Mark C. Poznansky, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P, F.I.D.S.A.
Director, Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Poznansky is a medical innovator whose work bridges academic discovery and clinical care. His research interests focus on the interface between scientific discovery and medical product development, discovering novel immune processes and exploring their relevance to the development of vaccines and immunotherapies for cancer, infectious diseases and immune mediated diseases. Dr. Poznansky’s family left Poland shortly before World War II. His interest in supporting Ukraine and specifically Ukraine’s doctors is both deeply personal and professional. He has been instrumental in coordinating the Heal Ukraine Group to support efforts of established NGOs to provide medical supplies and expertise directly to Ukraine; support the transfer of patients with complex medical and surgical issues from Ukraine to hospitals in Europe and the USA; increase public awareness about the changing face of unmet medical needs in Ukraine; fundraising for HUG and NGO activities.
Nelya Melnitchouk MD, MSc, FACS
Colorectal Surgeon, BWH; Assistant Professor of Surgery, HMS; President and Founder, Global Medical Knowledge Alliance
Dr. Melnitchouk is the Program Director for Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at BWH. She is Ukrainian American and moved to United States when she was 18 years old. She co-founded nonprofit called Global Medical Knowledge Alliance (GMKA) with the aim to provide physicians and patients in Ukraine with open access to evidence based information on cancer care. When Russia invaded Ukraine GMKA was adapted to provide education on trauma care. Dr. Melnitchouk is supporting Ukraine through providing medical education for physicians and lay people on trauma and cancer care, the collection of medical supplies and raising awareness.
Serguei Melnitchouk, MD, MPH
Cardiac Surgeon, MGH; Co-Director, Heart Valve Program; Assistant Professor of Surgery, HMS; Founder Global Medical Knowledge Alliance
Dr. Melnitchouk is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Ukrainian American who obtained his medical school training in Germany and his surgical training in Boston and New York. Along with Nelya, he is co-founder of a non-profit, Global Medical Knowledge Alliance (GMKA), organization. Dr. Melnitchouk strongly supports all the efforts directed to help Ukraine’s healthcare needs. Besides distribution of the medical and surgical supplies via GMKA, Dr. Melnitchouk is involved in medical and surgical education on trauma care.
Jacqueline A. Hart, MD
Director, Bassuk Center
Dr. Hart specializes in addressing medical and behavioral health issues to reduce health disparities for vulnerable populations, particularly women and children experiencing homelessness and housing instability. With more than 25 years’ experience in lifestyle, behavioral, and integrative medicine, she has designed and implemented multidisciplinary programs for hospitals, health care systems, and clinics. Dr. Hart teaches about social and behavioral determinants of health at a variety of academic institutions and organizations and has hundreds of publications for lay and professional audiences.
Nataliia Serbyn, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Dana Farber Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School
Dr. Serbyn grew up in Kyiv, Ukraine where she studied biology at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Taras Shevchenko National University. She continued her graduate education in Switzerland and recently moved to Boston for a postdoctoral research position. At DFCI and HMS, Dr. Serbyn explores the complexity of cancer genomes. Since the war began, Dr. Serbyn has engaged in several educational and fundraising projects to support Ukraine. Dr. Serbyn has tight personal connections to Ukraine. She is in touch daily with her friends, family, and the scientific community identifying the urgent need of people in Ukraine. She believes that every effort matters. Regardless of whether the help comes in the shape of a penny or timely delivered medicine, this could save a life.
Kimberly M. Hook, PhD
Research Fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dept. of Epidemiology
Kimberly Hook is an applied clinical researcher and a licensed clinical psychologist. She completed her doctoral degree at Loyola University Chicago, as well as four years of postdoctoral training in global psychiatry at Boston University Medical Campus-Massachusetts
General Hospital. Her work focuses on increasing access to evidence-based mental health and substance use treatments. She has closely collaborated with the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy since 2018 and has worked more broadly in the Eastern European region for the past 15 years. With both strong personal and professional ties to Ukraine, and in recognition of the mental health effects caused by war, she is highly motivated to work alongside HUG to best support the people of Ukraine.
Founder of Autism Unity. After beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022
The Autism Unity was started as a relief mission responding to the critical condition of Ukrainian families with children with Autism. In April of 2022 with great support from the community, the Autism Unity became a fully formed 501(C)(3). Our main goal is to ensure that Ukrainian children with Autism and their families have access to sufficient high quality therapeutic services and supports. We addresses the mental health and wellbeing of the parents to better meet the needs of their children, coordinate a system that helps families navigate services and connect to autism-specific resources, improves and enhances the quality of services by building the capacity of professionals and organizations through training, and pathways to international credentialing and higher qualifications. Raised in former Soviet Union, Dmitriy attended high school in Kyiv, and his family is from Kharkiv, Ukraine. He is also a father of child with Autism. With his own personal encounter with life’s circumstances and understanding the importance of supporting children with Autism, it is his desire to take part and strive for a change.
