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However, it is not all a good news story: The Livermore and Snezhinsk Rotary Clubs were partnering together to acquire neonatal monitoring equipment for the hospital in Snezhinsk, which a joint U.S.-Russian medical team had identified as a community need. This project required that the Snezhinsk Rotary Club complete their formal chartering process. As of February 1, 2001, two cardiac monitoring units for the hospital in Snezhinsk were received: one for pregnant women and one for infants. Both six-bed units are served by state-of-the-art central monitoring stations. The cost of refurbishing, installing, calibrating, and purchasing the first supplies to operate the two units comes to approximately $40,000. Added to the approximately $9,000 cost of shipping the equipment to Snezhinsk, the total cost of the project is around $49,000. We had already begun the fundraising necessary to accomplish this project (including pursuing a matching grant with Rotary International), with the Livermore Rotary Club working to raise approximately one-fourth of the $49,000, or $12,250. The new Snezhinsk Rotary Club is working (with help from the Livermore Rotary Club) to raise approximately $1,000, and $9,000 has been committed from another source. However, because of the inability of the medical team to receive Minatom authorization to visit the city of Snezhinsk, not as nuclear tourists, but as members of an assessment team, this equipment has been lost for at least one year, and possibly permanently.

What are the key points to highlight from our experience?

  • This partnership was made possible by support from the Snezhinsk City Administration and the commitment of a leadership team within the city of Snezhinsk that supports this effort.

  • This effort is one mechanism that allows the community to leverage support from the business community to address community social needs while also providing support to the business community itself, that is, networking opportunities.

  • We heard a good deal about the need to target youth and link to youth in the communities, and this is one way to do just that.

  • Internship opportunities through the private sector are both supported and encouraged.

  • No government financing is required, just concurrence.

  • These programs are independent of the whim and whimsy of governmental funding and require only the commitment of the communities.

  • In the end, building a stronger social sector can only strengthen business and the environment for business to grow.

  • It's about people!

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