Physician at Holy Family Hospital helping with Ukraine conflict response

March 28, 2022 Providence News Team

Dr. Kyle Varner, a hospitalist at Providence Holy Family Hospital, arrived at the border of Poland and Ukraine to help people who have been displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dr. Varner is working with MedGlobal, a humanitarian and health non-governmental organization. He is expecting to help in an area where currently 500,000 people are displaced from the conflict in Ukraine and support an outpatient clinic.

“The patients I will see are patients otherwise would have to do without care, so it becomes very clear, very quickly that you’re making a tangible difference for those people.” Dr. Varner said. “To me that’s very meaningful.”

Providence donated medical supplies for Dr. Varner to bring with him to assist with relief efforts. Molly Toner, a Registered Nurse at Providence Holy Family Hospital, volunteered her time to drive to western Washington to pick up supplies, including sutures, gauze, surgical gowns, masks, exam gloves, and more. She transported the supplies to Dr. Varner to bring with him on the trip. 

"The Ukrainian people are just like us," Molly said. "They're good people, they are an incredible democracy and they are being victimized by a bully right now and I think we can all relate to that on some level. This is a group of people who need help."

Chief Mission Integration Officer Kellie Durgan blessed Dr. Varner and the supplies when they arrived to Providence Holy Family Hospital on Wednesday, March 2.

"The people of Poland and all the countries surrounding Ukraine are bearing the weight of those who are fleeing violence. The materials you are bringing will provide direct care to those who need it most," Kellie prayed over Dr. Varner.

Dr. Varner said this is a team effort with a common goal to help the people of Ukraine. He said when he told his fellow physicians that he wanted to provide relief, they volunteered to cover his shifts for at least the next month.

“They’re working for me in the hospital, so I can go over there and help Ukraine,” Dr. Varner said. “They’re lending a hand too.”

Dr. Varner said humanitarian medicine is his passion. He has helped refugees at the Venezuelan and Colombia border.

Learn more about Kyle's relief efforts from KHQ and The Spokesman-Review.

Please join us in thanking these caregivers for serving the Mission and providing humanitarian aid in this great time of need.

Dr. Rebecca Mallo, Marlo Andreoli, Adam Richards, Dr. Kyle Varner, Kellie Durgan, Molly Toner and Susan Scott.


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