For Calvary health workers, donations to Ukraine blend professional duty and personal attachment

Ukraine Afya Donation 0321 Calamari truck
Calvary Hospital CEO Frank Calamari delivers first-aid supplies bound for Ukraine to the Afya Foundation in Yonkers. From left, Afya CEO Danielle Butin, Dr. Irina Makarevich, director of Medical Services at Calvary’s Brooklyn Campus; and Melissa Bastin, director, Materials Management.
Photo courtesy Calvary Hospital

As war continues in Ukraine, intensified by Russian bombardments of besieged cities in recent days amid attempts at stalled peace talks by world leaders, the conflict hits especially close to home for those with ties to the region. In an effort to aid first responders and health care professionals tending to the needs of the victims of the war in Ukraine, Calvary Hospital donated $15,000 worth of medical supplies to the region this week.

For two Calvary health workers, internist Dr. Irina Makarevich and nurse Yuliya Moskalenko, the violence overseas is both indescribable and upsetting. Moskalenko, a native of Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv, often finds it hard to describe what’s happened to her home after the city has been inundated with missiles from Russian forces.

“I was born in Kyiv and lived in Ukraine until I was 27,” she said. “I have a lot of memories, and my heart goes out to people there.”

Calvary Hospital, which has a 200-bed inpatient location on Eastchester Road in the Bronx, worked under the guidance of the Greater New York Hospital Association and with the US-Ukraine Foundation, the Afya Foundation and supplier Medline to deliver clotting bandages, medical tape, slings, dressings, antiseptics and more to Afya’s warehouse in Yonkers where it will be packed for shipment.

Born in Rivine, a Western Ukraine locale that has also been under attack by Russian forces, Irina Makarevich also studied medicine in Russia’s capital city St. Petersburg. The war has been something beyond her belief and first responders in Ukraine are being overwhelmed with the chaotic, ever-changing nature of war.

“We still can’t believe this is actually happening. My first cousin is a nurse in Ukraine. She reports medical personnel there are overwhelmed,” she said. “They need sterile gauze, saline, and stocks of first aid material which are in real shortage and easily run out. This donation of first aid supplies is a tremendous sign of compassion and will help.”

Calvary employees are also helping the people of Ukraine by contributing to charities including Catholic Relief Services and The Knights of Columbus.

“We have about 30 staff of Ukrainian and Russian heritage at Calvary. While they help carry out our mission of providing palliative and end-of-life care for individuals and their families here, they’re very concerned for the health and well-being of their families and friends back home and in neighboring countries,” said Calvary CEO Frank Calamari, who brought boxes of first-aid staples to the depot with Makarevich, director of Medical Services at Calvary’s 25-bed Brooklyn campus.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at rsequeira@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.

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