News and Events

Rambam Delegation Travels to Ukraine to Work in Israeli Field Hospital

Publication Date: 4/18/2022 1:30 AM

Israel established the field hospital in Mostyska, outside of the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv, in mid-March.

The Rambam delegation before flying to Ukraine. Top R) Dr. Michal Mekel; Top L) Alex Kramsky at the Israeli field hospital. Photography: Rambam HCC.The Rambam delegation before flying to Ukraine. Top R) Dr. Michal Mekel; Top L) Alex Kramsky at the Israeli field hospital. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Last week, a delegation of more than 70 Israeli healthcare workers flew to Ukraine to work in the Israeli field Hospital located on the grounds of a school outside of Lviv. The hospital is named “Kochav Meir” after former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, a native of Kyiv.

This most recent Israeli delegation is the third to be sent. The delegation is led by Rambam Deputy Director Dr. Michal Mekel, who will also serve as the field hospital’s director – the first female to take this role in the facility. It contains 10 Rambam employees – the largest contingent thus far, including doctors, nurses, logistics, and operations staff.

The delegation arrived several days prior to the beginning of the Passover holiday, and Alex Kramsky, the head nurse in Rambam’s COVID-19 department who is currently serving as head nurse in the field hospital’s department of emergency medicine, spoke to Israeli newspaper Maariv about what it was like to celebrate the Passover Seder in Ukraine.

“We had a very special, moving Seder. All of the delegation members came together with the local leadership from the school in which the field hospital is based, as well as the head of the district and representatives from the Israeli embassy. Our families joined us via Zoom,” he shared, adding that he believed it was the first Seder for the locals who attended. There were more than 95 people in attendance. “We felt the warm embrace of the families who were with us. They made feel like we were home even though we were several thousand kilometers from Israel.”

With regard to the team’s activities, Kramsky explained that they are treating anyone who comes to the hospital. “We don’t check whether the person came from a nearby town or if they are a refugee from far away. People hear about our very advanced medical capabilities and come from all over Ukraine in order to receive the best possible care that we can provide.”

Most of the hospital’s very committed staff members feel a connection with Ukraine and its people, and many of them, including Kramsky, were born there. “For us, this was a personal mission to support the needy population here, which is experiencing one of the greatest humanitarian disasters we have seen in recent times. The population here needs our support and the Western medicine we bring with us. What we are doing here is incredibly important,” notes Kramsky.