Yale School of Medicine faculty Irina Esterlis, PhD; Alla Vash-Margita, MD, FACOG; and Andrey Zinchuk, MD, MHS; were honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the New Haven County Medical Association at their 2022 annual meeting for their efforts to support Ukraine. The trio founded Doctors United for Ukraine (DU4U) in March 2022. To date, the group has provided over a million dollars in aid.
“The largest donor so far makes bioprosthetic replacement heart valves. We started a program with cardiac surgeons in Lviv to implant those valves for vulnerable populations. Thus, older or younger individuals with severe disability who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or survive without these treatments now have a chance to live,” said Zinchuk.
They have also provided kidney therapy fluids, blood filtration systems, ventilators, defibrillators, limb fixator devices and surgical supplies to hospitals in Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Kyiv, and Lviv. In June 2022, Zinchuk and DU4U Treasurer Yaroslav Voloshin travelled to Ukraine to deliver equipment and supplies. They visited military hospitals in Kyiv and Lviv and met with colleagues to determine how DU4U could help further. They also met with their partners from Project Truskavets, named after a city in western Ukraine, where displaced women and children are receiving psychological help, counseling, and social services, in part funded by DU4U.
According to Zinchuk, “Early into the war, we also initiated humanitarian aid services and became aware of the physical and mental horrors women and children in Ukraine are suffering due to war. We collaborate with mental health providers in Ukraine and across Europe to provide training on acute mental trauma treatment, PTSD treatment, and psychosocial support, as well as fund programs to help internally displaced persons have meaningful lives.”
DU4U is also focused on women’s and infant’s health. The organization partnered with the high-risk pregnancy and obstetrics team from Odessa Maternity Hospital, and has been delivering medications to them to prevent early labor, to restore breathing for infants who were born prematurely and prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Read more about the award by visiting the Yale School of Medicine website.