Blackrock Clinic continues contributions to the ‘Medical Help Ukraine’ initiative
23rd Feb 2023
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted us all, globally and locally. Over the last 365 days, we have all been touched by stories and news of desperation and human suffering in Ukraine. From our relative safety in Ireland, our empathies drive home a human desire to ‘do something’ to help.
At Blackrock Clinic, one member of staff has provided our hospital with a direct call to action. Sheila O’Toole, our Resuscitation Training Officer, already had family links to the Ukrainian community. She felt early on that something needed to be done, so with the compassion and drive so entrenched in a clinical professional, she did it.
Sheila was quick to link in with the Association of Ukrainians in Ireland (AURI), a registered Irish Charity. AURI has undertaken many projects to help displaced Ukrainians living in Ireland. It also focuses on those living within the warzone who badly need medical care. A project titled ‘Medical Help Ukraine’ is now well underway. Volunteer run, it is led by a group of six Ukrainian doctors who work in Irish Healthcare. Donations of money buy ambulances, which are transported to Ukraine along with essential medical equipment and supplies. The Ukrainian Embassy in Ireland facilitates support for speedy transportation through the Polish border.
Sheila approached Blackrock Clinic’s senior management with a proposal for the hospital to contribute to the valuable medical cargo. The answer was yes, and Sheila has since taken on the task of liaising with and facilitating the items to AURI.
Sheila dedicates her spare time and energies, along with her home as a storage depot, until AURI are ready to convoy out again. She explains that the ambulances and supplies are handed over in Ukraine, and the volunteer drivers and crew make their own way back to Ireland.
To date, a fleet of ambulances has been purchased and sent to Ukraine. Every unit has been filled with medical equipment such as defibrillators, ventilators, dressings and more, donated directly from Irish hospitals such as ours.
Blackrock Clinic is grateful to Sheila for including the hospital in this humanitarian aid supply chain and continues to contribute mixed medical goods, whilst Sheila continues to do the heavy lifting.
Thinking outside the box is what leads our staff towards innovation, and what takes our hospitals and ourselves forward in development. Blackrock Clinic is part of the Blackrock Health group of hospitals. In March 2022, the Goodman Foundation, in collaboration with the Parma Group (which includes Blackrock Health, Blackrock Clinic and Hermitage Clinic), donated over €3m to UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in order to support the people of Ukraine.