Polina Teslyar, MD
Associate Psychiatrist, BWH; Instructor, HMS
Dr. Teslyar graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine followed by Psychiatry residency at University of Maryland/ Sheppard Pratt. Dr. Teslyar returned to the Boston area to complete her Consult-Liaison fellowship at BWH and now works at BWH in CL and perinatal psychiatry. Dr. Teslyar was born in L’viv Ukraine in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in childhood. She has family who live in L’viv and are deeply involved in the defense of their nation. Dr. Teslyar is a member of Temple Emmanuel.
Ivona Olszak, MBA
Science Program Manager, MGH Cancer Center.
Ms. Olszak's support for Ukraine stems from her Eastern European roots. She grew up in Poland during Communism and Soviet repression. In 1983, her family immigrated to the US as political refugees. While working with HUG, she has met many amazing, wise and incredibly strong and resilient Ukrainians. Her immediate goal is to help provide desperately needed medical supplies directly to Ukrainian doctors and hospitals as well as provide funding to train Ukrainian doctors in the US. Ms. Olszak's long-term interest is to see stable peace in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe.
Jarone Lee, MD, MPH
Vice Chief, Critical Care, Trauma Emergency Surgery, Surgical Critical Care; Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Jarone Lee is dual trained in emergency medicine and critical care medicine and has been a disaster responder for over 10 years. Dr. Lee holds the rank of Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and has over 150 research publications. In support of the humanitarian disaster-related to Ukraine, Dr. Lee is leading and supporting multiple telehealth-based projects through MGH Center for Global Health (CGH) and as a founder of a non-profit NGO called Health Tech Without Borders (HTWB).
Yana Pikman, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Hematological Malignancy Disease Center; Attending Physician, Pediatric Oncology; Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Dr. Pikman is a pediatric oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and leads research investigation in the field of pediatric leukemia with a focus on implementation of precision medicine and development of novel targeted therapy approaches for treatment of pediatric patients with leukemia. Dr. Pikman was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) and her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child. Growing up in the Russian-speaking immigrant community of Brooklyn, NY, and still with close family connections to Kharkiv and Ukraine, the war in Ukraine really hit home. Dr. Pikman has worked with her family to send supplies to Ukraine. She has been volunteering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of an effort to evacuate children with cancer out of Ukraine and establish their continued cancer care in Europe and beyond. She is happy to join the HUG group to continue broad efforts in supporting Ukraine.
Olesya Simonova, RN, MSN
Registered Nurse in Boston Allergy Group, Newton, MA; Family Nurse Practitioner Candidate 2022; MGH Institute of Health Professions
Ms. Simonova was born and raised in Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in philology and education in Sevastopol, Ukraine in 2006. She immigrated to the US due to the political, economic, and social instability in Crimea. Simonova developed her interest in the nursing field and completed a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing at MGH IHP in Boston, MA to advance her career as a Family Nurse Practitioner, focusing on optimizing the provision of high-quality compassionate healthcare to diverse and underserved patient populations. Simonova’s family and relatives who still reside in Kerch, Kyiv, and Lviv have been directly impacted by the war in Ukraine, which has torn the family apart. Ms. Simonova’s immediate goal is to actively support people within Ukraine, spread awareness, and assist in delivering urgent life-saving medical supplies, which led her to join the team of outstanding healthcare professionals of HUG and contribute towards making a meaningful difference.
Phoebe Ingram, B.Ed
Project and Administrative Coordinator, Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, MGH
Ms. Ingram is the project and administrative coordinator at the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at MGH and the Executive Assistant to the Director, Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD. She earned her degree from the University of London and taught in Elementary schools in the UK. She moved to the US in 1996 with her family. She works on coordinating the group’s events particularly with respect to fundraising and publicity.
Dara E. Udo M.D., MPH
Global Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, and the Vaccine Immunotherapy Center ( VIC ) Chief New York City Media Liaison
Dara has collaborated in academic and clinical research endeavors at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA; L’Institut Pasteur Department of Infectiology in Paris, France; The National Travel Health Network at The University College of London Hospital in London, UK.
She has also engaged in several mission projects around the world, including in Dame Marie, Haiti, Calabar, Nigeria and in Mumbai, India. Furthermore, philanthropic endeavors and volunteerism are an important part of her life. She is currently an active board member for Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, the United Nations Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. In 2022, she received the Habitat for Humanity Exceptional Leadership Award. In 2009, she received the U.S. Presidential Award for Volunteerism and continues to strive to dedicate her life to the service of others.
Phoebe Lewit Olhava, M.D.
Radiologist, BIDMC and Steward Medical Group.
Dr. Olhava earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and then continued her training in Radiology with a speciality in Breast Imaging. Early in March of 2022, she helped launch the Ukraine NGO Coordination Network, a network of non profit humanitarian organizations working to deliver humanitarian aid directly to the people of Ukraine.
