UVM medical students launch effort for Ukraine

Two first-year medical students at UVM Larner College of Medicine launch a campaign to collect medical supplies for the Ukrainian people.

On Saturday, Caitlin Marassi and Ellen Mats kick off a three-week medical donation drive, called Vermont for Ukraine, with a drop-off event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Church Street in Burlington outside Vermont Flannel.

Ukraine is entering the second month of an invasion by Russia that has claimed many civilian casualties and the destruction of residential areas in major cities.

Marassi and Mats have entered into a partnership with Rasom, a New York-based nonprofit created in 2014 to “build a better future for Ukraine,” according to its website. Razom in turn has a partnership with Meest America, a Ukrainian shipping company that can get the collected supplies to where they need to go.

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A the list of supplies needed is posted on the Vermont website for Ukraine. Marassi and Mats ask donors to bring only items that are on the list. The list is long and includes everything from adhesive bandages to harder-to-get items like a mobile x-ray and portable ultrasound machine. The two students also set up a GoFundMe websitewhere funds will go directly to Razom to help cover shipping costs.

Packed pallets of medical supplies destined for Ukraine are ready to be shipped to the Meest-America warehouse in Port Reading, New Jersey, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. The two UVM medical students who are launching a campaign to medical supplies for Ukraine are also using Meest-America to ship whatever they are able to collect.

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While donations such as bandages must obviously be new, Marassi said in an email that there was such an urgent need for medical diagnostic equipment that Ukrainians “would love anything they could get”. She said the highest priority items are:

  • coagulation device
  • Mobile x-ray machine
  • Portable ultrasound device
  • AED devices
  • Defibrillators
  • Laparoscopic equipment for abdominal and thoracic surgery
  • WoundVac machine, plus bandages
  • Orthopedic fixators

Marassi said in her email that she and Mats wanted to do something to help the people of Ukraine.

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“As medical students, we naturally thought that helping the Ukrainian medical community in some way would have the greatest impact,” Marassi said.

For more information: vermontforukraine.com

Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 802-849-0497 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with the support of our readers.

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