Supporting our clinical partners in Ukraine through Global Health Initiatives

November 17, 2022
A mobile health clinic - part of Clinica Angelia in Kiev, Ukraine; photo taken during a Global Health Initiatives mission trip.

Health care challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic have been extensive around the world, but perhaps especially so in Ukraine, where the war with Russia has made it far more difficult for those who need health care and those who are bravely delivering it.

One clinic where workers have never stopped their fearless dedication to patients is Clinica Angelia in Kiev. Despite horrific scenes of destruction and despair, and even a rocket attack that nearly hit the clinic recently, Clinica Angelia continues to find ways to provide services to the Ukrainian people.

In 2020, Centura’s Global Health Initiatives program (GHI)—which improves lives around the globe with clinical partnerships—began sponsoring Clinica Angelia. Centura and GHI are proud to have provided more than $42,000 to the clinic thus far, much of that from generous donors.

“It is our mission at Centura to extend the healing ministry of Christ, whether it be to our neighbors in our communities in Colorado and western Kansas or to less advantaged communities in developing countries,” said Patrick Gaughan, Centura Senior Vice President and Chief Values Integration Officer.

“We first looked into this partnership just before the pandemic, and we are so grateful to have been able to provide support for Clinica Angelia through COVID-19 and the horrific invasion from Russia.”

Dr. Yury Bondarenko, administrator of Clinica Angelia, visited Centura on November 14 to share stories of his caregivers’ heroism and to thank our leaders and GHI donors for their support.

Thanks to donations, the clinic has recently been able to purchase much-needed medical supplies and vehicles that they converted into mobile health clinics. In June, they bought a new portable ultrasound machine that has detected early signs of cancer in more than ten patients.

“It is a blessing. Thank you so much,” Dr. Bondarenko told a group of donors during his visit. “If you pray [for us], we will be extremely grateful.”

As part of his visit with Centura, Dr. Bondarenko met with several caregivers with ties to Ukraine at Porter Adventist Hospital, which is taking a leading role in the support of Clinica Angelia.

One of those associates, Kate Sergeev, is a physician assistant with Colorado Joint Replacement and a native of Ukraine.

“It makes me so proud to work here,” she said. “I have always felt fortunate to have my job, but seeing how much support Centura is providing to Ukraine makes me feel beyond lucky to be an employee here.”

Among the ways GHI plans to aid the clinic in the future is with behavioral health support and expertise, including for caregivers, who are facing burnout and depression as the war drags on.

Still, Dr. Bondarenko described the caregivers at Clinica Angelia as resilient, telling donors that even dentists at the clinic have been working through air raids to give patients the care they deserve.

“When rockets come from Russia, we get 30 or 40 minutes warning,” he said. “That can mean enough time for the dentist to finish with the patient.”

He says caregivers continue to have a determined attitude, and it is his faith in Gold that has helped him overcome anxiety and depression to keep serving his patients.

“Evil has no logic, war has no logic. But Jesus is my CEO, and I am just a piece of clay,” he said.

The partnership with Clinica Angelia is one of many meaningful and long-lasting relationships that GHI has formed in developing countries around the world, with direct partnerships in Peru, Nepal and Rwanda as well.

If you would like to learn more about the Global Health Initiatives program or to donate to the incredible work being done around the world,
click here to visit the GHI web page.