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The heartfelt plea of a postpartum nurse at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) sent Hartford HealthCare leadership into action, and Tuesday the system announced shipment of $250,000 in medical supplies and a $50,000 donation to support the people in war-torn Ukraine.

Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks, at a press conference at the system’s Supply Chain Warehouse in Newington, recalled the “moving” email from Deanna Humennyj, whose grandparents immigrated from Ukraine and ensured their heritage was carried on through the generations.

“People like Deanna and so many of our colleagues have written and stepped forward to make a difference,” Flaks said.

While Humennyj began collecting supplies on her own to help – images of Ukrainian women giving birth in bomb shelters particularly troubled her – her employer began examining the needs of hospitals that have been damaged and destroyed as Russian troops invaded the eastern European country.

Sharon Fried, vice president of supply chain for Hartford HealthCare, pointed to stacked boxes that will be driven to New Jersey Wednesday and then flown to Poland for distribution in Ukraine. The boxes, Fried said, contain isolation gowns, N95 masks and other personal protection equipment, exam gloves and basic medical supplies.

This, she said, is the initial shipment. Her team will reevaluate the situation in the future to determine if more or other items are needed.

Besides supplies, the system also activated its Hartford HealthCARES program that was created several years ago to raise money for global humanitarian crises.

“This was our opportunity to take advantage of our resources and capabilities, and galvanize our people,” Flaks said.

About 325 Hartford HealthCare employees contributed more than $30,000 to Hartford HealthCARES. Combined with other donations, the system will give more than $50,000 to help Ukraine through Americares.

For more information, log onto HartfordHealthCare.org

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