News Humanitarian/Medical


On Thursday, April 25th, we were honoured to welcome Her Excellency Natalka Cmoc, the Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, on the fifth mission of the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP).

The Ambassador was greeted at the mission host hospital, Powiatowy Zespół Zakładów Opieki Zdrowotnei, in Czeladź, Poland, where CUSAP missions have been held since the fall of 2022. Hospital Administration and the Polish medical team spoke to the Ambassador about how meaningful it is to them to host the CUSAP missions and be a part of the team assisting Ukrainians in the time of war.

Ambassador Cmoc toured the ward, which the Polish team refers to as the “Canada wing,” and met with Ukrainian patients, who shared their personal stories and how eagerly they await the next steps in their recovery. 

The Ambassador spoke to the CUSAP multidisciplinary medical team and thanked them for volunteering their time and skills to help Ukraine’s victims of war. Only 12% of CUSAP medical professionals are of Ukrainian background, others are returning volunteers, who are driven by the overwhelming need in Ukraine. All of our dedicated medical staff are passionate about the impact their work has on the quality of life of so many patients.

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, founder and head surgeon of CUSAP, spoke about the education component of these missions. He explained that surgeons and physicians from Ukraine join our volunteers to observe, assist, learn new technologies, and acquire skills and knowledge to bring back to Ukraine to help patients locally.

Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, a Director on the Board of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, which has funded these surgical missions since 2014, thanked Ambassador Cmoc for a very special visit to the fifth CUSAP mission and for witnessing our volunteers’ work first-hand. She also showed her appreciation to the hospital management for opening their doors to the Canadian team and Ukrainian patients.

Ambassador Cmoc said, “The Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program is an outstanding example of how Canadian volunteers support Ukrainian doctors and Ukrainian patients. In the past 10 years, volunteer medical professionals from Canada have provided invaluable support to more than 280 trauma patients from Ukraine. This is remarkable cooperation – Ukrainian doctors collect complete medical history for every patient and help coordinate preparation for the surgeries, take part in the surgeries and oversee the rehabilitation. Under the impact of war, they are the people who will take trauma care and post-trauma reconstruction in Ukraine to a new level. The surgeries here are life-changing. Ukrainian patients would not be able to receive full treatment like this in Ukraine at this time. Every case is very complex, but all the patients without exception are optimistic and incredibly strong. They know they are not alone and in good hands. I wholeheartedly wish them full recovery. According to the surgeons, several years ago most of the patients in these missions were veterans. Now there are more and more civilians with severe traumas. It reflects the scale and toll of Russian war in Ukraine.”

Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program – CUSAP is a humanitarian surgical aid initiative that provides life-changing care to patients affected by the war in Ukraine. To learn more and support, follow the link.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) – founded in 1995, CUF has a strong track record of providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the areas of healthcare, education and civil society. CUF collaborates with aid providers in Ukraine, Canada, and beyond to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness of your support. For more information, please follow the link.