Category Archives: Ukrainian Neonatology

CMCF Facilitates Donation & Transfer of Medical Equipment From Polish Hospitals to Ukrainian Pediatric Medical Centers

By stepping outside of its fellowship-granting comfort zone, CMCF was able to reach an exciting new milestone in its evolving history of efforts to elevate neonatal and pediatric care standards this week with the successful transfer $3,500,000.00 USD of unused medical equipment from children’s hospitals throughout Poland to their counterparts throughout Ukraine.

 The gifting of these otherwise idle ventilators, infusion pumps, neonatal respirators, incubators, monitors, orthopedic baby beds, anesthesia devices, bacteriological lamps, laboratory equipment, a resuscitation station and a transdermal bilirubin measurement device was the brainchild of CMCF Vice President-and former nurse-Jolanta Martinoff, and would not have been possible without the expertise and accumulated goodwill of Prof.-and longtime CMCF Board Member-Maria Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka and the persistence of CMCF’s Country Managing Director for Ukraine, Dr. Zoryana Ivanyuk.

 More about the particulars of which Polish hospitals participated and what items were donated can be found in these two recent articles. The broad outlines of this groundbreaking act of international cooperation are these:

 In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Children’s Medical Care Foundation and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in 2017, site visits of 10 neonatal and pediatric medical centers throughout Ukraine were conducted by representatives of CMCF to asses their adequacy to serve as hosts for a series of pilot neonatal medical trainings the foundation had been conceptualizing.

During these visits, conducted by Prof. Borszewska-Kornacka, and Jolanta Martinoff, it was discovered that a number of these hospitals were in shockingly short supply of even the most basic medical equipment. 

An idea occurred to Mrs. Martinoff-what if surplus medical equipment from partner institutions in Poland, much of it collecting dust in hospital basements, could be transferred to these institutions which were in such need of it.

Mrs. Martinoff convinced Prof. Borszewska-Kornacka to approach the director of the hospital whose neonatal intensive care unit she once headed to ask if he might consider such an equipment transfer, which, to her delight, he was willing to assent to. But that was just the beginning.

CMCF initiated contact with the Ministries of Health of Poland and Ukraine to obtain formal governmental permission for donation, and acceptance of the equipment. This involved multiple politically sensitive communiques back and forth-and re-starts through a transition of Ministry heads.

CMCF hired a private shipping company, and then another as the first fell through, and finally a third who did not shy away from the task. 

In addition to the obvious benefits to patient care Ukrainian hospitals having such modern equipment affords, it also expands the geographic reach of group trainings-an increasing organizational emphasis favored for its potential to more quickly disseminate modern medical knowledge-and at a fraction of the cost-of individual observerships.

 If you are aware-or have medical colleagues in Poland who you think might be-of surpluses of functioning medical equipment not currently in use by the hospitals at which you or they practice, you are strongly encouraged to contact CMCF president, Bjoern Martinoff, at bjoern@cmcf.org.

CMCF Fellows Attends 3rd Congress of Joint European Neonatal Societies

Children’s Medical Care Foundation was proud to underwrite the attendance and active participation of Professor Halyna Pavylyshyn and Dr. Iryna Sarapuk of I. Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University at the 3rd Congress of Joint European Neonatal Societies held in Maastricht (Netherlands) on September 17-21, 2019.

Neonatal specialists from across Europe came together to share research findings and advances in diagnostic methods and treatment techniques for diseases of newborns. Infant-family-centered developmental care, neonatal neuroprotection, patient-centered care, neonatologist-performed echocardiography, stabilization of the preterm infant, non-invasive support and ventilation, neonatal gastroenterology and nutrition and clinical guidelines were just some of the areas investigated and discussed.

Professor Pavylyshyn and Dr. Sarapuk presented findings of their recent research focused on the importance of skin to skin contact in newborns infants which attempts to answer the question of what the optimal level is for premature infants.

Among the congress’s other distinguished presenters was Poznan University of Medical Sciences neonatologist-and multiple CMCF Fellowship awardee-Professor Tomasz Szczapa, who served on the congress’s Scientific Committee and was the one to introduce a session entitled aEEG in the NICU – Clinical Applications With Interactive Case Studies.

