Guthrie donates surgical supplies to be sent to Ukraine

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A worker loads pallets of medical supplies onto a truck to be sent to Ukraine. (Phoebe Taylor Vuolo/WSKG)

VESTAL, NY — Guthrie Clinic* announced it is donating medical supplies to local Ukrainian churches Tuesday. The churches will send the supplies to Ukraine to help with humanitarian efforts in the midst of war.

Father Teodor Czabala is the pastor of Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church in Johnson City. He said the boxes, roughly 40 pallets of them, will go to a network of organizations and contacts the church has in Ukraine.

“People that we’ve known for a dozen years or so, that we’ve been working with, or just friends and acquaintances, and we know how to bring it to them, and they’ll know where to forward it on to where it’s needed the most,” Czabala said.

Czabala said the outpouring of support from the Southern Tier has been overwhelming. He added that supplies, like what Guthrie is donating, will be used directly to help save lives.

“This will be used by the surgeons over there, to help make sure that they’re able to do their jobs properly, and to save lives and help people recover and continue on with their lives,” Czabala said.

Dr. Violeta Zeykan and Father Teodor Czabala stand in front of medical supplies to be shipped to Ukraine. (Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo/WSKG).

Dr. Violeta Zeykan is an internal medicine physician at Guthrie. She was born in western Ukraine and still has family there. She came to the states 20 years ago, and has worked at Guthrie for 10 years.

“But I still have my connection up there in the Ukraine, my distant family as well as my husband’s family are still there. So, seeing what’s going on right now in the Ukraine is really devastating and heartbreaking,” Zeykan said.

Zeykan added that it was heartbreaking to watch the war unfold from so far away. She wanted to help. So she brought up the need for medical supplies with senior physicians and leadership at Guthrie.

“You can fight in different ways. You can fight on the field, having the weapon in your hands. But you can also fight in the office,” Dr. Zeykan said.

The church is still in need of medical supplies, clothing, and dry goods. Those interested in donating can visit the Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church website.

*Guthrie is a WSKG underwriter.