Physicians from Ukraine visit VUMC

WSMV's Justina Latimer was there as Ukranian doctors visited Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - This week, physicians from Ukraine are visiting Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Vanderbilt is the largest heart transplant program in the world, and we have a very large and growing lung transplant program,” said Dr. Kelly Schlendorf, Medical Director of VUMC’s Adult Heart Transplant Program.

Seven doctors from Ukraine arrived in Nashville earlier this week. Since Thursday they have spent long days observing lung and heart transplant procedures along with techniques at Vanderbilt’s Transplant Center.

“A group of doctors from Ukraine Transplant team are in Boston for an exchange experience program for three months. While they were there, we were able to connect with Dr. Frist and he requested Vanderbilt’s transplant team to host them,” explained Rostyslav Semikov, Director of the Peace and Development Foundation.

The idea is to bring the techniques they learned back to Ukraine and implement them at their local hospitals.

“Until now, only one success case was done in Ukraine one year ago, with the help of a specialist from Poland. We hope to establish a good program where we do not only one case but 20 cases, 50 cases, and even 100 cases,” stated Dr. Vitalii Sokolov, Surgeon from Feofaniya Clinical Hospital.

According to Dr. Schlendorf, the visit has not only been inspiring for Ukraine physicians but also the team at VUMC.

“It’s been interesting both to hear about their own experiences trying to build these transplant programs in Ukraine and also to share with them our experiences building our programs here at Vanderbilt. I have to say it’s been incredibly inspiring, the work that they are doing in Ukraine, particularly in the face of all of the adversity their country is facing right now,” Dr. Schlendorf said.

To conclude their visit the physicians and Senator Frist are expected to meet for a breakfast Sunday morning.