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Issue #21, May 2004

Dr. Gennady Burenkov, an OB/GYN from Vologda, Russia has been a visitor at our Schaumburg, Illinois USA office. He is a guest of the Education and Member Services Department directed by Carol Kolar. He is visiting the US for four months through IREX. IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board) is an international nonprofit organization specializing in education, independent media, Internet development, and civil society programs. Through training, partnerships, education, research, and grant programs, IREX develops the capacity of individuals and institutions to contribute to their societies. IREX's headquarters are based in Washington, DC. IREX administers numerous exchange programs with opportunities for foreign nationals to perform research or receive training in the United States. IREX also administers several programs for US participants to perform research overseas, both individually and collaboratively.

Dr. Burenkov is in the US to study natural childbirth and breastfeeding. He has met several doctors who specialize in natural childbirth, attended a homebirth, and visited many hospitals. He attended a prenatal breastfeeding class taught by an IBCLC who is also a LLL Leader at a local hospital. Dr. Burenkov also attended a Bradley Childbirth series and went through the LLLI Peer Counselor and Peer Counselor Administrator Training Courses at LLLI. He has given two presentations on Russia to the LLLI office staff through a new program called Lunch and Learn which was initiated by our new Executive Director, Hedy Nuriel. Dr. Burenkov was honored to meet with Dr. Audrey Naylor, a LLL Health Advisory Council member, from Wellstart when she visited the LLLI office.

Dr. Burenkov spoke by phone with a LLL Leader who is from the Ukraine, and speaks Russian. She has been mentoring two women in Russia and would like to eventually like to help start a LLL group there. She will appreciate Dr. Burenkov's support when he returns to Russia.

Dr. Burenkov spent mid February through mid May in Schaumburg, Illinois and then is going to San Antonio, Texas USA for an internship program his last month in the US. He has been invited to attend the LLL Texas Area Conference in June and is looking forward to that event. Dr. Burenkov was also able to meet and speak with our Funding Director, Stephanie Weishaar, who speaks Russian. Stephanie made welcome signs in Russian for Dr. Burenkov on the day of his arrival to the Schaumburg office.

Many LLLI staff members have helped Dr. Burenkov during his Schaumburg stay by driving him to different appointments, taking him on tours of Chicago and surrounding towns, and hosting him for meals and even overnight in their homes. One local LLL Leader arranged for his stay initially in a local hotel which is owned by her parents. The staff will miss Dr. Burenkov because of his pleasant manner and cheerful attitude toward life. We are so pleased that he will be educating Russians more about natural childbirth and breastfeeding when he returns to Russia.

Submitted by Katy Lebbing, Manager of the Center for Breastfeeding Information, Education and Member Services Department.

To the Online Chronicle, issue 21
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