‘The Best Work:' OU Health Pioneers Innovative Training For Ukrainian Surgeons

A first-of-its-kind partnership with Ukraine doctors is happening in Oklahoma City. Ukraine Surgeons are training on a special technology addressing a shortage of skilled surgeons in the country. 

Wednesday, February 21st 2024, 10:36 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


A first-of-its-kind partnership with Ukraine doctors is happening in Oklahoma City. 

Ukraine Surgeons are training on a special technology addressing a shortage of skilled surgeons in the country. 

Ukrainian Surgeons will have the knowledge they need to care for patients. These doctors and OU Health surgeons will be able to talk to each other 5000 miles apart. 

Along Northeast 13th Street, doctors are hard at work. At OU Heath, allies work together. Dr. Mark Mims has led a charge to train Ukrainian surgeons. This effort is part of OU Health’s Operation Ukraine. “So that they could better treat their war-injured patients,” Mims said. “We’ve been very impressed with what they’ve been able to accomplish.” 

Dr. Oleksandr Prysiazhniuk and Dr. Igor Fedirko practice medicine at Kyiv Military Hospital and made the trip to hone their skills. “It’s very useful,” Prysiazhniuk said. “Very helpful for our wounded soldiers,” Fedirko said. 

They have tough jobs in a country plagued by the consequences of war. “It’s a little bit difficult, to be honest,” Prysiazhniuk said. 

Mims and his team felt called to help these doctors. “The stories that they will tell you will absolutely break your heart,” Mims said. 

 Fedirko said resources stretch thin at his hospital. “We don’t have enough technologies to treat these patients,” he said. 

In the past couple of years, Mims and his team have trained Ukrainian surgeons for complex head and neck surgeries. “They’ve had extremely good successes on par with what our U.S. surgeons have here,” Mims said. 

Now, they are adding a tool – special glasses that allow the surgeons to live-stream their surgeries. The nonprofit Ohana One donated the glasses. 

This effort provides an opportunity to add clarity and guidance for these doctors. “We will now be able to see exactly what they are seeing,” Mims said. “Allowing them to be more comfortable with these complex procedures.” 

These gentlemen have patients counting on them, but they can count on their new colleagues who will feel a lot closer to home. “This is the best work. To help other people,” Fedirko said. “You can be useful for all society,” Prysiazhniuk said. 

These doctors will train at OU Health for one month before heading back home. Operation Ukraine is completely funded by donors. 

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