The future of Chiropractic in Russia is getting closer with each trip. The September 2005 trip was a return to St. Petersburg to further coordinate the details of the first Chiropractic Clinic to be established in St. Petersburg, Russia. This clinic will be located in the outpatient clinic at the St. Elizabeth Hospital, one of the largest and most prominent hospitals in the northwest region of Russia.
The delegates in attendance at this meeting included Sherry Durrett, D.C., Texas; Jill Howe D.C. and Mr. Larry Berg, Illinois; Alex Konovalov, D.C., Moldova; Lynne Auerbach, D.C., Texas; and Elena Kroutovskja, translator, representative and coordinator from the government of St. Petersburg.
Our meeting began at the conference table in the office of the chief doctor with all the delegates and the appropriate hospital staff, including Dr. Boris Taits, Chief Doctor of St. Elizabeth Hospital, along with the hospital’s Chief of Radiology, Chief of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Alexandre Taits, Director of the Outpatient Clinic. Also called into the meeting later was, Chief Financial Officer of the hospital.
The meeting reviewed some of the details regarding the exact way that we could operate a separate Chiropractic Clinic there in the facility as well as the commitment by the hospital staff to the development of the Chiropractic program as part of the outpatient clinic offerings. The interest and support of Chiropractic on behalf of all members of the medical staff continues to be incredibly positive. The hospital will be providing ample space in their newly built outpatient clinic for the Chiropractic facility. Dr. Taits’ level of commitment and excitement about bringing Chiropractic to his hospital is demonstrated by his attitude, willingness to provide initial financial support, and clinic space dedicated to the startup of this program.
At the completion of the meeting, we toured the outpatient clinic where the Chiropractic Clinic will be located.
We also toured the radiology department and the physical therapy areas of the hospital. During the tour of the PT department, we noticed some unusual equipment that we were not familiar with in the U.S., which included an ultraviolet light therapy that was used to treat ear, nose and throat infections. We observed a woman in the PT clinic getting a facial bone massage that looked completely relaxing and not typically any treatment you would see in a U.S. hospital that would be considered therapy.
At the conclusion of the clinic tour, our excitement was high and we were all looking forward to the selection of the doctor that will be the first Chiropractor to practice in St. Petersburg. Dr. Alex Konovalov, 2004 Palmer grad, has been selected and after careful discussion with his family has accepted the opportunity. He is a native of Moldova, a former state in the USSR. He speaks Russian, has a great personality and ability to communicate, and has a passion to bring and help develop Chiropractic in Russia. He also understands that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of making history and is very excited.
After our five hour meeting, we departed the hospital and headed to a downtown cafe for a much needed lunch and recap of the direction and next steps needed to open the clinic.
Following lunch, we then accompanied Dr. Jill Howe and Larry Berg to the train station for their trip to Moscow to finalize their adoption of seven year old Russian, Dimitri. They will return in one month to bring him back to the United States.
The following two days were dedicated to sightseeing inside St. Petersburg and the countryside outside of town. Dr. Konovalov and the rest of the delegation had the opportunity to have a private tour of many the most important historical buildings by our guide and translator, Gennady Chentsov. We toured St. Isaac’s Cathedral that was restored like so many of the buildings and palaces after WWII , the Hermitage, and the Peter and Paul Fortress with walls that were approximately 20 feet thick. We finished the evening by attending a performance of the Russian Ballet at the world renowned Mariisky Theater.
The countryside included a tour of Peterhof, the summer palace of Peter the Great, with the magnificent gardens and gold leaf fountains that all culminated into the Gulf of Finland. (One of the smaller fountains at Peterhof)
It was Fall in St. Petersburg and the leaves were beautiful gold and red colors. One activity for the locals is collecting large Maple leafs to fashion a headdress that resembled a crown of leaves atop their head. We also toured St. Catherine’s Palace, seen below.
The private collections and paintings inside the Palaces were incredible and the expansive ballrooms with magnificent chandeliers and gold leaf moldings were simply elegant. All that was needed was a live orchestra with gentlemen in tuxedos and ladies in their evening gowns to complete the picture.
The future of this project is very bright with the opening of the first Chiropractic Clinic in St. Petersburg in the coming months. The project also entails the establishment of a Chiropractic College or Institute. Today Dr. Sherry Durrett, project coordinator, is working on recruiting doctors for the Chiropractic Faculty and other successful practitioners interested in practicing there on a short term (6-12 months) as well as longer term (12+ months) basis.
The scope of this project is immense and any and all interest in helping making a difference in the success of the project is welcome. Anyone interested in participating in any way should contact Dr. Durrett at [email protected] or via toll-free fax at (866) 831-6755 and visit www.chiropracticdiplomatic.com/foreign-service-registry/ and register for Foreign Service, even if you are not sure how you can help or are just interested in helping in a very limited way.