Dublin, OH,
14:00 PM

Columbus Dispatch/ABC6/NBC4: OhioHealth Associate Heads To Ukraine Border

Jessie Kichigan has been watching the conflict in Ukraine for a very personal reason. The OhioHealth Urgent Care nurse practitioner has a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother. She also has grandparents and other family members in Ukraine. 

“You’re just sitting here watching everything unfold, and you just get so frustrated because you can’t do anything,” Kichigin said to NBC4. “For me, it wasn’t really a matter of if I was going. It was a matter of when.”

“When” was just a few days ago, when she joined a humanitarian effort to offer medical services along the Ukraine and Polish border.

“A lot of families have actually come over on foot, so they’re traveling days — they’ve been waiting days on the border in very, very cold weather,” Kichigin told NBC4. “We are expecting to see pneumonias, we’re expecting to see asthma exacerbations. Unfortunately, because of all the people clustered together, there have been big Covid outbreaks, and it’s really affecting some pediatric patients.”

Kichigan arrived and immediately connected with others on site to help.  She traveled with 4 bags, some stuffed with donated medical items.

OhioHealth, as an organization, has stepped up too. 

“As a faith-based organization, we are working directly with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to provide monetary donations, as well as donations of medical and other supplies,” an OhioHealth spokesperson said. “Our values drive us to show compassion in times like these and our associates have stepped up to support relief efforts through UMCOR and the American Red Cross. In addition to these efforts, we continue to hold the people of Ukraine and Russia, and all who have family and friends in both countries in our thoughts and prayers."

Kichigan said she is determined to make a difference, and will work hard throughout her time on the border. 

"I am relieved that I finally have something that I can be a part of in terms of making this atrocity better for people," said Kichigan to ABC6.

This story has gotten attention from local media around central Ohio.

To see the story from NBC4, click here.

For the story from ABC6, click here.

To read the story from The Columbus Dispatch, click here.