In addition to expanding knowledge and improving care giving skills, participation in congresses offers attendees the invaluable opportunity to get to know leading practitioners in the field of neonatology personally and to begin to form the kinds of lasting professional relationships that will bolster their continuing growth as physicians.

Ventilatory Support in Neonates Training Launched in Kharkiv

Do you know the real reason so many Ukrainian women go abroad to give birth?

There are large numbers of private maternity houses and state perinatal centers throughout Poland, the United States, England, Germany and other countries that welcome expectant mothers from beyond their own national borders, and many of these mothers come from Ukraine.

But why do Ukrainian women continue to choose hospitals so far from home? Is it for the comfort? Is it that some are wealthy and are doing it for status?

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to this question lately, and I think I know how to explain it. Though some of the factors I mentioned may play minor roles in the decision, the biggest reason a woman makes this choice, I’m convinced, has to do with the safety of the tiny, delicate, extremely important being she is about to bring into the world.

…But new, private maternity houses nearer to her home are being constructed all the time, you might say..and existing ones are constantly being upgraded with better, more modern equipment..

While true, all of this matters little when a woman applies to these places the question of how confident she feels about each one’s capacity to effectively manage the kinds of unexpected medical complexities that can arise during childbirth. For too many of these nearby centers her answer to this all-important question is–not very confident.

So how does an expectant Ukrainian mother make this very difficult decision?

She researches hospitals to the best of her ability from those she sees advertised, and chooses the one that inspires in her the highest degree of confidence.

But what is most important in actually ensuring the safe delivery of a newborn? Is it a beautiful building? Pleasantly painted walls? New beds? Shiny, modern equipment?

The truth is that the single most important factor in ensuring safe delivery and optimum health-of both mother and newborn child-is the skill level of those entrusted with their care. If the treatment team is not well-trained and practiced in the most current protocols for what should be done, both in the moments leading up to-as well as the crucial first minutes after-a newborn baby enters the world, no amount of modern medical equipment, or fancy facilities, can prevent the kinds of otherwise avoidable tragedies that can, and often do, occur during childbirth at the hands of less skilled caregivers.

In the back of every expectant Ukrainian mother’s mind is this fear; the fear of what could happen if those responsible for her care and that of her newborn are not so skilled. This, I believe, is why so many expectant mothers elect to give birth at large state-of-the-art perinatal centers far from home or venture abroad to give birth.

But imagine if every maternity hospital in Ukraine possessed teams of highly skilled obstetricians, neonatologists, anesthetists and nurses who worked together efficiently and applied the principles of evidence-based medicine. If this were the reality, there would be no need for Ukrainian women to give birth far from home.

So How Do We Achieve This?

Training is the key. As caregivers, we can each increase our level of skill by learning from those more expert than ourselves. And by sharing generously what we’ve learned, we can increase the level of expertise of our medical colleagues. This is how we build out a seamless network of first-rate maternity hospitals throughout Ukraine!

But how do we get there? The good news is that there are many smart, compassionate people who want children to be born healthy in their own hometowns who are working on just this question.

So, where do we begin? At the beginning-by identifying and defining the challenge. With the support of the Children’s Medical Care Foundation, Professor Maria Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka, President of the Polish Neonatal Society, conducted an analysis of the state of neonatal care delivery in the most prestigious perinatal centers in Ukraine. Deficiencies in care delivery were identified, and a detailed report with recommendations for how to address them was produced.

A Plan is Hatched

Knowing that not all of the recommended changes could be implemented immediately, an achievable first phase plan was developed.

Ukraine’s three best perinatal centers, in the cities of Kharkiv, Kiev and Zhytomyr, were selected as designated sites for a series of best practice trainings.

  • Training topics were discussed and tailored to the needs of the individual centers.
  • Former Children’s Medical Care Foundation Fellows were recruited to be trainers from some of the best neonatal clinics in the world.
  • Donated state-of-the-art medical equipment was secured for use in the trainings.

This pilot program is designed to be the ideal platform for practical, real time learning for a wide range of medical professionals and staff who play a role in the care of a newborn baby.

