A nine-member delegation of Ukrainian medical and trauma specialists came to the United States during January 18-28 under an Open World program of the Congressional Office for International Leadership to visit Washington, D.C., and the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida. The delegation represented medical leadership from Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Veterans Affairs, and the First Medical Association of Lviv (including the Unbroken project). The delegates came for an educational exchange experience with their American colleagues on designing treatment programs that includes all aspects of battlefield and war trauma and to explore critical medical procedures and issues in their efforts to support those suffering casualties resulting from the war of aggression that Russia is waging in Ukraine.
Open World programming is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the U.S. and the countries of Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Baltic States.
The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, a grantee of the Congressional Office for International Leadership, has provided effective programming and family hosting for 800+ Ukrainian leaders for the Open World program since 2006. The Foundation partners with local non-profits across the U.S. in implementing and administering “people-to-people” exchanges between the U.S. and Ukraine.
While in Washington, D.C., the Ukrainian delegates furthered dialogue with the leadership of the Veterans Health Administration, including Deputy Under Secretary for Health Dr. Steven Lieberman, and met with key stakeholders at the U.S. Department of State, the Veterans Administration, and Congressional staff with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In Tampa and St. Petersburg, the delegation was hosted with the help of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) Branch 124, under the leadership of local coordinator Olya Czerkas, and was very generously and warmly received by the community.