The war in Ukraine is imposing severe consequences beyond the obvious death and destruction in-country. While many Ukrainians have stayed put in order to take up arms against Russian advances, others—often with children in tow—are fleeing to Poland. While the Poles continue to welcome the refugees, the mounting numbers are likely to result in a healthcare crisis sooner than later. The U.S. urgent care community is distinguishing itself well by pitching in to assist, both with healthcare needs and general support. Dan Phillips, MD, founder of MedAccess Urgent Care in Roxboro, NC, for one, just returned from Poland with a team from Baptists on Mission who delivered basic supplies to several sites where refugees are being housed. In an email exchange with Alan Ayers, president of Experity Networks and senior editor, practice management for JUCM, Phillips said medical needs are minimal at present, but predicted that as time goes on and more people arrive there will be a call to treat acute complaints and provide routine health screens, well-baby checkups, and maintenance of high blood pressure and other chronic conditions among patients who are separated not only from family but also their usual healthcare providers. Meanwhile, urgent care operator AFC Denver is teaming up with StatLab Diagnostics to collect and send basic medical supplies like gauze bandages, disinfectants, and gloves to Ukraine. And MedRite Urgent Care is working with Smart Medical Solutions and VSM Humanitarian to collect canned food for shipment to Ukraine. With urgent care centers being a highly visible and accessible community resource, consider ways to tap into the urge many Americans are feeling to support Ukrainians in need. If you’re so inclined, reach out to reputable relief organizations and offer to be a drop-off point for contributions of whatever is needed. Besides providing aid and comfort in the midst of another international crisis, you’ll illustrate your value in and strengthen your bond with the community.
Urgent Care Is Stepping Up to Support Ukrainian Refugees