For the past week, we have seen heartbreaking images from Ukraine, including newborn babies being moved from the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital to a makeshift bomb shelter in the basement, depicting the devastation of war. 

While hospitals and health workers should never be a target, Russia’s invasion has put all of Ukraine at risk, including homes, schools and medical facilities. As the fighting spreads and intensifies, the AHA and the entire hospital community are coming together to assist hospitals in Ukraine as well as those hospitals in neighboring countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Moldova and Romania, that are taking in and providing health care and other assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of them women and children. 

The AHA is making a donation to a new fund established by the U.S. Ukraine Foundation to support its critical humanitarian and refugee assistance, including covering the costs of sending vital medical supplies to Ukraine. If you are able to donate medical supplies, please contact the AFYA Foundation, which is partnering with the U.S. Ukraine Foundation to fly them into the areas most in need. 

In addition, many other charitable and humanitarian organizations are coordinating assistance to the beleaguered nation. These include United Help Ukraine, the Ukrainian branch of The Red Cross, the International Medical Corps, UN Refugee Agency and Voices of Children.  

As we know from news reports, fighting is especially heavy around the capital city of Kyiv, posing a serious threat to the safety and operation of pediatric facilities that care for critically ill children who are uniquely dependent on specialized technology and staff. These vulnerable children cannot easily be moved to safer regions of Ukraine. 

We commend and support the efforts of the Children's Hospital Association as it works with international colleagues to coordinate the airlift of children with highly acute care needs to children’s hospitals across the European Union and Middle Eastern region. Safe harbor hospitals may expand to include destinations in North America and Australia. 

Earlier this week, the International Hospital Federation, of which the AHA is a member, spoke for us all when it said, “We stand in solidarity with the people and the healthcare community in Ukraine. The safety of healthcare workers and infrastructures must be ensured and respected to enable them to provide care to the people despite the context.”

The infliction of this war on an innocent people has inflamed and outraged the world. We hope for an end to the violence, and we stand with our health care counterparts in Ukraine as they continue to provide healing to their families, friends and country.  

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