Dr. Gerardo Ortiz, medical director for Lonestar, said that the ER donated intubation equipment, central line kits, coagulating agent, antibiotics, gauze and more after hearing Potter speak at a local conference.
“I understand that not every physician or nurse or person can go there and be in the front lines, but certainly, you know, hospitals and freestanding ERs, we're really good about stocking up our supplies,” Ortiz said. “We focused on the trauma, mass casualty sort of equipment and then found what we had duplicates of and started with that.”
In March, Potter, who is an emergency physician in Austin, traveled to Poland to assist with providing refugees with medical care in Warsaw.
There he connected with a Polish nonprofit organization called Fundacja Od Granicy Do Meiszkania, or OGDM, which translates to “from the border to the flat,” Potter said.
The organization works to help Ukrainian refugees find transportation from the Polish border, gather necessary personal documents and secure short- or long-term housing.
“Instead of worrying about shelter, transportation and food ... they don't have to worry about these essentials as much,” Potter said. “[OGDM] also linked together volunteers and [gave] reliable supply lines into the country where we don't have to worry about any sort of corruption or people selling supplies.”
OGDM has been working to supply hospitals and the Ukrainian army with vital medical supplies that are difficult to source locally, Potter said.
The recent donations made by Lonestar and Complete Care, which operates standalone emergency rooms throughout Texas, have helped OGDM provide supplies to children’s hospitals and the Ukrainian army.
“The goal is [for] every soldier on the ground to have a medical kit that includes two tourniquets and quick-clotting agents as well as some other basic medical supplies,” Potter said. “Those get used up extremely quickly, and basically there's [at] this point almost an unlimited need for the supplies.”
After establishing OGDM as a nonprofit organization in the United States, the group will work to create a network of health care facilities and other partners to quickly fill requests for supplies made by the Ukrainian army and hospitals, Potter said.
“There's still a constant outflow of refugees; there’s a constant need for medical supplies in the country, and unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's going to end [at] any point soon,” Potter said.
Ortiz said Lonestar plans to continue donating supplies to relief efforts in Ukraine, and his team is preparing to send another shipment of equipment to Potter and the OGDM team soon.
“It just seems like the right thing to do and how there can be any downside to it, I don't see it,” Ortiz said. “I would hope that, politics aside, people can realize the humanitarian crisis that this is.”