Canadian Medical Team Returning to Ukraine to Undertake a Third Medical Mission this Month

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October 21, 2015

For immediate release

(Toronto): A third team of Canadian medical professionals will travel to Ukraine to conduct a Master Class for Ukrainian Military surgeons and to perform reconstructive surgeries on victims of violence from Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Eastern Ukraine. The mission will run October 23 – November 1, 2015. This is following two successful medical missions in November 2014 and May 2015 which saw over 80 reconstructive procedures completed on a total of 60 patients.  A fourth mission is planned for February 2016.

The medical mission is organized by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation under the patronage of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. This third mission is made possible in large part by funding from a contribution from the Government of Canada under the Global Peace and Security program that was announced just prior to a visit from Canada’s Foreign Minister to the second medical mission in May 2015.

This contribution also includes funding for equipment the medical team will leave in Kyiv at the National Ukrainian Military Hospital. The Canada-Ukraine Foundation is also thankful for the support of Stryker Canada, which once again awarded the medical mission with a grant which provides for virtually all surgical hardware and implant materials for the medical procedures; as they did with the first two missions.

“We’re very grateful that the Canadian Government saw fit to support this initiative,” said Victor Hetmanczuk, President of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. “The funding will enhance the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence medical system’s capacity to address casualties from combat and increase its access to medical tools and resources to undertake this type of operation.

The medical team of more than 20 professionals is comprised entirely of volunteers and includes surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses. The team is assembled from across Canada and will treat facial and upper extremity trauma, post-traumatic craniofacial deformities, soft tissue defects, and scars. The team is headed by Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, Head of the Adult Craniofacial Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Professor of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto.

This mission will also focus on establishing learning relationships between the Canadian medical professionals and their Ukrainian counterparts. The medical team will be training their Ukrainian counterparts on the new medical equipment and best practices; and will be implementing a tele-surgical program to provide support remotely from Canada to Ukraine. Dr. Antonyshyn will also be welcoming a Ukrainian medical resident at Sunnybrook in the coming months.

“A major focus of this third medical mission will be establishing a learning partnership for years to come,” said Dr. Antonyshyn. “Our goal is to provide our Ukrainian doctors with the tools they need to treat patients between our medical missions, as the need continues to raise.”

Funding for the first two medical missions came largely from “United for Ukraine”, a fundraiser which took place in September 2014, attended by Wayne Gretzky.  The Canada-Ukraine Foundation is grateful to the sponsors of United Canada, the Temerty Family, the Ihnatowycz Family, Bell Canada, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Jacyk Foundation, the Ukrainian Credit Union, Buduchnist Credit Union, Caravan Logistics, Yarcia Huculak and Family, CIBC, Manulife, and Community Trust Credit Union.

The Canada Ukraine Foundation is also grateful to the Holiday Inn Kyiv and Sunnybrook Hospital for their continued support.

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation was established by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to coordinate, develop, organize and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine. It is a registered charitable foundation.  Donations for the mission and other projects may be made at


For more information, contact:

Laryssa Waler


If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to this, and future medical missions, please click here

For more information on the Medical Mission, please click here

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