Dr. Svitlana Zhukivska, a family medicine specialist at The University of Toledo Medical Center, is again returning to her home country of Ukraine next month to care for individuals displaced by the ongoing war and provide critically needed medical supplies.
The medical mission, which departs for western Ukraine on June 4, will be Zhukivska’s second to the war-torn country in less than two months.
In mid-April she joined three other Toledo-area medical professionals on a hastily organized trip to deliver eight duffle bags stuffed with donated medications, wound wraps, surgical supplies and other medical equipment.
On the upcoming relief mission, Zhukivska will be part of an expanded team of nine, including Dr. Susan Batten, an associate professor in the UToledo College of Nursing.
Last month, Zhukivska and her colleagues were in Ukraine for less than 24 hours. This time they’ll spend nearly two weeks in and around the city of Berehove, where they hope to visit as many as 50 camps that are providing temporary shelter to those who fled their homes in eastern Ukraine.
“Right now, that’s their safe zone. We can meet them where they are, assess what needs they have, what medications they need and treat them there,” Batten said. “There are a lot of people in the U.S. who have a real empathy for what’s happening there. If I can do something to support and help those families, I’m glad to do it.”
The trips are organized by SCORE, which is part of the nonprofit Filipino Association of Toledo, and Dr. Richard Paat, a local internal medicine physician and clinical professor of medicine in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Individuals can donate to the cause on the SCORE website.