Event to focus on relief efforts in Ukraine

Published April 28, 2022

The UB surgical resident whose team of medical and surgical providers has been providing assistance in Ukraine is back in Buffalo and will discuss his experience and how Western New Yorkers can help during a talk on April 29.

The event, being held from 7-10 p.m. at Coco Bar & Bistro, 888 Main St., Buffalo, is open to the public, especially medical students and professionals. It is sponsored by the Global Medicine Program of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

Speaking will be Aaron Epstein, a fourth-year surgical resident, Department of Surgery in the Jacobs School, and founder of the Global Surgical and Medical Support Group, and Bohdan Cherniawki, board director of the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center.

Epstein’s team mobilizes American surgeons and surgical residents — many of them veterans — on missions to war zones and areas of great need. He was recently awarded the Citizens Honor Award for Service, considered the second highest civilian award in the U.S.

At this informal “discussion and drinks” session, Epstein and Cherniawki will provide information about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and what international organizations are doing to support the Ukrainian people. The speakers will also discuss how Western New Yorkers can volunteer or otherwise support Ukrainian relief efforts in the U.S.

David Holmes, director of UB’s Global Medicine Program, had been working with UB medical students to plan a global medicine trip to Ukraine this June. “The trip needed to be cancelled due to the war,” Holmes says, “but the students still wanted to do something to help out Ukraine. They came up with the informational and support-raising event that is taking place this Friday.”

UB medical students Jeff Zhang and Andrey Galper and others have been collecting medical supply donations from hospitals in Buffalo and working on fundraising efforts — including the event on Friday — to raise money for medical supplies to be  donated to the frontlines in Ukraine.

Information on how to donate is available online.