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The Secretary General, Pr. Dr. Umberto Solimene announced the sad news in an important document. The GRUPO TERMAS expressed condolences and shared sadness with family, friends and the entire thermal scientific community worldwide.

Prof. Nikolaj Afanas'evich Storozhenko, president of the International Federation of Hydrology and Climatology, died on day 4 May, 2014. Known the sad news, the editor and specialist Mayte Suárez Santos, a member of the FEMTEC, sends its deepest condolences on behalf of herself and as President of the GRUPO TERMAS.

The Secretary General, Prof. Umberto Solimene announced the death of the President through an important document that brings us the human and professional profile of Professor Nikolaj Afanas´evich Storozhenko and his great contribution to FEMTEC.

We reproduce this document due to the interest for new generations of scholars on Hydrotherapy. The statement is published on the FEMTC website:

On the right of the photo: Prof. N. A. Storozhenko receives the award of the Chinese authorities. 75th Aniversary of FEMTEC
On the right of the photo: Prof. N. A. Storozhenko receives the
award of the Chinese authorities. 75th Aniversary of FEMTEC

Dear Colleagues,

We are sorry to announce that Professor Nikolaj Afanas’evich Storozhenko, physician emeritus of the Russian Federation, President of the National SPA Association Russia, and President of the World Federation of Thermalism and Climatotherapy, died on May 4, 2014.

Nikolaj Afanas’evich was born on March 5, 1935 in the region of Khmelnytski, Ukraine. Like most people of his age, he spent his childhood at times of war, which would have a strong impact on his special vision of the world and his professional skills.

He completed his studies at the State Institute of Medicine in 1959 in Odessa and presented his thesis on sciences in 1975 on the theme “Clinical immuno-bacteriological evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of the Morshyn mineral waters, sources No. 1 and No. 6, in cases of chronic cholecystitis,” demonstrating for the first time the positive impact of thermal treatments for the purpose of improving the body’s immune reaction, an objective indicator of the efficacy of a therapy.

V. Ja. Budilov, then President of the Carpathian Soviet for the management of the treatment and holiday centres managed by the trade unions, appointed N.A. Storozhenko chief physician of one of the main SPAs of the USSR, the “Dnestr” clinic (Morshyn, region of Lviv (Leopolis), Ukraine). Supported by a team of trusted assistants, N.A. Storozhenko acted as chief physician at this facility for 17 years, striving to improve the quality of the care and support provided to the patients, as well as to develop, organize, and set up this SPA. In 1976 S.A. Shalaev, then secretary of the Central Russian union Soviet and future president thereof, provided for his transfer to Moscow and appointed him Vice President of the Central Soviet for the management of the union-managed treatment and holiday centres.

Under the leadership of I.I. Kozlov, President of the Central Soviet, and supported by outstanding and highly skilled managers, including S.A. Shalaev and V.F. Bogatikov (head and secretary of the Russian Central union Soviet), N.A. Storozhenko acted as the national head for the organization of therapeutic activities in treatment and holiday centres, the management of SPAs, the management of procurements, and the issuing of “vouchers,” which entitled to admission in such facilities. The Soviet period saw the creation of the world’s broadest system, with express social goals, providing admission to treatment and holiday centres to the population.

This system, organized and managed with high efficiency, provided prompt support to the populations struck by the earthquake in Armenia, accommodating 125,000 thousand people from the affected regions in its facilities.

During the years of transformation that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sector of thermalism and climatotherapy was on the verge of disaster. However this risk was averted by gaining an understanding of the issues affecting the sector and through the support provided by SH.A. Tarpishev, O.N. Soskovez, V.V. Iljushin, L.V. Tjagachev and, first and foremost, B. N. Yeltsin, President of Russia, who expressly entrusted the Government, on 18.09.1994, with the task of restoring the role of thermalism and climatotherapy within the scope of the state: “The solution to the problem cannot be postponed. It is crucial to avoid wasting structural and material resources. I suggest that the State Committee for physical education and sport be entrusted with the task to protect and develop the whole range of activities and resources constituting the object of thermalism and climatotherapy.”

In his activity as the Vice President of the State Committee for physical education, sport, and tourism, N.A. Storozhenko, in cooperation with N.N. Vaganov, Deputy Minister of Health, conceived the federal bill of law “Natural therapeutic resources, treatment and holiday resorts and facilities,” which would be approved in February 1995.

On February 2, 1996, based on an order of the Government of the Russian Federation, the State Scheme “Development of SPAs of federal interest” was approved. Moreover, five government orders were approved in 1996-1998 on the protection and development of thermalism and climatotherapy in Russia. The above mentioned federal Law, federal Scheme, and government orders successfully prevented the collapse of this sector, ensuring its establishment and providing the necessary legal and economic foundations to ensure its development in the country.

In 1996 N.A. Storozhenko was appointed President of the National Spa Association Russia, and in 1998 he was elected President of the World Federation of Thermalism and Climatotherapy.

The National Spa Association, founded on July 17, 1996 upon initiative of 9 parties included among the main SPAs and associations of specialized operators in Russia, such as the “Staraja Russa”, “Belokuriha” and “Rus” (Sochi) centres, the “Ul’janovskkurort” consortium, the Association of north-western Russian SPAs and others, is the result of the efforts of the Russian SPAs to protect their common interests vis-à-vis the state authorities and the other organizations in charge, as well as to coordinate their initiatives and their strengths for the purpose of expanding and developing the entities operating in this sector, improving the quality of service, and enhancing the competitiveness of SPAs on the domestic and foreign market.

These goals, which the founders included in the Articles of Association, turned out extremely timely and attractive for lots of specialized operators, as shown by the on-going increase of members. Under the skilled leadership of N.A. Storozhenko, the National Spa Association Russia was acknowledged as a developing public organization. Upon initiative and with the direct involvement of the Association, specific legal-regulating deeds were performed to protect and develop the thermal and climatotherapic activities and resources of Russia, which were then approved by the state Duma and by the Government of the Russian Federation.

We would like to express our wholehearted condolences to the family of Nikolaj Afanas’evich, who was to them a support, a loving father and grandfather, a painstaking educator, and a wise master.

Extremely smart, honest, charismatic, characterized by some sort of indulgent irony with respect to life – this is how we knew him and this is how we wish to remember him. Rest in peace Nikolaj Afanas’evich Storozhenko, your memory will dwell in our hearts forever.

Prof. Umberto Solimene
FEMTEC Secretary General

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