Patricia A. Cholewka (New York City College of Technology, CUNY)
It has been a little over twenty years since the Baltic States declared their independence from the Soviet Union. They have progressed at the politico-legal and socio-economic levels at astonishing speed–with effective results. This presentation will focus on the Lithuanian healthcare system and its rapid improvement due to its alignment in their provider educational system to European Union (EU) standards and collaborates with other European, American, and Asian universities and international organizations in research and academic activities to design and implement Western models for efficient, effective, and quality patient care. This has especially affected their nursing workforce at the Faculty of Nursing, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (in Lithuanian: Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universitetas, and formerly, the Kaunas University of Medicine) in Kaunas, Lithuania. This academic center has not only improved its facilities, but has advanced technologically and educationally to become a major transformational center for healthcare education in Lithuania and an example for the other post-soviet transitional economies. It is the purpose of this presentation to show examples of these research and academic affiliations by the Faculty of Nursing at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences – especially its participation in an EU-U.S. trans-Atlantic grant on palliative care policy that will likely affect the care of both healthcare systems’ aging populations.