Maria Houtchens, MD
Clinician, Clinical Director, Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center, BWH; Assistant Professor, Neurology, HMS
Dr. Houtchens is a Moscow-born, ethnically Jewish neurologist at the BWH, who has been involved in procuring medical supplies and relief efforts shortly after the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. This work has thus far relied on individual efforts of specific providers. Dr. Houtchens has reached to BWH hospital leadership to streamline supplies’ acquisition (Bernard Jones, BWH). She is interested in organizing a larger fundraiser to involve community leaders, MGB providers and leadership and other relevant parties, to benefit Ukraine.
Mykola Zdioruk, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, BWH and HMS.
Dr. Zdioruk is a research fellow in Dr. Peruzzi Lab (HCNL), where the research effort is focused on the development of novel RNA-based therapies to treat brain tumors. He obtained his Ph.D. from Chernivtsi National University (Ukraine) and his M.S. from Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, (Ukraine). Dr. Zdioruk specialized in oncology drug discovery and neuro-oncology during his post-doctoral trainings at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Science and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. As a citizen of Lviv, he feels obliged to support Ukraine and Ukrainians in this extremely difficult time. Being a son of M.D. who worked for Lviv Oncology Center, for almost twenty years, he learned an exact meaning of the word - “care”. These days Ukrainians are those people who need help and care. While personal initiative to support Ukrainians, with even small humanitarian aid didn’t have a success, he was more than happy to find and join the community of the world-class medical doctors and specialists based on Harvard Medical School campus, who organized “Help Ukraine Group”. Together, we will combine our effort to accumulate resources and funds to provide better help for Ukrainian people.
Ruslan Korets, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery (Urology) at HMS; Program Director of the Urology Residency Training Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Dr. Korets was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and has both family and professional ties to Ukraine. Prior to the war he has been involved in several global health and educational initiatives with Ukrainian and Polish urologists. Since the war began, Dr. Korets has been coordinating and collecting medical supplies to be sent to Ukraine. The personal and professional connection I feel to the Ukraine was the main reason for joining the group. Together we can leverage our resources within our institutions to organize and support the people of Ukraine on a much larger scale than through our individual efforts.
Olha Halyabar, MD
Pediatric Rheumatologist, Boston Children's Hospital; Director of Rheumatology outreach program.; Instructor of Medicine, HMS
Dr. Halyabar was born in Rivne and completed medical school training and initial residency in Lviv, Ukraine, followed by second residency in Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC and pediatric rheumatology fellowship at BCH. She was a medical staff volunteer at the Maidan during the Orange revolution in 2004. Dr. Halyabar is looking to help with any accrual and sharing of the medications, supplies, technology, funds and knowledge that the Boston Medical community has to offer in these extraordinarily hard times in Ukraine. She is in personal contact with many MDs from Rivne and Lviv.
Natasha Y. Frank, MD, FACMG
Associate Professor of Medicine, HMS; Director, VA Boston Genetic Service; Associate Physician, BWH
Dr. Natasha Frank is a clinical geneticist and a physician-scientist. She is an elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). Her research endeavors are focused on dissecting the relationship of multipotent stem cells residing in diverse human tissues to genetic diseases and cancer, with a special emphasis on the relevant role of the ATP-binding cassette transporter and chemoresistance gene ABCB5. Natasha is deeply saddened by the war in Ukraine and wants to help her native country in her fight for freedom and independence
Allison Mitchell, MPH
Research Project Manager, Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, MGH
Ms. Mitchell is a research project manager at the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at MGH. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and went on to get her Masters of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Within HUG, Allison helps to coordinate the Medical Scholars at Risk Program, funded by Harvard University, which brings Ukrainian physicians to Boston for a 1-3 month observership of a medical expert within the MGH/BWH hospital system.
Michael V. Callahan, MD, MSPH, DTM&H (U.K).
Director, Clinical Translation and Mass-Casualty Therapeutics; Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, MGH; Staff Physician, MGH; Former Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Public Health Preparedness and Response U.S Dept of Health and Human Services
Diana Brenner-Miller, MS CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, MGH
Ms. Brenner-Miller was born in Lviv, Ukraine and moved to the U.S. as a child. She has friends and family in Ukraine, including those who volunteered to join the army at the start of the war. "I know that there are many people in the U.S. who want to support Ukraine. A group like this ensures that we are all pulling in the same direction and having the greatest possible impact in this humanitarian crisis".
Nadiya O. Chuchvara, MD
Resident, Department of Medicine, BWH
Christina Duzyj Buniak, MD, MPH
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, MGH; Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program
Dr. Buniak is a Ukrainian-American woman raised in the Detroit Ukrainian community. In the summer of 2002, she worked for the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund in neonatal units across western Ukraine. This work prompted her interest in helping Ukrainian mothers who had delivered prematurely and led her to obtain a Public Health degree in global reproductive health and pursue a career in obstetrics. Dr. Buniak’s interest in joining the Heal Ukraine Group is in assisting the millions of displaced mothers from Ukraine who have enduring the bombing of maternity hospitals and delivered their babies in bomb shelters. Beyond this, as an American of Ukrainian descent, the current war in Ukraine has challenged her to seek a multi-faceted way to support Ukraine's victory through medical support, fundraising and raising awareness of the Ukrainian cause.