Southern Adventist University’s School of Education and Psychology recently hosted two distinguished delegates from Ukraine. The campus welcomed Valeriia Palii, Ph.D., president of the National Psychological Association of Ukraine (NPAU), and Olena Vladovska, chief operating officer of Angelia Medical Center, a Ukrainian Seventh-day Adventist clinic dedicated to providing support for youth and families affected by the devastation in their country. The two women spoke with students about serving their nation on the frontlines of war.
Palii and Vladovska were invited to the area by the City of Chattanooga and visited several local institutions. Southern alum Angelika Riano (class of 2000), helped coordinate their visit and translated during Vladovska’s presentation at the university.
Vladovska explained how the Angelia Medical Center uses a holistic, person-oriented approach to medical treatment that helps individuals physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. She explained that Russian forces have destroyed more than 1,100 clinics and hospitals, but Angelia has remained operational. The center provides humanitarian aid by sending mobile field clinics to refugee camps.
“What helps us to do this work?” Vladovska asked. “It’s understanding, it’s faith in God, and it’s our unity. United, we can help others.”
Palii shared about her organization’s mental health work, including developing a psychological support hotline already available in 19 different European countries, including Ukraine.
“I enjoyed hearing the speakers share their personal experiences of how life and the practice of medicine have changed since the invasion of Ukraine,” said Maddie Chant, senior psychology major. “I was moved by their passion for using their careers to make a positive impact on their people, even amid war.”
Vladovska praised Southern for the strong Adventist roots she witnessed on campus.
“Observing the students, you can tell what is taught at Southern,” Vladovska said. “I do what I do in Ukraine because of my Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, and here at Southern, it feels as if one can almost touch the history of Adventist ministry.”
— Amanda Blake is a senior journalism major at Southern Adventist University.