St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

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 First Hour.

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 and educational.

Father Rodney Torbic

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