Alberta Dental Association Joins Forces With Firefighter Aid Ukraine
The following article appeared in the July/August 2023 edition of the ADA’s Connection magazine:
The Alberta Dental Association (ADA) is proud to announce our collaboration with Firefighter Aid Ukraine (FFAU) to provide vital dental and medical supplies and aid to the people of Ukraine.
Since its inception in 2014, FFAU, has been a beacon of hope for first responders in Ukraine. Established by Edmonton firefighter Kevin Royle and his colleagues, FFAU has become a highly regarded volunteer society in Alberta and around the world. Over the course of
the last year, they have delivered more than 160 tonnes of life-saving equipment, including firefighting gear, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment, to Ukraine’s State Emergency Services and volunteer brigades. This year, they have also sent over three teams of instructors to train first responders in Ukraine on battlefield medical care and extrication training, with more trips planned for the Fall.
As the conflict unfolded in February 2022, FFAU’s unwavering partnership with Ukraine’s State Emergency Services allowed for rapid and efficient delivery of critical aid, making them the first non-government organization in Canada to send essential equipment directly to Ukraine within a month of the conflict’s outbreak. The group’s selfless volunteerism, generosity, and humanitarian aid has even been profiled on CNN. One hundred percent of donations received by FFAU go directly to support their outreach, there are no overhead or administrative costs.
Restoring Smiles, Transforming Lives
The ADA has come forward to lend our support and to partner in solidarity with FFAU on an important mission. Together, we aim to improve access to oral health care and emergency medical services for the people of Ukraine, providing much-needed dental and medical supplies and resources.
Through our combined efforts, we envision a brighter future for the people of Ukraine, one where smiles can be restored, and lives can be transformed. Our close-knit community of almost 3000 Alberta dentist members, dental suppliers, and industry partners is rallying behind this humanitarian cause, coordinating donations of financial resources, dental and medical equipment, and expertise.
Dentistry With Heart: A Personal Connection
At the heart of this initiative lies a personal connection between one of our esteemed ADA colleagues and the people of Ukraine. Dr. Roman Koutsil, is an Alberta dentist who was born in the city of Dolyna, and who later moved to Canada where he did his dentistry training and has practiced since. Dr. Koutsil is a shining example of generosity and goodwill.
Driven by his desire to give back to his birth country, Dr. Koutsil has been sending equipment and resources back to Ukraine for years.
Recently, he provided support to two displaced Ukrainian dentists by offering them employment as a sterilization technician and receptionist in his Calgary practice.
“I know that everything is needed right now in Ukraine,” said Dr. Koutsil, his Ukrainian accent still thick when he speaks. “Everything from X-ray and sterilization equipment, dental instruments, and delivery systems, to suturing materials, and surgical bone repair kits.”
He’s going above and beyond by purchasing dental chairs to send over. “We are working together with our colleagues in the Ukraine
and getting empty trucks to be transformed into mobile dental clinics. They can go out to communities and can also reach frontline military personnel in need of dental and emergency medical services.” Dr. Koutsil is even thinking of joining the FFAU team when they deliver the shipment of donations directly to Ukraine on their next mission.
Healing Communities Through Unity
“Alberta’s dentists believe in the power of volunteerism and the profound positive influence that charitable efforts can have on communities facing adversity,” states ADA President Bruce Yaholnitsky, a Calgary-based periodontist with Ukrainian-Canadian family roots. “Dental and oral health is integral for everyone’s general health and wellbeing. We can do our part to help improve the lives of the people of Ukraine through this partnership.”
By joining hands with FFAU, we demonstrate the profound positive influence that unity and compassion can have on communities facing adversity. Together, we have the power to make a significant impact on the lives of those affected by conflict and hardship, bringing not just dental care but also hope and healing to a nation in distress.
“Alberta’s dentists believe in the power of volunteerism and the profound positive influence that charitable efforts can have on communities facing adversity. Dental and oral health is integral for everyone’s general health and wellbeing. We can do our part to help improve the lives of the people of Ukraine through this partnership.”Dr. Bruce Yaholnitsky
A Call to Action: Together, We Can Make a Difference
This is a call to action. The ADA is asking our members, fellow colleagues, and dental industry partners to contribute. Whether it’s a
financial contribution, a donation of dental and medical equipment, or lending your expertise, every act of kindness strengthens the impact of this important mission.
The Alberta Dental Association and Firefighter Aid Ukraine have forged a powerful alliance to provide dental and medical supplies to
the people of Ukraine, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing conflict.
We encourage all dentists to consider making a financial contribution, as every dollar donated will go towards purchasing trucks to be
transformed into fully equipped emergency dental surgery units. These mobile dental clinics will reach those in remote areas and frontline military personnel, providing them with essential dental care and emergency medical services. your donation will directly enhance the accessibility and quality of oral health care for those who have been affected by the ongoing conflict.
Additionally, we invite you to take part in our donation drive for dental and medical supplies. Consider donating new, used, or outdated
equipment and supplies to a worthy cause. your supplies can find a new purpose in the hands of dentists in Ukraine, helping them to serve their communities during these challenging times.
To donate dental or medical equipment or to lend your expertise, please email FFAU at logistics@FFAU.ca. All financial donations can
be made on their website at FirefighterAidUkraine.com/donate. Please make sure to click the “Write us a comment” box and note that the donation is in partnership with the ADA.
Through the generosity and support of dentists, dental suppliers, and industry partners, this partnership aims to improve access to oral
health care and emergency medical services in the region. Their collective efforts are the people and frontline military with critical aid where it is needed most. As of the date of publication of this edition of The Connection, FFAU is just returning from their last mission, as profiled in this local news article.
As dentists in Alberta, we can band together to make a difference in Ukraine. Every contribution, every donation, and every act of kindness brings healing and hope to people and a nation in need.