In The News

WINK News – Naples doctor sharing his story after returning from Ukraine

by Matthew Seaver
Original posted on WINKNews, May 11, 2022

In The News

Suspilne Media – American paramedics who worked in Syria and Iraq conducted training for the Rivne ambulance

Original posted on Suspilne Media, May 9, 2022

Paramedics from the USA, who worked during hostilities in Syria and Iraq, arranged training for emergency medical workers in the Rivne region. They talked about modern approaches to stopping bleeding, pain relief, caring for patients with burns and conducted practical sessions.

An instructor of the international charitable organization “Global Response Management” named Vlado worked with Rivne medics without an interpreter. The man knows and speaks Ukrainian, because his mother is from Ukraine.

American paramedics conducted training for the Rivne "emergency"
Photo: Public Rivne

During 12 years of volunteering, Vlado participated in many charitable missions, he decided to come to Ukraine from the first days of the war.

“I am a professional medic, so what I have learned and my general experience, which I have gained in many countries of the world, on many continents, will help these medics,” Vlado explained.

American paramedics conducted training for the Rivne "emergency"
Photo: Public Rivne

Paramedics from “Global Response Management” conduct tactical medicine trainings in various cities of Ukraine.

“We teach how to apply a tourniquet, control blood loss, how to safely care for patients in the war zone and areas close to them. For doctors who have the knowledge, we provide in-depth training using specific medications and procedures: helping patients with significant burns, blood transfusion in the field,” said Daniel Taylor, head of the Global Response Management training department.

American paramedics conducted training for the Rivne "emergency"
Photo: Public Rivne

According to him, emergency medical workers and medics of ground defense units are being trained. Protocols for providing pre-medical care are constantly being improved, and American paramedics introduce Ukrainian colleagues to the latest scientific research.

“This is very powerful material that they provide regarding the organization of improvised hospitals, which can be done in combat conditions. Such nuances that we did not even know,” admitted Andriy Stakhniuk, head of the training department of the emergency medical aid center of the Rivne region.

After completing the training, Anna Sokolova, a doctor at the Varas emergency medical center, said that she would pass on the acquired knowledge and skills to her colleagues.

“We didn’t have such experience in terms of time, how to work, what should be paid attention to, what can be done later, which condition can be postponed for later, and which should be bought now and here,” she said.

Also, the American paramedics handed over to their Ukrainian colleagues individual first-aid kits, equipped according to modern requirements.

In The News

Penn Medicine News – Nurse Case Manager Supports Her Ukrainian Homeland from Afar

by Kim Maialetti
Original posted on Penn Medicine News, May 5, 2022

When Alena Blain, MSN, was growing up in Ukraine, she and her schoolmates volunteered to work in one of the country’s many museums dedicated to the history of World War II.

“Everybody grew up understanding that war is horrifying and should never happen again,” said Blain, who is a nurse case manager at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center (PMC). “You would never think it is possible to be where we are today.”

This spring, as Russia’s war on Ukraine continued, Blain was volunteering again. But this time she was collecting and packaging much needed medical supplies to send to hospitals in Ukraine for treating people injured in the war.

Blain is one of many Penn Medicine employees and students who are stepping up in various ways to support Ukrainians during their time of need. Penn Medicine partnered with Global Response Management, a relief-focused non-governmental organization engaged with the World Health Organization, to help deploy interested staff members to provide medical care. Additionally, more than $300,000 in monetary donations were collected, including more than $200,000 from the Penn community and $100,000 matched by Penn and Penn Medicine.

What’s more, students at the Perelman School of Medicine have been organizing donated medical supplies and raising funds for relief campaigns, and employees at Chester County Hospital organized a drive to collect medical supplies, hygiene products, and necessities for children and babies. Pennsylvania Hospital donated surplus personal protective equipment. And at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, staff donated more than 100 bags and boxes of humanitarian aid to be shipped to Lviv.

“It is amazing how many regular people are reaching out and wanting to help,” said Blain, who was born in 1979 when Ukraine was still a part of the Soviet Union. She was 11 when the country gained independence and 22 when she emigrated to the United States.

Blain’s Volunteer Super-Power

When Blain first learned of Russia’s invasion, she was devasted. She would start crying any time someone asked her about it. Often, she was unable to talk through her tears.

Blain decided the best salve was to do something to help.

She joined a team of volunteers with the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) Philadelphia Regional Council to sort and package items donated by local communities.

As a nurse case manager at PMC, Blain helps coordinate and manage patient care. She works with multiple specialties to ensure her patient’s needs are being met effectively and efficiently.

She put those skills to work as a volunteer for UNWLA, focusing on organizing and boxing essential medical supplies that are in high demand.

These included suction kits and ventilation bags, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, along with medications for adults and children.

“Having a medical background was very helpful when I was packing the boxes,” Blain said.  “I was thinking ‘what would I need most and what would I need to get to fast.’ You must work in the medical field to understand what needs to get there.”

To date, the UNWLA Philadelphia Regional Council has collected and shipped more than 12,000 boxes of  goods to Ukraine, Blain said.

A Family Connection in Dnipro

Alena Blain speaks with her godfather on a virtual call on her laptop

While Blain has made the United States her home, she said she views Ukraine as you would your parents’ house.

“You may want to leave,” she explained. “But it is still very important that the house is going to be OK.”

Blain, whose mother and father are deceased, still has extended family in Ukraine, including aunts, uncles, cousins, a niece, and her 72-year-old godfather, who owns a business in Dnipro and is working to distribute supplies to support the Ukrainian forces.

“He is very determined and said he is going to stay and fight,” Blain said, her voice catching. “I’m not sure how much he can fight at 72.”

Holding Onto Hope

“Before I started volunteering, I felt defeated,” Blain said. “But going to the UNWLA center and seeing all the people there who were like me and wanted to help, was uplifting.

“It gave me hope,” she continued. “Hope that people have not forgotten the lessons we learned from World War II.”


We are in Gaza and Ukraine.

Yesterday, GRM founder Pete Reed and was killed in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Yesterday, GRM founder Pete Reed was killed in Bakhmut, Ukraine. Pete was the bedrock of GRM, serving as Board President for 4 years. In January, Pete stepped away from GRM to work with Global Outreach Doctors on their Ukraine mission and was killed while rendering aid.

This is a stark reminder of the perils rescue and aid workers face in conflict zones as they serve citizens caught in the crossfire. Pete was just 33 years old, but lived a life in service of others, first as a decorated US Marine and then in humanitarian aid. GRM will strive to honor his legacy and the selfless service he practiced.

We fully support Pete’s family, friends, and colleagues during this devastating time.