Southeastern Ontario hospitals donate medical supplies to Ukraine

News / Partnerships
By J Pereira

Despite being half-a-world away, six hospital organizations from southeastern Ontario have teamed up to ship much needed medical supplies to health-care teams in Ukraine.

A truckload of supplies departed from Kingston over the weekend, bound first by truck to Ottawa, then by air to Warsaw, Poland, and then again by truck to Lviv, Ukraine. The supplies have been donated to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and will be delivered to health-care teams in need. 

The donation was made by all six hospital organizations in the region, including Brockville General Hospital, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, Providence Care and Quinte Health Care and was organized by 3SO, the organizations’ shared supply chain service provider.

KHSC’s Program Medical Director of Internal Medicine Dr. Stephen Archer and his spouse Dr. Kathie Doliszny, a first generation Ukrainian Canadian, showed leadership from a physician perspective as KHSC’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) and Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO) unanimously passed resolutions condemning Vladamir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

“Small acts of support for Ukraine counteract feelings of sadness and helplessness and with this donation of defibrillators, ventilator supplies, laceration kits, sanitizing agents and more, we have made a modest material contribution to a fight for peace, freedom and democracy,” says Dr. Archer. “I am proud that KHSC and our hospital partners in this region have, through this act, put themselves on the right side of history.”

Other items in the shipment include Mylar (used for trauma blankets), surgical masks and infusion pumps which are used to help deliver specific doses of medication for patients in need. The donation included surplus supplies, soon to expire items that cannot be used prior to expiry, and refurbished equipment to support patient care in Ukraine.

The initiative was coordinated with efforts being led in Ottawa by two former Queen’s University trainees, Dr. Nicolas Berbenetz and Dr. Tetyana Rogalska. These two young doctors are working with the Canada-Ukraine Foundation to ship materials from Ontario to Ukraine.

“As Ukrainian Canadians, we recognized that the war was becoming a crisis affecting millions of people and we wanted to use our knowledge and resources to support our medical colleagues in Ukraine who continue to bravely defend life,” says Dr. Rogalska. “Personally, reaching out to medical professionals in Ukraine, we learned of their enormous challenges and urgent needs, and started to connect with our Ottawa- and Kingston-area hospitals to see how we could help. We are extremely grateful for the resolute support we received.”

While the size of the donation itself is impressive, more than eight full shipping pallets in total, just as impressive was the teamwork between multiple organizations to solve logistic issues of getting the supplies into the hands of the Canadian-Ukraine Foundation.

“This donation was a team effort, coordinated by 3SO. The gift was assembled and packed by SCI Logistics and carefully shipped by Swift Delivery Systems,” says Dr. Archer. “In a heart-warming example of small acts of kindness, a Biomedical technologist from Brockville General Hospital, took the time to reset all the clocks in the medical devices to the appropriate Ukrainian time zone. Our gift will make a positive contribution to the people of Ukraine and remind them that we are with them in spirit.”

If you would like to personally contribute to support ongoing humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, visit the Canada-Ukraine Foundation’s website at https://www.cufoundation.ca/.