Serbian Orthodox Church
Fourth Annual Healthcare Seminar
August 10, 2010
With the Archpastoral Blessings of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN,
the Fourth Annual Healthcare Seminar was held at St. George Serbian Orthodox
Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on August 10, 2010. The seminar is held
as part of the celebration of the St. Panteleimon, the Slava of the Parish
Nurseís Office. On August 9 the day the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates
St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Healer, Matins, and First Hour were
read early in the morning. Linda Porter read the Third and Sixth Hours prior
to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. St. George Choir members sang the
responses for the Divine Liturgy under the direction of Choir Director Sonia
Janson. Prayers were offered for living and departed healthcare workers of
the parish. On August 10, Paul Vukas and Margaret Parry read Matins and
The first speaker at the seminar, Attorney Linda Chambers, is well
known at the St. George Church. This is the third year she has been a
seminar speaker. Attorney Linda Chambers is experienced in criminal and
civil cases and drew from her personal experience to describe pain she has
witnessed during her practice of law. She spoke about the different
dimensions of pain that resulted from a case that received national
attention. The rape and murder of a young girl that led the death penalty
sentence caused pain, anguish and hardship to more than the initial victim
and the victimís immediate family. Attorney Chambers also spoke about pain
felt in domestic violence cases, divorce cases and in property loss cases.
She described the difficulty of putting a dollar value to pain and suffering
when severe accidents cause bodily injury and disruption to human lives.
Attorney Chambers discussed the stress and pain felt by victims of violent
crime, the pain felt by family members of criminal offenders and the stress
and pain criminal justice professionals encounter.
The second speaker was Matushka Katya Stoychev. She works as a
nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh and holds a
Masterís Degree in Business and a Masterís Degree in Nursing. She has
nursing experience at other settings as well. Matushka Stoychev defined pain
as she perceives it in the treatment of veterans. She spoke clearly and
descriptively about caring for World War II veterans, Viet Nam era veterans
and current veterans. Matushka Stoychev talked about the types of pain, the
components of pain and behavioral indicators.
She detailed the way pain is measured and the barriers to pain management.
Reverend Father Ruman Stoychev and Matushka Stoychev recently
assumed ownership of a personal care home in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania.
Matushka Stoychev said she concluded the need for a personal care home based
upon her personal experience with a particular patient. Father Rumen
Stoychev said his parishioners were supportive of his interest in having a
personal care home because they have need for such a facility. Father
Stoychev in addition to being a parish priest has experience as an emergency
medical technician. Father Stoychev and Matushka Stoychev enumerated the
upgrading that has taken place in their personal care home and their
interest in establishing a chapel at the facility.
Millicent "Mitzie" Hunchuck, the St. George Church Parish Nurse
Practitioner was the third presenter. She gave two presentations. The first
was entitled "Pathophysiology of Pain" and the second was entitled
"Treatment Modalities of Pain." Practitioner Hunchuck works full time in a
mental health practice serving in-patients and out-patients. She has
extensive experience in different settings providing nursing care including
in hospitals and at home.
She spoke with authority and convincingly regarding the issues of pain and
revealed the depth of her interest, experience and knowledge. Practitioner
Hunchuck is available to parishioners of the St. George Church and is an
on-going resource for the parish throughout the year. She is the primary
organizer for the seminar. Her mother Melva Hunchuck is an able assistant in
contributing her time and effort for the success of the seminar.
The St. George Kolo provided the lunch for seminar. Prior to the
start of the luncheon the Slava Kolach was blessed.
Father Rodney Torbic was the final speaker. His talk focused on
"Pain from a Religious Perspective." The suffering of the Lord Jesus
Christ, the lives of saints and martyrs and the different suffering that
occurs during various stages of life and prayers for dealing with pain were
among the areas discussed.
Throughout the day, seminar participants raised questions and
contributed their thoughts on the topic. Seminar participants included
interested parishioners and visitors with varied backgrounds including but
not limited to nursing, the law, Viet Nam era veterans, a licensed funeral
director, an educator and a social worker with experience in childrenís
services and mental health.
The day concluded with the seminar participants joining in reading
the "Akathist of Thanks" translated from the Serbian by Very Reverend
Nenad Resanovich. All seminar attendees received a Certificate of
Attendance. Previous seminars focused on the aging process, organ
transplants and mental health. The seminars are very intense, instructive
Father Rodney Torbic
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