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November 15, 1991 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DETROIT

SPECTACULAR COLLECTION
OF DIAMOND JEWELRY

Diamonds are all Certified by GIA.

Sinai And Resettlement

Reorganize Translators

AMY J. MEHLER

Staff Writer

R

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18

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1991

855-0480

eorganization has
finally struck vol-
unteer services at
Sinai Hospital.
For 18 years, May Nosan-
chuk has coordinated Lang-
uage Interpreters Service, a
volunteer hospital program
that matches Russian and
Yiddish translators with
non-English speaking pa-
tients. Now, Mrs. Nosan-
chuk, a volunteer in her 80s,
will have some help.
Mrs. Nosanchuk will
assign translators for pa-
tients in primary care, said
Pola Friedman, Sinai's di-
rector of publicity and com-
munity relations. But every
other medical department
will have assigned
translators for set blocks of
time.
Mark McNash, director of
hospital-based ambulatory
services, has been appointed
to oversee the plan, which
goes into effect in the next
two-to- three weeks.
Elsa Silverman, director of
the department of volunteer
services, hopes this will
relieve much of the burden
from Mrs. Nosanchuk. "May
has been an exemplary vol-
unteer and the patients love
and trust her."
Mrs. Nosanchuk has
always assigned translators
for patients in every
department of the hospital.
Soviet Jewish patients call
her an "angel" and miracle
worker, since she manages
to find solutions for many of
their problems.
Mrs. Nosanchuk, who's
learned to speak Russian
over the years, receives lists
from Resettlement Service
caseworkers who schedule
medical appointments at
Sinai Hospital for their
adult clients.
"I only have seven Russian
translators," said Mrs.
Nosanchuk, who works at
the hospital four days a
week. "There are so many
new Soviet Jews and not
enough Russian- and
Yiddish-speaking vol-
unteers. I never had to place
so many Russians before. I
don't have enough vol-
unteers to accommodate
them."
Since June, 374 Soviet
Jews have arrived in
Detroit, according to Reset-
tlement Service. About 80
arrived in October.
"HIAS says to expect
record numbers of people

since the U.S. quota was in-
creased this year," said San-
dy Hyman, director of the
Resettlement Service. Last
year, the United States took
in almost 27,000 out of the
40,000 quota. This year, the
United States is expected to
take in the full 40,000, plus
13,000 not counted last year.
"Not only are their
numbers increasing, so are
their medical problems,"
Mrs. Hyman said. "There
are families suffering in-
sidious aftereffects of Cher-
nobyl and there are women
who've never had mam-
mograms and need modern
emergency gynecological
care."
Some LIP volunteers say
the problems go beyond in-
creased numbers of Soviet
Jewish patients. "One hand
doesn't know what the other
is doing," said former vol-

"I only have seven
Russian
translators."

May Nosanchuk

unteer Jack Miller, referring
to the responsibilities of the
Resettlement and LIP Ser-
vices. "Patients suddenly
cancel and we show up for
nothing. Other times, May
isn't given the correct in-
formation."
Mr. Miller, a long-time
volunteer, recently quit
after making three trips to
the hospital to wait for pa-
tients who did not show up.
"Jack finally had enough
and so did someone else,"
Mrs. Nosanchuk said.
"Something needs to done to
make the Russians under-
stand that they must call
ahead if they're going to
cancel."
David Fayne, a new vol-
unteer, also complained of
wasted trips and a general
lack of efficiency. "It's been
too much for May to handle
alone," he said. "I also went
to Resettlement to see if I
could help, and things were
a mess there, too."
Resettlement Service re-
cently hired Laura Kief, an
American who speaks Rus-
sian, to act as the new liai-
son between Resettlement
and LIP.
"We've been working with
Sinai to find ways of making
the program work better,"
said Marcy S. Pantelic, pro-
gram manager at Jewish
Family Service. "It was
easier when there were 10
Russians a year, but now

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