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on Feb 24, 2023

Meet Olesya Vynnyk: Coordinator of Medical Initiatives – Unite with Ukraine

My name is Olesya Vynnyk, and I am a physician from Lviv, Ukraine, a fellow at the International Society for Quality in Healthcare, a PHD candidate at Loyola University (bioethics and law), and a member of numerous other international medical organizations.

For as long as I can remember, I have been active in trying to implement change in Ukraine’s healthcare system. On February 24th, 2022, I engaged with my colleagues to support Ukrainian defenders against Russian invaders. Tactical medicine has simultaneously become my work, and a hobby that I am feverishly passionate about. After working closely in the command structure of the Lviv Medical Volunteer Battalion, I am pleased to join #UnitewithUkraine at the Ukrainian World Congress as the Coordinator of Medical Initiatives. We have a common primary goal – the realization of an ultimate and absolute victory for Ukraine, however I also see my contribution as the accomplishment of 3 objectives:

  1. To support with tactical medicine Ukrainian frontline defenders and civilian medics.
  2. To create opportunities for Ukrainian medical professionals to improve their knowledge in line with best international standards and protocols.
  3. To diplomatically familiarize the international medical community with the Russian Federations war crimes and atrocities against humanity perpetrated on the territory of Ukraine.

As part of the Unite with Ukraine team, my role as the Coordinator of Medical Initiatives is to realize the following three main projects:

Collaboration with Brazil and Other International Partners In September 2022, I had the privilege to represent Ukraine at the 7th Latin American Forum on Quality and Safety in Brazil. It was an extraordinary experience to meet so many people from all around the world who support Ukraine. Among them, I met the former Minister of Health of Brazil, who expressed an interest in establishing an exchange program for Ukrainian doctors at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao-Paulo which is considered one of the best in South America and is among the top 50 healthcare facilities in the world. We are planning to focus on surgery (polytrauma), healthcare management, disaster medicine, and primary healthcare. Groups of Ukrainian doctors will be invited for month long trainings, and to learn about the best Brazilian practices and how to implement them into the Ukrainian healthcare system. This is just the first example of international cooperation in the medical sector that is being coordinated by the Unite with Ukraine team at UWC. We are currently also negotiating and working closely with Harvard University, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Solidarite Ukraine, and other top medical opinion world leaders on future joint projects.

Support of the National Police in the Donetsk Region One of the security structures that we support consistently is the Main Department of the National Police in the Donetsk Region. We collaborate directly with the medical training center, so every police officer is not only properly trained, but also equipped with the best tactical medical supplies. The situation in the Donetsk region is incredibly unstable and police often perform the duties of first responders, disaster managers and even as an ad hoc delivery service for civilians who live in the region. I am proud that the Ukrainian World Congress Unite with Ukraine initiative is one of the most effective and constant allies for this vital center who keep Donetsk region safe. Thus far, the Unite with Ukraine initiative has provided the National Police of Donetsk Region with approximately 500 IFAK’s, Combat Medic Trauma Packs, Combat Action Tourniquets among other tactical medical supplies.

Support of Ukrainian Armed Forces and other Ukrainian Security Structures As the Coordinator of Medical Initiatives for Unite with Ukraine, my responsibility of priority is to coordinate, supply, and distribute proper tactical medical supplies to the defenders of Ukraine.
At UWC we work under the strict principal of “no compromises”, and this is true with the equipment and supplies that we provide, the strategy we use for distribution, and the people that we work with. Thus far, we have worked with dozens of brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense, Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces, Territorial Defense Forces, State Emergency Service of Ukraine, State Security Service of Ukraine, and others. I am so proud to have been able to lead a project that has already provided over 7200 IFAKs, 42000 Tourniquets, 100000 Israeli Bandages, 650 Combat Paramedic Trauma Packs, 10000 Nasopharyngeal Airway Kits, 1000 Occlusive Chest Seal Dressings, 1500 Hypothermia Prevention Systems and 10 Saros Oxygen Generator Field Portable Systems to the defenders of Ukraine. However, we still have so much more to do. This war will not end tomorrow, or next week or even next month. We must continue to do everything humanly possible to carry on this effort and multiply its scope exponentially. I am confident that the worldwide Ukrainian community will continue to support our efforts and allow us to continue supporting the brave men and women that fight on the frontlines of this war between good and evil.

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