Ukrainian Catholic University is opening a medical clinic in Lviv which will become a hub for education and practice. Specialists here will provide qualified help for patients, and the institution will also be a base for the preparation of future workers in the medical field.

Three UCU students sitting outside. One is in a wheelchair.
According to Natalka Klymovska, UCU Vice-Rector for Development and Communications, the following will be the main areas of work of the UCU Medical Clinic:

  • family medicine (primary medicine, providing consultation, diagnosis and therapeutic treatment)
  • psychological help: specialists of the institution will implement projects in mental health and conduct comprehensive psychological therapy
  • physical and occupational therapy: secondary rehabilitation for war veterans and civilians who need to renew physical activity after trauma or illness

The UCU Clinic project is part of the Ukrainian Catholic University 2030 Strategy. In this way, the university works to heal the wounds of war and carry out its mission of service: through medical practice and health care it addresses these problems of society.

UCU Rector Taras Dobko emphasized: “We want to reconceptualize the Health Sciences Faculty around the theme of rehabilitation, the healing of the human body and soul and the reintegration of the human person into the life of society. Our faculty plans to reorient the preparation of social workers according to the principle of case managers in wartime. Our psychologists are actively working to reform the system of providing services in mental health and the preparation of specialists to provide such services at the level of local communities.”

Woman passing a ball to a young man in a wheelchair

Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty Svitlana Kohut added that, in wartime, problems of the mental health of Ukrainians have worsened; the need for the physical rehabilitation of our soldiers and civilians who suffered from the Russian invasion has multiplied. “Correspondingly, the need has increased for psychologists, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists, in particular in rehabilitation centers, which can comprehensively provide service for patient recovery. As a faculty, we have the appropriate professional expertise and are prepared to react to the challenges of wartime. UCU as a whole has significant experience working on various levels with disabled individuals; in particular, the Emmaus Center operates at the university. And from the start of the war, our specialists, together with students, have worked with internally displaced persons, families with children, and veterans, and provided psychological, social, and rehabilitative support.”

Svitlana Kohut, Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty

Svitlana Kohut, Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty

Oksana Kovalska will head the UCU Clinic. She is a doctor-therapist, cardiologist, experienced leader and manager in the field of health care, and a volunteer with 15 years of experience of medical practice, in particular with foreign medical institutions and patients.
Oksana Kovalska explained that the modern approach to therapy and the new culture of communication and interaction with patients has become a guidepost in the institution’s work: “The goal of the UCU Medical Clinic is a comprehensive approach to making the nation healthy. Among its tasks is providing primary medical care and educating patients to react in a timely manner to changes in their organisms and care for their own health. We’ll do educational wor; we’ll enlist doctors to do training and educational lectures. For example, a pediatrician will give a course in motherhood and breast feeding; an infectious diseases specialist will lecture on prevention and vaccinations. A nutritionist from the USA will work with us and give a course on healthy diets.”

Oksana Kovalska, head of the UCU Medical Clinic

Oksana Kovalska, head of the UCU Medical Clinic

In order to ensure comprehensive medical care, the UCU clinic will also engage a therapist, otolaryngologist, audiologist, traumatologist, neuropathologist, and cardiologist.

Leading specialists will be engaged to provide quality diagnoses with the help of modern equipment and innovative approaches in medicine. One of the possible areas will be audiology, for early detection of hearing problems as a result of illness or trauma/contusions.

The Medical Clinic will also become a practical base to teach students of the UCU Health Sciences Faculty, which has been part of the university since September 2016. Currently, future specialists are prepared with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Social Work and master’s programs in Clinical Psychology based on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Clinic Psychology based on Psychodynamic Therapy, and Physical and Occupational Therapy. Involving students in medical practicum will help raise the professional level of future specialists and allow them to acquire practical experience.

Students of the Health Science Faculty in the pre-clinical study office in a wheelchair

Students of the Health Science Faculty in the pre-clinical study office

“One of our tasks is to create a discussion forum for the exchange of experience and practices among representatives of the health care field,” added Oksana Kovalska.

The Medical Clinic will also provide a number of specialized services, in particular the conduct of clinical research and the international medical evacuation of patients.

The opening of the UCU Medical Clinic is planned for spring 2024.

Addendum:

Oksana Kovalska graduated from Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, specializing in internal illnesses. She interned at the Kyiv-Svyatoshynskyi District Hospital. During her internship, she studied cardiology and did an internship in cardiology and modern medicine at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in the ESC educational course, Erasmus.

She worked as a doctor-therapist at Lisnykivskyi Outpatient Clinic, Kyiv-Svyatoshynskyi District, and eventually became the head. She was assistant to the head doctor with expertise in temporary incapacity to work in the territorial medical association.

In 2015, she earned a specialization in cardiology, focusing on interventional cardiology at the Academic M. D. Strazheska Institute of Cardiology and Clinical and Regenerative Medicine of the National Scientific Center in Kyiv.

At the start of 2016, she joined the unique team of the international network of the American Medical Center in Kyiv, and in summer 2018 she was appointed medical director at the Lviv branch and earned a certificate in Health Care Management.

More information is available at https://clinic.ucu.org.ua/