On 22 May, the Medical Clinic of Ukrainian Catholic University officially opened and was dedicated in Lviv. It will be a center for providing qualified help to patients and also a base for preparing future physical and occupational therapists and psychologists – specialists extremely needed in Ukraine during the war and rebuilding after the war.

the lobby of the newly opened Medical Clinic of Ukrainian Catholic University

The new UCU Medical Clinic is part of the university’s development strategy. In this way, the university works to heal the wounds of war and carry out its mission of service – through medical practicum and health care.

The clinic was blessed by UCU Senator and Lviv Auxiliary Bishop Volodomyr Hrutsa: “The UCU Medical Clinic is a place where medicine is in action. Here specialists will use their knowledge to help people in need. And so medicine improves, helping the sick,” stated the bishop.

Bishop Volodymyr Hrutsa and UCU Vice-Rector Natalia Klymovska standing in the new clinic

Bishop Volodymyr Hrutsa and UCU Vice-Rector Natalia Klymovska

The idea of creating the medical clinic arose in 2016 with the establishment of the UCU School of Rehabilitation Medicine. The team then wanted to establish a rehabilitation center. Eventually, a master’s program in physical and occupational therapy was launched at the UCU Health Sciences Faculty. A project group was created, which for a number of years studied the experience of medical institutions at universities throughout the world and developed its own model of a university medical clinic.

clinic exterior

“The start of the full-scale invasion and new challenges of war led UCU to re-think the idea of creating a medical institution, expanding the menu of services for the community and giving more attention to healing the wounds of war, through rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and psychological support of veterans and those who suffer from military actions. We already have had many inquiries from foreign universities to conduct academic research based at the clinic. We are working together with UMANA (the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America) regarding consultation with partner physicians and the exchange of experience. We plan to conduct training for Ukrainian doctors to introduce the newest approaches and technologies in medical practice,” emphasized Natalia Klymovska, UCU Vice-Rector and head of the clinic’s supervisory board.

Natalia Klymovska presenting a slide presentation

Natalia Klymovska

The mission of the UCU Medical Clinic is to build a new type of relations between doctor and patient, to give more attention to preventing illness, and to develop a culture of caring about your own health.

Here, future physical and occupational therapists and psychologists of the UCU Health Sciences Faculty will gain practical knowledge to serve Ukraine in the best way possible.

the interior of the clinic showing weights and physio equipment

During the opening and dedication of the medical clinic, UCU Vice-President Fr. Bohdan Prach emphasized that the university’s mission is to be where there is a need: “Patriarch Josyf Slipyj told us to aspire to greatness. And we do. Especially now, when Ukraine is in need, we need institutions like this which will help us survive these terrible days and heal the wounds of war. Ukrainian Catholic University responds to the challenges which our society faces today. So we welcome everyone and invite each one to become a co-creator of this clinic.”

Fr. Bohdan Prach blessing the front desk of the UCU Medical Clinic.

Fr. Bohdan Prach blesses the premises of the UCU Medical Clinic.

The main areas of work of the UCU Medical Clinic:

  • Family medicine: consultation, diagnosis, and therapeutic treatment
  • Psychological help: projects in mental health and comprehensive psychological therapy
  • Physical and occupational therapy: Rehabilitation for war veterans and civilians after trauma and illness

a group of people listening to a presentation in the UCU Medical Clinic

“We do not see the medical clinic only as a health care institution. This is a place where knowledge is transformed into practical acts, with results. We are laying ethical foundations for the development of our work. For us it is important that the services we provide are founded on evidence-based medicine, that the doctor-patient relation be respectful and recognize the dignity and sanctity of the human body and soul,” said Svitlana Kohut, Dean of the UCU Health Sciences Faculty.

Svitlana Kohut speaking

Svitlana Kohut

Oksana Kovalska heads the UCU Medical Clinic. She is a doctor-therapist, cardiologist, experienced leader and manager in the healthcare field, a volunteer with 15 years of experience in the medical practice, in particular with foreign medical institutions and patients. She said that at the clinic you can sign an electronic declaration: this is an opportunity to receive cost-free primary medical care, according to the list of primary medical services guaranteed by the government. Also, separate categories of the population, such as veterans and soldiers, will be able to receive medical services at reduced prices or without cost, thanks to the support of benefactors of the clinic and subject to grant funds received. Some services will cost a fee.

Oksana Kovalska speaking

Oksana Kovalska

Many partners have been involved in the creation of the initiative, benefactors and friends of Ukrainian Catholic University throughout the world. Among them are human rights defender and UCU Rector’s Advisor Myroslav Marynovych who, on the occasion of his jubilee, asked those interested to donate to the creation of the clinic rather than give him presents. During the opening ceremony, he emphasized that respect for the dignity of each person is the main principle of work of the newly-created institution: “For us, this is a great celebration, for it is the realization of our great dream, the opening of the UCU Medical Clinic. It became especially necessary with the start of the full-scale invasion. It was understood that it’s our obligation not only to volunteer, to help the frontlines, but also to be involved in the rehabilitation of our soldiers, veterans, and civilians who suffered from the Russian invasion. The war continues, and it will always be the right time to help our people.”

Myroslav Marynovych speaking

Myroslav Marynovych

Vice-Rector Natalia Klymovska emphasized that the university clinic project became possible thanks to the efforts of very many people, those who inspired the idea, developed the project, benefactors, and all those who believed in the idea: “This startup has been nurtured and loved by the UCU team, and its purpose is to serve for the good of the human being, the community, and Ukraine, as Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky asked future generations to do,” emphasized Natalia Klymovska.

a wheel chair user in the clinic with two other people

“I would like to wipe the tears from the eyes of those who cry, to console each one who grieves, to strengthen each one who is weak, to heal each one who is sick, to enlighten each one in the darkness. I would like to become everything for all, to save all,” wrote Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. UCU emphasizes that the opening of the medical clinic continues the tradition of the founder of the Lviv Theological Academy, of which UCU is the heir, namely, Metropolitan Andrey, who was patron of the People’s Hospital in Lviv (the Sheptytsky Hospital now continues its activities).

The premises of the medical clinic are full of works of art provided by leading artist-friends and benefactors of the university. Among them is an icon that is a copy from a Roman altar of the start of the 13th century, whose author is Ivan Dashko.

religious artwork

Ukrainian Catholic University expresses its great gratitude to partner-benefactors who supported the opening of the UCU Medical Clinic:

  • Anonymous Fund (U.S.)
  • Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
  • The program Support of Organizations of Civil Society in Ukraine as part of the financial support of the Embassy of Great Britain. The program is realized by Crown Agents, in partnership with International Alert and in cooperation with Crown Agents in Ukraine.
  • The Healing of Wounds of the War in Ukraine Fund (HWF)
  • Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF Canada)
  • Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation (UCU Foundation U.S.)
  • Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations
  • Future Ukraine
  • Lviv City Council
  • Donors for the jubilee of Myroslav Marynovych

UCU Clinic sponsor logos