In the former Soviet Ukraine, medical students were educated exclusively in the Russian language. This governmental policy resulted in inferior communication between physicians and native Ukrainian speaking patients. Such forced Russification also resulted in the isolation of medical professionals from their western colleagues. Due to this language barrier amongst Ukrainian medical professionals, accessibility to modern western medical textbooks continues to be minimal. In an attempt to “open the doors “ to the West, the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States and Canada formed the World Federation of Ukrainian Medical Associations (WFUMA) in 1977 and later the WFUMA-Foundation. It was not until the Chornobyl disaster in 1986 and the approaching collapse of the Soviet Union, three years later that the WFUMA- Foundation succeeded in establishing working relationships with their fellow medical colleagues in Ukraine.
Assessment of the medical education in Ukraine revealed the lack of high-quality Ukrainian language didactic materials. The WFUMA-Foundation then set forth as one of its major objectives the translating of Western, American medical textbooks into the Ukrainian language as well as providing assistance in the publication of original scholarly works of Ukrainian physicians in their native language.
In August of 2000, at a meeting of the Board of Directors (in Lviv, Ukraine) of the WFUMA-Foundation, the Foundation was restructured from a membership-driven organization to a directorship-driven entity. The name was also changed to the American Ukrainian Medical Foundation (AUMF), a public charity which holds 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service.
Since its inception AUMF has focused its goals primarily to the translation of world renowned English language medical text books into Ukrainian in order to promote Western standards of healthcare as well as develop and enhance Ukrainian medical terminology to be used by Ukrainian medical professionals and lay individuals alike. It has succeeded in financing the publication of 22 medical textbooks, donating thousands of textbooks to medical universities and libraries in Ukraine, and providing them with subscriptions to leading American medical journals. The Foundation has also supplied institutions with equipment such as printers, scanners, etc.
Our accomplishments include the publication of such prominent medical texts as: Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (29th Ed.) (English-Ukrainian Edition), Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (30th Ed.) (Ukrainian-English Edition), Atlas of Human Anatomy (2nd Ed.) by Frank Netter (Ukrainian-Latin Edition), as well as the Atlas of Human Anatomy (4nd Ed.) by Frank Netter (Ukrainian-Latin Edition).
Ukraine’s street protests on the 21st of November 2013 that occupied the center of Kyiv – Independence Square – became known as the Maidan Revolution. This fight for freedom and the dignity of its People as well as the subsequent aggression of Russia into Crimea and Eastern Ukraine changed not only Ukraine’s geopolitical situation but also enabled the Western world to see the invincibility of the Ukrainian spirit. Western television carried scenes of snipers shooting innocent peaceful protestors on the Maidan in Kyiv and Ukrainian physicians treating the wounded at the risk of their own lives. With Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine in 2014 with tanks and other heavy weaponry, innocent civilians and Ukrainian soldiers continue to be killed or wounded.
As a result of these events, AUMF was forced to reevaluate what specialty medical textbooks were needed most in this ever changing political climate in Ukraine. The Borden Institute, a component of the U.S. Army’s Office of the Surgeon General, has allowed AUMF to translate their medical textbooks. We are tremendously grateful to them. Our most recent project, the Ukrainian edition of Emergency War Surgery (2013) is a compilation of state-of-the-art principles and practices of forward trauma surgery that is currently being used by the US Military Health System. It is now available (in the Ukrainian and English editions) free of charge on our website. Emergency War Surgery (2013) is only the first of a series of such military medical textbooks that AUMF plans to publish in Ukrainian.
We are pleased to inform you that AUMF has begun work on its new project – the translation of the military medical book, Combat and Operational Behavioral Health (2011), which addresses the mental disorders that soldiers incur in combat. This comprehensive publication covers all aspects of behavioral health in the military population, including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress syndrome, combat and operational stress control, training for resiliency and other preventive measures, pain management, grief, family dynamics, rehabilitation and occupational therapy, medications, suicide prevention, forensic psychiatry, detainee care, substance abuse, eating disorders, ethics, and the roles of military behavioral health providers and chaplains, as well as the military`s evolving behavioral health policy and practices. We expect this book to be of enormous benefit not only to psychiatrists and psychologists alike, helping to set policies and guidelines in the field of behavioral health but also to the families serving as the mental health care providers. It stresses the importance of an efficient transition of care for soldiers from active duty to civilian life with emphasis on education and rehabilitation in the recovery from PTSD.
Dr. Dzul was the bearer of the “Medal of Merit” (2001), bestowed by the second president of independent Ukraine, Leonid Danylovych Kuchma for outstanding achievements in culture and science; in addition, he was awarded by Pope John Paul II the bearer of the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice“ medal – also known as the “Cross of Honour”, the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Pope of the Catholic Church, bestowed for distinguished service to the Church by clergy or laity.