Ukraine receives a mobile X-ray device and other medical supplies from AHN

Ukraine receives a mobile X-ray device and other medical supplies from AHN

The cargo contained 72 pallets’ worth of medication, supplies and equipment donated by Highmark Health and its subsidiary Allegheny Health Network, which operates 14 hospitals and medical facilities in the region. To get a sense of the scale, one 40-foot shipping container can hold about 20 pallets. The hospital system partnered with the nonprofit Brother’s Brother Foundation on the North Side to transport the supplies.

On Friday, four trucks carrying crucial medical supplies from Pittsburgh were about to enter the western Ukrainian city of Lviv when Russian missiles bombed an aviation repair facility, forcing the convoy to reroute. Until last Friday’s bombardment, the city, which is only 43 kilometres from the Polish border, had been virtually unaffected by the war. The trucks continued on to their destination, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Kyiv, later that day, undeterred.


  • Getting the supplies to Ukraine presented a logistical challenge, but as a charity that focuses on disaster relief, the Brother’s Brother Foundation had coordinated these kinds of missions before. Mr. Samad said this one required a lot of calls with the Ukrainian embassies in Turkey and Washington, D.C., Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, and a transportation company in Warsaw that offered to drive the supplies over the Poland-Ukraine border. “For us it was critical that the supplies that we were sending wouldn’t just end up in a warehouse somewhere,” Mr. Samad said.

  • “We thought we would get five or 10 pallets of supplies. They gave us 72,” said Ozzy Samad, president of the Brother’s Brother Foundation, which also worked with the Pittsburgh Technology Council to coordinate the donations. The precious cargo included medicines and supplies to treat battlefield wounds and infections. Children at a Music in World Cultures summer camp in Avdiyivka, in the Donbas region, in 2021. Mr. Benham said buildings at the camp were recently hit with bombs. With so many civilians being affected by the Russian military’s attacks, hospitals across Ukraine are seeing an influx of injured patients. Dozens of hospitals have reportedly been hit, too, killing and wounding patients and health care workers. As a result, medical facilities are running out of potentially life-saving supplies.

The Brother’s Brother Foundation is sending a second shipment in the next week or so. That cargo will contain about 80 pallets from Highmark and AHN, including a mobile X-ray machine donated by Allegheny Valley Hospital worth around $170,000. Dr. Alexander Kirichenko, a radiation oncologist at Allegheny Health Network and a native Ukrainian, learned that mobile X-ray machines are desperately needed at Ukrainian hospitals after getting a call last week from his colleague, Dr. Sergey Zemskov, a leading cancer surgeon in Kyiv.

In Puerto Rico, humanitarian aid believed to have been delivered after Hurricane Maria in 2017 was found sitting in a warehouse three years later. In this case, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health is distributing the supplies in areas ravaged by war. The 72 pallets from Pittsburgh were packed into trucks that drove to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. From there, the supplies were flown to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. In Paris, the cargo was loaded into trucks and driven to Warsaw, Poland. In There, lines of volunteers were waiting to transfer the supplies into trucks that would ultimately carry the cargo to its final destination.

A woman cleans the staircase of broken glass at an apartment building damaged by bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine,Wednesday, March 23, 2022. The Kyiv city administration says Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian capital overnight and early Wednesday morning, in the districts of Sviatoshynskyi and Shevchenkivskyi, damaging buildings.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine. “He said, ‘we are in real trouble,’” Dr. Kirichenko said. “He asked specifically for a portable X-ray machine that they can use to see shrapnel and any foreign bodies in people so they can remove it. This is what they need the most.”

Before the Russian invasion, the two physicians were planning to collaborate on bringing advanced radiation oncology services to Kyiv. But those plans are now on hold, as Dr. Zemskov is busy treating injured soldiers and civilians instead of cancer patients. Russian forces have been indiscriminately shelling Ukrainian towns and cities, with residential buildings, medical centers and shopping malls getting hit by the fire. Shelling involves the bombardment of projectiles from the ground, while bombing generally refers to weapons that are dropped from aircraft.

Along with the medical supplies that Brother’s Brother Foundation is sending, Giant Eagle is providing baby food, wipes, diapers, formula, disinfecting wipes, granola and grain bars, soap, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Volunteer teams from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Grane Rx, Sewickley Academy, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other community groups are also assembling hygiene kits for refugees.