Ukrainian Medical Association of North America at Work

June 15, 2020

Established in 1950, the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) is a voluntary non-profit association of professionals licensed to practice in their areas of health care in the United States and Canada. UMANA’s mission is to (1) unite health care professionals of Ukrainian descent, with a share interest in promoting the health of Ukrainians, and (2) share medical knowledge and scientific research with emphasis on aspects unique to Ukrainians.

Peter Lenchur, MD (Roselle, NJ) who currently serves as the President of UMANA, discussed UMANA’s work in the midst of the pandemic.

What was the impact of the pandemic on the work of health care professionals?

Our Spring 2020 Newsletter covered how UMANA members dealt with the COVID-19. Furthermore, many UMANA members shared their expertise with a broader audience.

Michael Lewko, MD, specialist in Gerontology (Clifton, NJ), discussed coronavirus in an interview with Kontakt Ukrainian TV, a weekly Ukrainian-language TV program produced in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Boris Lushniak, the former Acting Surgeon General and Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN.

As a graduate of Harvard Medical School and general surgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, Michael Kochis, MD, led a team of classmates in developing a free online curriculum on the pandemic for medical students and professionals. Its eight modules, covering everything from basic virology to health policy to medical ethics, are faculty reviewed and regularly updated.

How did UMANA facilitate the professional work and/or emotional well-being of its members?

UMANA has enabled networking and communication between members on-line, emails, newsletters and telephone calls, to learn and share experiences.

How do doctors currently prepare for a possible second outbreak of the coronavirus in the fall of 2020?

Physicians and scientists are working feverishly to find therapeutics and a vaccine for future outbreaks. They are preparing their offices and clinics with Personal Protective Equipment.

Does UMANA cooperate with doctors in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian doctors contact the association to seek advice or assistance during the pandemic?

UMANA cooperates with Ukrainian physicians worldwide. Yet, UMANA had few requests from Ukrainian physicians who appear to be following WHO and CDC guidelines.

What are your safety tips for summer 2020? How should people boost their immune system to be in a better position to fight the virus?

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water, and often.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Maintain an exercise program.
  • Do not smoke!