Marianna Zajac, President of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, response to the letter, Our prophylactic self-burials, written by Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak, Washington, DC that appeared in the Letter to the Editor column, in the Sunday, June 12, 2011 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly.
I would like to respond to the letter to the editor submitted by Dr. Martha Bohachevsky–Chomiak in the June 12th 2011 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly and address several implied misconceptions concerning the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America and the proposed endowment to the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. UNWLA is not abandoning the proposed Endowment Fund to UCU for a lectureship in the faculty of Women’s Studies. Information regarding the lectureship was presented to the delegates by Ms. Marta Kolomayets, Chief Operating Officer of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation at a plenary session of the UNWLA XXIX Convention.

This proposal was enthusiastically received by the membership. In the emotion of the moment, a vote was called from the floor for a “mandate” to immediately proceed on this project and again was  enthusiastically accepted. Subsequent to this session, it was decided to amend the proposal from  a “mandate” and to put forth a resolution to reflect a disciplined and managed process to understand its potential ramifications  and commitments. As the leadership of this 86-year old organization, it is our responsibility to proceed in a more cautious manner.  This altered approach does not in any way denote a lack of commitment to initiate this endowment study but rather underscores a responsible approach by removing the “at the moment” emotional aspect. All legitimate questions and concerns will be addressed.
In order for this proposal to succeed, we will be requesting a significant financial and fund raising commitment from our membership in the amount of $100,000. We will be asking for our membership’s and the diaspora’s full and enthusiastic support. In August, we plan to meet with the UCU administration in Lviv in order to discuss a joint formal agreement and to plan for its execution. This will be done with an open dialogue following UNWLA by-laws and under UCU’s guideline principles.

The implication that UNWLA’s decisions could be swayed by unacceptable and biased comments is not fair and can be substantiated by the fact that UNWLA has always been guided in its activities by principles of religious tolerance and political non-partisanship and continues to do so. UNWLA supports UCU’s policy of religious tolerance. UNWLA supports UCU’s mission.

Marianna Zajac
President, UNWLA
Cell phone (917) 626-4746