Ukrainian American Doctors Send $35 Million Worth of Medications to Ukraine
By Amed Khan
On Thursday, June 2nd, a chartered flight containing donated medical supplies with a retail value of over $35 million left the United States for Poland, where the supplies will then be distributed to hospitals across Ukraine. Organized by two Ukrainian doctors, Gennady Bratslavsky and Alex Golubenko, childhood best friends from Kyiv who live and work in New York, the plane is filled with life saving medications including antibiotics, anti seizure, antifungal, and other medications. This generous donation was facilitated by Elena Novikova, provided by Taro Pharmaceuticals, organized by Charita Shteynberg (founder of World of Connections, a liaison service for nonprofit organizations that acquired much of the supplies from hospitals and nonprofits), and accepted under Dr. Bratslavsky's medical license.
As soon as Dr. Bratslavsky and Dr. Golubenko saw their native country attacked, they sprang into action, founding Help Free Ukraine, an organization which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that contributed to purchasing these medications. In April, Dr. Bratslavsky traveled to Ukraine, where he and Charita Shteynberg personally oversaw the delivery of an initial 140,000 pounds of different medications including those needed for oncologic patients and those with cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, Dr. Bratslavsky and Alex purchased gas masks, satellite phones, ambulances, and individual first aid kits for first responders and Ukrainian hospitals. Bratslavsky personally drove an ambulance full of supplies for 20 hours into Ukraine to ensure delivery. This current flight will be the culmination of this comprehensive initiative.
To manage logistical challenges, American philanthropist and activist Amed Khan chartered the flight alongside his partner, Lukas Lundin, and will assist with distribution on the ground in Ukraine, where he's been working since the invasion three months ago, facilitating thousands of civilian evacuations. Mr. Khan also works closely with Sebastian Kopolovich and Anna Popruga, who have provided enormous logistical support for this operation. Additional organizations and individuals supporting the cause include Blue Rose, a logistics organization facilitating donations, and Dr. Bratslavsky's wife, artist Katya Bratslavsky who has personally donated over a quarter of a million dollars from her art sales to Help Free Ukraine.
"Though we have been grateful for the opportunity to reside and build our lives in the United States for the past few decades, Ukraine remains home to us, and it has been heartbreaking to watch our native city face such a devastating attack," said Dr. Bratslavsky. "Our hope is that these supplies will provide a touch of relief to the hospitals and people who need them most, and that we can achieve additional initiatives in the future with the help of donations. We are in awe of Mr. Khan's generosity and commitment to humanity."
"Over the past few months, I've witnessed firsthand how desperate the need is for hospitals in Ukraine to receive the types of lifesaving supplies that this flight will deliver," said Amed Khan. "I'm endlessly grateful for people like Dr. Bratslavsky, Dr. Golubenko, and Charita Shteynberg of World of Connections, who have dedicated so much of their time to helping push this mission forward."
Khan has a long history of working in battleground zones, helping to evacuate over 1,000 people from Afghanistan since last September and previously supporting refugee efforts in Syria and Iraq. Dr. Bratslavsky serves as the Chairman of Urology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, while Dr. Golubenko is the founder of Back to Health Physical Therapy in Brooklyn, New York.