Russians To Spend Week In Pella
Town Crier News (Pella, IA)
Posted on November 9, 2002
By Marty Racheter
All first-time visitors to the United States, they are part of the Iowa Sisters States Russian Health Care Tour, and were selected for this program because of their various health care-related occupations. They arrived in Pella lateThursday night to stay at the Country Inn & Suites. Much of the credit for local arrangements goes to John Vander Wert and Ginger Marcinkowski. On Friday the delegation met their host families, with whom they will spend the next several nights. They expressed nervousness at staying with people whom they did not know and whom they could not speak to, wondering how they would ever get along, and were assured that their host families were feeling the same things, and so likely it would work out.
Friday they attended Alan Aldrich's Intercultural Communications class at Central College. The teacher among them expressed their surprise at how informal the class was, how relaxed the atmosphere was, how there did not seem to be rigidity or pressure, as compared to classes in Russia. She also remarked about how little our students know of Russia, and perhaps they could be of some help in that while they are here.
After touring Knoxville's County Health/Public Health facilities, they enjoyed lunch at Pella's Pizza Ranch
"It's very good. We like the chicken. We almost have too much to eat here."
and answerd questions about their initial impressions of Pella. The thing they most wanted to observe and learn about while here is how we live here, the American way of life. Pella is very similar in size to the town from which they came, and they are gathering ideas to implement once they return home. They said they liked Pella a lot, and described it as neat, clean, beautiful, and perfect. One of them commented that it was so nice here, that in a similar agricultural area at home the smell would be much worse.
Having just toured the Knoxville health facilities, they were asked to compare that with their own. They replied that basically the problems are the same, but here we are more organized and have larger budgets to work with, whereas in Russia health care interventions do not begin soon enough. They are looking for incentives to get patients to seek care in their clinics sooner. Unfortunately, because of economic considerations in their country, they do not see an improvement in the system soon. They feel they need bigger budgets to make gains in health care services because people are used to receiving free care, would object to having to pay for it, and therefore reform must wait until the budget can cover the cost of care.
They were asked what they were most looking forward to seeing or doing and replied "Anything and everything." A tour of Pella Corporation was scheduled in the afternoon and a walking tour of the downtown business district.
Saturday, they had a free morning followed by lunch at Hy-Vee and the Central football game, the wrestling match, dinner at LaCabana, and an evening at the Pella Opera House for the Crickets performance.
Sunday was to be spent at church, with the host family, or shopping at a Des Moines mall. Monday is Pella Regional Health Center day, followed by dinner at Bos Landen. Tuesday is Central College day with a Rotary lunch, police department visit in the afternoon, and a wrap-up dinner with the host families at the home of David and Betsy Roe.
Pella's Russian guests leave Wednesday morning for two days in Washington, D.C. meeting with congressmen and health officials and developing a plan of action for their own communities before departing for Russia.
© 2002, Town Crier News. Used with permission
[Reprinted with Permission]