Pittsburgh-based Brother’s Brother Foundation is partnering with members of the Ukrainian-American community and the U.S- Ukraine Foundation to package and send a tractor-trailer load of medical supplies for struggling hospitals on the front lines of Ukraine’s civil war.
The supplies loaded for shipment Thursday at BBF’s Northside location include basic surgical items such as gloves, masks and instruments. Allegheny Health Network, Butler Health System, Trinity Health System in Steubenville, Ohio and St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks contributed money and supplies that will be added to donations from a BBF location in Virginia before being sent to at least five Ukrainian hospitals.
Luke Hingson, president of BBF, said Ukraine was one of the poorest countries in Europe before the war, and the fighting has only made matters worse for Ukrainian citizens trying to live their normal lives.
“As a country in the middle of a civil war, the civilian population needs more help,” Hingson said. “The economy has been damaged with things that have been going on and the hospitals just have less resources than before.”
Dr. Alexander Kirichenko is a radiation oncologist at Allegheny General Hospital who moved to the United States from Ukraine in 1997. He helped coordinate the donation.
“We are targeting several hospitals in need,” Kirichenko said. “ This supply will make the difference for them. But also, I hope, it will be a good example for other Ukrainians of the United States to help in this matter.”
Hingson said he is confident the donations, which will cross the Atlantic by ship, will reach the hospitals that need them. He said the items being sent have been tailored to the exact needs of Ukrainian doctors.
“By working through the Ukrainian-American community, we’re able to communicate in the local language with doctors and other medical staff in these countries to let them confirm they need certain things from us,” Hingson said.