The first of these trainings, “Ventilation Support for Neonates”, took place on April 13, 2019 at Kharkiv Regional Perinatal Center. A number of Polish experts in the field of neonatology, Children’s Medical Care Foundation and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health partnered to produce this 2-day training, which was a resounding success.

Subsequent trainings in this series are expected to include simulations of a variety of clinical situations and access to real patients.

By involving the young and willing we can achieve the goal of a future where Ukrainian mothers feel confident giving birth close to home knowing that their newborns will be safe and healthy! Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming trainings.

Written by Dr. Zoryana Ivanyuk

CMCF Sponsors Participation of Ukrainian Delegation at Neonatus 2018

 

The Children’s Medical Care Foundation underwrote the participation of 8 neonatologists from across Ukraine at the 6th International Conference on Neonatal Care, NEONATUS 2018, held in Poznan, Poland, on October 10th & 11th of 2018. This training was taught by Professors Janusz Gadzinowski (in photo) and Janusz Mazela-both former recipients of CMCF Fellowship grants, themselves-who also chaired the conference’s Scientific Committee.

Members of the Ukrainian Delegation included:

  1. Tetyana Nalizhyta, Head of the department of Intensive Care of Newborns at Vinnitsa Regional Clinical Hospital n.a. N.I. Pirogov, Regional Perinatal Center.
  2. Olga Bykovska, Assistant professor at National Pyrogov Memorial Medical University, Vinnitsa Regional Clinical Hospital n.a. N.I. Pirogov, Regional Perinatal Center, NICU
  3. Maryna Goshuk, NICU, Kyiv Perinatal Center
  4. Yulia Klymchuk, NICU, Perinatal Center of the Poltava Regional Clinical Hospital N.V. Sklifosovsky
  5. Tetiana Holota, NICU, Kyiv Perinatal Center
  6. Oksana Malanchak, Neonatal Department, Lviv City Clinical Hospital N3
  7. Olha Vityk, Neonatal Department, Lviv City Clinical Hospital N3
  8. Oksana Ostalska, NICU, Lviv City Children’s Clinical Hospital

CMCF Board Member Organizes XXXIII International Symposium of the Polish Neonatal Society

Prof. Maria-Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka Delivering Opening Remarks at the Symposium

Prof. Maria Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka, President of the Polish Neonatal Society, and a member of CMCF’s Board of Directors since 1990, organized the XXXIII International Symposium of the Polish Neonatal Society, which took place on October 12-14 of 2017 in Krakow, Poland.

This outstanding medical convening brought together leading experts in the care of newborns from Poland, Ukraine, the United States, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to share the results of their leading edge research, discuss diagnostic protocols and debate current controversies in the field.

The Children’s Medical Care Foundation was proud to sponsor the participation of the following 10 Ukrainian neonatologists:

Prof. Yuriy Korzhynskyy
Hrystyna Zelizna
Yuriy Kuzminoff
Nataliya Blonar
Zoryana Ivanyuk
Andriy Bilous
Nataliya Myshchyshyn
Olha Kasperovych
Sehiy Fomin
Anzhelika Bysheva

 

 

 

Shipment of Urgently Needed Medical Supplies and Equipment to Ukraine a Success

 

Laminar Case

LCCCH’s New Laminar Case for Sterile Infusions

The Lviv City Children’s Clinical Hospital is now better equipped to safely administer sterile infusions to its tiniest patients thanks to the delivery of a laminar case and a fresh supply of single-use medical supplies.

The delivery of these items was made possible by the hard work of Children’s Medical Care Foundation’s Board of Directors and the generosity of many donors and partner entities who have joined forces in an ongoing campaign aimed at bringing our 25-year partner’s medical inventories into parity with the skills and expertise of its staff, who are now regarded as the best trained in all of Ukraine.

The laminar case will help ensure that LCCCH’s littlest receive safe and sterile delivery of Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), antibiotics and other needed infusions, and stands to greatly reduce complications that often occur after peripheral vein access.

CMCF wishes to thank our goodwill partners, the California Association to Aid Ukraine (CAAU) and the Lions Club Gdansk Neptune, for their generous assistance in bringing this important upgrade into being. It was a true team effort that is already positively impacting patient care at LCCCH.