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Russian Medical Leaders Visit Atlanta, Roswell, And Gainesville Through Open World Program
October 8, 2004

For Immediate Release

Russians Examine Health Care in America with Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers

Washington, DC — Eight medical professionals from across Russia will spend Oct. 8–16 in Atlanta, Roswell, and Gainesville examining the American health care system with their U.S. counterparts and civic leaders on an Open World Program exchange. Topics of special interest include medical insurance and family practice, both new phenomena in Russia. Among the highlights of the trip will be a meeting with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers, cofounders of the Every Child By Two (ECBT) campaign for early immunization.

Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging political and civic leaders from Russia and other participating countries to observe American democracy and free enterprise in action and to build professional ties with their U.S. counterparts.

Northminster Presbyterian Church (NPC) in Roswell (Pastor Jim Simpson) is hosting the visit for Open World. Host coordinator Janis Morrison has arranged for the delegation to visit a wide range of health care institutions in north Georgia. NPC is the local partner of the National Peace Foundation (NPF), one of Open World’s national host organizations.

The Russian delegation includes prominent mental health and neurology experts, and hospital and nursing administrators. Roswell Mayor Jere Wood will welcome them to Georgia the evening of Oct. 8. Rosalynn Carter will discuss the Carter Center’s health programs, her own mental health advocacy work, and the ECBT campaign with the delegates on Oct. 14. They will be joined at that meeting by ECBT cofounder and NPF advisory board member Betty Bumpers, who is accompanying the delegates to an Oct. 12 meeting at the Centers for Disease Control’s Global Measles Branch. Mrs. Bumpers also arranged for the delegates to tour the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health during their Washington, DC, orientation.

The Atlanta agenda also includes visiting Grady Memorial Hospital’s trauma center and burn unit, the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Shepherd Center, and Kaiser Permanente; getting briefed on long-term care by health expert Charlotte Smith; and discussing sports medicine with the Atlanta Braves’ head athletic trainer. In Gainesville, the Russians will learn about health care for the indigent at Good News Community Health Center and explore women’s medical education at Brenau University. Homestays and after-hour activities in Roswell will introduce the Russians to American family and community life.

The Open World delegates are Dr. Elmira Abukova of Khasavyurt City Central Hospital in Dagestan (a republic in the North Caucasus); Dr. Lyudmila Anishchenko of the Khanty-Mansiysk District Hospital (in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District in western Siberia); Dr. Yevgeniy Belorukov, head of a city hospital in Yaroslavl (about 155 miles northeast of Moscow); Dr. Tatyana Komarova, a nursing administrator at Raukhfus Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg; Dr. Tatyana Nakryzhskaya, deputy director of the Transfiguration Clinic in Ekaterinburg (in the Urals); Dr. Galina Podoprigora, nursing manager at the St. Petersburg City Geriatric Center; Dr. Irina Rublevskaya, considered the top neurologist in Tula city (about 100 miles south of Moscow); and Dr. Anton Sushkevich, the head of the Red October Medical Center (which serves the 10,000-plus employees of a Moscow candy company) and an expert on women’s mental health.

Open World has awarded a grant to the National Peace Foundation (NPF) to administer this and similar exchanges in 2004. NPF’s mission is to strengthen the foundations for peace building, peace education and conflict resolution by promoting democratic justice through partnerships, intercultural exchanges and citizen networks.

Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress that builds mutual understanding between the emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts. The program also exposes visitors to ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own organizations. More than 8,000 Russian Open World participants from all of the country’s 89 regions have visited all 50 U.S. states since the program began in 1999. Open World also recently initiated pilot exchanges with Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Open World delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. The program’s administering agency, the Open World Leadership Center, is an independent legislative branch agency with offices at the Library of Congress.

For more information on the Georgia visit, please contact Janis Morrison at 770-992-9386 or George Felcyn of The PBN Company at 202-466-6210. For more information on the Open World Program, please visit