Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Yuliia Lozko, MARYLAND, medical resident at the National Cancer Institute of Ukraine, faced her worst nightmare: the Russian army has started launching missiles into Kyiv.
“The first bombs that arrived in the capital exploded near my hospital,” Lozko recalls. “I thought to myself, ‘Should I go to work today? I don’t want to die.'”
As the war damage spread, the director of the cancer institute hospital stopped accepting new patients. Under the leadership of the hospital’s chief physician, Andriy Beznosenko, MD, PhD, Lozko evacuated and found refuge in western Ukraine, interrupting his radiation oncology residency.
With no end to the invasion in sight, Lozko started looking for opportunities pursue medical training abroad.
A partnership is born
Weeks after the initial invasion of Ukraine, Nataliya Kovalchuk, PhD, clinical associate professor of radiation oncology at Stanford School of Medicine, emailed cancer centers in Ukraine asking how she could help.
She connected with Beznosenko, and together with other practitioners from the United States and Australia, they formed Help Ukraine Grwhoops, which aims to support cancer care in Ukraine. Part of the group’s original mission was to find placement for female Ukrainian doctors in educational safe havens. The goal was to help them continue to develop their skills and ultimately apply them to healthcare in Ukraine.
Support for Ukrainian scholars at Stanford
Kovalchuk, who was born in Ukraine, began working to set up a visiting scholar program at Stanford Medicine. Lozko, who joined the radiation oncology department, became the program’s first visiting scientist earlier this summer.
The program facilitators plan to train Ukrainian visitors in modern technology in oncology, including teaching workflow and safety measures.
“In Ukraine, many of the new radiation oncology techniques have just been deployed, and doctors don’t have a lot of experience with them,” Lozko said. “I will spend six months in the program, Which one is filled with facts, skills and technology – all at my fingertips – that I can take home at the end and share with my colleagues.”
Kovalchuk, who has helped provide medical supplies, software and hardware, as well as online training courses to healthcare professionals in Ukraine, said the program’s goal was to fill gaps in medical training. Ukrainians. “We hope they will become superusers of these technologies and teach others in Ukraine.”
On August 18, the program welcomed a second visiting scholar from Ukraine, Yuliia Severyn, MD. When the war broke out, she was a pediatric oncologist and teaching assistant.or PL Shupyk National Postgraduate Medical Academy and Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital, the largest national pediatric cancer hospital in Ukraine.
Strictn said she was thrilled and proud to be at Stanford Medicine and to have access to modern technology.
“Here you can see how radiation therapy can be improved with the latest techniques,” Severyn said. “I listen to Stan’s lecturesFord Medicine residents and see the possibilities of different cases and follow-ups and I think, ‘We could save so many lives in Ukraine.'”
Kovalchuk plans to welcome more researchers in the coming years and hopes to create similar initiatives in other Stanford Departments of Medicine and other Institutions. Help Ukraine Group has already secured nine positions for Ukrainian healthcare professionals at Stanford Medicine and other United Nationsuniversities and institutions.
After the program, in addition to sharing what they have learned with their colleagues, Lozko wants to launch international virtual workshops and lectures for medical students and residents of various oncology specialties so that they can continue to learn, despite the war.
Although Lozko is enjoying his time at Strequest Medicine, Ukraithe troubles of have not left her. She still receives missile alerts throughout the day and night, which she monitors for her family.
“Ukraine is bleeding, but Ukraine is an anchor of hope,” she said. “He will rebuild and be better than before, including our doctors.”
Top pictureo, courtesy of Nataliya Kovalchuk, is from Yuliia Severyn (left) and Yuliia Lozko (right) celebrating Ukraine’s Independence Day at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
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