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Thursday, June 2, 2022 - Roper St. Francis Healthcare supports Ukrainian hospital with medical supplies


Dr. Maria Dzierzko-Trojanowska, a Polish American internal medicine physician, felt heartbroken as she followed news of Russian forces invading Ukraine.

She spent more than 30 years in Poland, which borders Ukraine. Poland has welcomed more than 3.2 million Ukrainian refugees into its country of 37 million residents.

“Like everybody else, I was devastated and felt I needed to do something,” she said. “These days, we are all Ukrainians because their human rights have been violated.”

She turned her heart ache into action and facilitated the delivery of more than 100 pounds of donated medical supplies to a mobile Ukrainian hospital.

Dr.  Dzierzko-Trojanowska knew she was traveling to Poland in May, so she reached out to the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America, which had a list from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health of needed items.

From there, she began asking contacts and colleagues about donations.

“It’s the least I could do,” she said. “All of this collectively makes a difference.”

The response was generous. Roper St. Francis Healthcare identified excess or unused medical and emergency supplies that totaled more than 100 pounds.

Mark Dickson, vice president of mission, said the healthcare system has a global perspective, and its support of Ukraine is its way of healing wounds and comforting the afflicted abroad.

“We believe we are one human family, and we are concerned with peace and justice throughout the world,” he said. “We have a sense of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the suffering going on there.”

Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the joint venture partners of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, has donated more than $750,000 in medical supplies and money to support both Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

Charleston GI and Palmetto GI donated two defibrillators, and Palmetto GI also contributed several Ambu bags, which are bag valve masks. One GI physician asked whether he could give money, and he wrote a check for $3,000, Dr. Maria Dzierzko-Trojanowska said. That enabled the purchase of Celox, a polymer that can be injected in battle wounds to create an artificial clot. This allows time for patients to be transported; one syringe costs $25.

“He saved 122 lives,” Dr. Maria Dzierzko-Trojanowska said. “I have tears in my eyes when I think about him.”

The Lufthansa airline waived additional baggage fees for the nine boxes of medical supplies Dr. Dzierzko-Trojanowski carried. As she checked in, she met a young Ukrainian man who lived in Charlotte and also was flying to Warsaw. He volunteered to help Dr. Dzierzko-Trojanowski navigate the airport and customs with the boxes.

“It was just good karma,” she said.

Once she arrived in Warsaw, she met a courier who delivered the supplies to the mobile hospital, Pershyi dobrovolchyi mobilnyi shpytal Mykola.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey DiLisi, Dr. Dzierzko-Trojanowski and Director of Supply Chain Doug Robertson each received certificates of appreciation from Ukraine in gratitude for their efforts.

“I’m grateful for the medical supplies donated by Roper St. Francis Healthcare,” Dr. Dzierzko-Trojanowski said. “It was a generous donation and everything went smoothly.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Chs4Ukraine, a nonprofit based in Charleston and created since this crisis, has multiple opportunities to get involved. Financial donations can be made through its website – https://www.chs4ukraine.org/ – or you can purchase items directly from Amazon wish lists.

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