Willis-Knighton Launches World Kare Project to Support Ukraine

Mar 25, 2022

Medical supplies, equipment, and cash being donated

Willis-Knighton Health System today announced a humanitarian medical project to support Ukraine as that country deals with the Russian invasion. The health system has established the WK Ukraine Medical Supply Project under the auspices of its World Kare initiative.

“Willis-Knighton has a longstanding relationship with the people of Ukraine as a result of World Kare initiatives that developed surgical institutes there and provided support for orphanages,” said Jaf Fielder, president and CEO of the health system, during a news conference.

During its 35-year relationship with Ukraine, Willis-Knighton developed six WK Laparoscopic Surgery Institutes and provided support to more than 40 orphanages. Dr. William Norwood, who established the initial Ukraine surgical relationship, estimated Willis-Knighton’s support of supplies, equipment and funding for Ukraine has been in hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

Dr. Norwood is very concerned for his friends, for the citizens who remain in Ukraine and for the surgical institutes established through World Kare. “We think Russia has blown our Donetsk Center off the map,” he said.

The health system has set a goal of $500,000 for the project, which will include medical supplies, equipment, and cash. Part of the cash contribution will come from employees of the health system who will be allowed to contribute to the project through payroll deduction.

The Willis-Knighton donation includes sterile wipes, suction canister kits, masks, gowns, gloves and medications as well as equipment to support wound treatment. Materials Management Director Tim Mann says the health system expects to ship eight pallets of supplies next week.

A blessing of the supplies and prayer for Ukraine was offered by Monsignor Earl Provenza. Monsignor Provenza and the Rev. Charles Glorioso, who also attended the conference, have participated in trips to Ukraine.

Following the conference, media were invited to speak with former Ukraine mission participants and then attend a FaceTime event with Dr. Nick Kucher, WK World Kare’s contact in Ukraine.

Willis-Knighton is working with the Ukrainian Federation of America to assure that supplies reach the destinations where they are most needed. That charitable organization, located in Philadelphia, is connected directly with the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., as well as the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to determine needs and deploy supplies during this very fluid situation. 

 “Ukraine and her people are in desperate need of medical supplies and equipment,” said Dr. Zenia Chernyk, president of the Ukrainian Federation of America. “Men, women and children are being maimed and injured because the Russian army bombs cities, towns and villages, deliberately targeting schools, hospitals, orphanages and places where civilians seek refuge. Many Ukrainians are suffering from horrible wounds, and Ukrainian doctors lack the basic medical necessities to save their patients’ lives.”

According to Dr. Chernyk, the federation’s website has been cyber-attacked and is not currently available. However, the group can receive donations through PayPal and GoFundMe accounts. Contributions may also be mailed to its office, Ukrainian Federation of America, 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046. None of the federation’s board members, program directors or staff receive compensation; their work is provided 100% pro bono. 


Watch a recording of the event: