Congressman Sherrod Brown's Office ( U.S.A.)
Posted on August 13, 1999
By Ken Berlack
Washington, DC -- U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Lorain) today hosted eight Russian political and civic leaders to Lorain in a visit to the city's former St. Joseph's Hospital. The Russians are spending a total of 10 days in northeast Ohio meeting with citizens and community leaders and becoming familiar with American life-styles, community, and cultural lives.
The Russian visitors to northeast Ohio are participating in the Library of Congress's Open World Russian Leadership Program (RLP). Under the program, roughly 2,000 Russian political and civic leaders will visit cities and communities throughout the United States between July 28 and September 30 of this year to observe how American government works and how American citizens conduct their daily lives and work.
In a press conference today at the former St. Joseph's Hospital, Brown said he and the Russians toured the hospital's Family Care Center's pediatrics unit, the oncology center, and the Veterans Administration Clinic. Karen Yacobucci, Business Development Officer for Community Health Partners, joined Brown and the Russians on the tour.
"I'm very pleased to join in hosting our Russian visitors to Lorain and Northeast Ohio, and am very pleased to show them the former St. Joseph's Hospital -- one of Lorain's most important institutions. The people of Lorain are converting an old hospital into a center of community services, such as health care, child care, job training, and police. The center also contains services for veterans and learning center for young children. This is a project that parallels Russia's work to improve the quality of life for its citizens," Brown said.
Brown has played a key role in working with the community to re-use the property of the former hospital, which merged with the Lorain Community Hospital. Last year, he hosted Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to Lorain to tour the community center project.
Brown, the top Democrat on the Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, also helped secure $800,000 in federal funds to launch the building's conversion. The center currently contains the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Regional Health Clinic, the Lorain City Schools system, and the Lorain Police Department. Tenants who have committed to relocating to the converted facility include the Lorain County Community Action Agency, the Lorain County Community College, and the Catholic Charities organization.
[Permission granted by Congressman Sherrod Brown's Office]
[Reprinted with Permission]