Chief Executive Officer Irene Dumanis received an email from a “friend of a friend” March 2. The sender asked if Weiss Memorial Hospital could donate medical supplies to aid Ukraine hospitals and civilian freedom fighters in desperate need of basic health resources.

Weiss leaders with donation

Dumanis responded quickly, aware of the dire situation Ukrainians are facing.

“As I follow the news stories, I am very concerned for the welfare of the Ukrainian citizens. My husband and I are from the former Soviet Union. We have many friends in Russia and Ukraine. We also fear for the safety of our Russian friends, as they speak out against the war,” shared Dumanis.

Val Syganevich, a Ukrainian entrepreneur/producer/director with many personal and business contacts throughout the United States and Ukraine, is the “friend of a friend” who reached out to secure the donation of medical supplies.

“Starting on day one of the war, I sent thousands of emails to every contact I have, and they sent thousands more. I use Facebook and Instagram to spread the word about the suffering people in Ukraine and through direct messaging I connect people who want to donate money and medical supplies to organizations and leaders on the ground who can distribute these resources directly to the people who need them,” stated Syganevich.

Dumanis worked with the pharmacy departments of Weiss and sister hospital West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park to gather medical provisions. The donation includes a wide range of drugs, first aid supplies and surgical instruments.

While supplies were being gathered, Dumanis had an idea about how to make a much bigger impact. After learning how well-connected Syganevich is to leaders on the ground in Ukraine, she connected Syganevich to International Medical Corps, a humanitarian aid organization delivering emergency relief and medical related services to those affected by the Ukrainian crisis. Enlisting the help of Suzanne Pham, MD, associate chief medical officer at Weiss, Pham arranged a meeting.

According to International Medical Corps, there is an urgent need for basic medical supplies because humanitarian organizations are faced with significant challenges in delivering aid to Ukrainian refugees.1

“My role is to ‘connect the dots’ – and my connection with Irene is one example. Through her, I connected with International Medical Corps, and then connected the organization to Ukrainian leaders who can help with the logistics of delivering supplies to the people of Ukraine,” stated Syganevich.

1International Medical Corps Situation Update, Ukraine Crisis, Situation report #2, March 2, 2022

You can help, too. Please consider donating to one of the many organizations that is helping during the Ukrainian crisis: