NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Russian forces engage in a second offensive on the eastern border of Ukraine, Northwell Health is providing telemedicine support to aid these frontline regions.

Northwell’s Center for Global Health (CGH), in cooperation with the Ukrainian military, is launching telemedicine platforms to several undisclosed health centers where intense fighting has left millions displaced and thousands of civilians wounded and killed – stressing already taxed medical resources and providers in those areas.

“Our main objective during this crisis has been to be thoughtful to our approach and to do what’s sustainable and immediately needed,” said Dr. Eric Cioe Peña, Northwell’s director of the Center for Global Health. “What we don’t want to do in this situation is to duplicate and compete with the sustainable efforts already in place.”

In February, Northwell aligned with Doctors Without Borders, an organization with extensive experience in combat medicine and humanitarian relief across the globe. As part of the health system’s humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, Northwell collected more than $210,000 earmarked for Doctors Without Borders and shipped 18,000 in medical supplies to the government.

“We’ve learned from our work in other parts of the world, sometimes sending personnel isn’t always the most effective because of the limited number of people you can send and the logistics it takes to get them there. To be able to leverage the skills and talents of our entire health system at a moment’s notice can make all the difference in saving lives,” Dr. Eric Cioe Peña said.

Telemedicine is a unique area of opportunity for the health network to provide 24/7 consultations and a support mechanism that lends expertise to clinicians in the field caring for wounded soldiers and civilians. It offers training to newly enlisted providers and education to battlefield promoted physicians. The Northwell Centralized Transfer Center, which provides access to thousands of Northwell hospital-based specialists to patients in the New York region and beyond, will manage the day-to-day operation.

This initiative will roll out in two phases:

Northwell will mobilize its telemedicine call center to funnel incoming requests to providers on a variety of readily accessible mobile platforms, anything from laptops to mobile devices and tablets.

The second phase will bring medical grade/high fidelity telemedicine systems, ones routinely used in hospitals in the U.S., to these centers to collaborate on higher level cases in the operating room, to aid in combat trauma and other procedures.

These systems can be controlled remotely by physicians in the U.S. to change their desired field of view for better patient assessment. These systems can also be vital in post-operative care.

“Over the course the of the war, there’s been an outpouring of support and relief from Northwell providers with a desire to help,” said Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO. “The Northwell Transfer Center, which played a significant role in load balancing of our hospitals during COVID, will develop this complex operation which will allow physicians in Ukraine to access the same world-renowned specialists that we offer to patients and physicians in the New York region.”

Northwell’s platform will allow seamless telemedicine, including telephonic and written translation, and provide support for a request for any specialist within the Northwell network.

Writing the telemedicine war theatre playbook

Rising to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine helped provide care to patients across New York State at home, allowing providers to focus their efforts in the hospital, to care for the sickest patients with coronavirus.

“We’ve leveraged the versatility of our team during COVID and we see many of the same opportunities it can provide in this fight,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, MD, who serves as the medical director for Northwell’s Center for Emergency Medicine. “This is a space where we’ve written the playbook. We’re going to do it again and will adapt this platform to serve the greatest need in a variety of situations.”

To contribute to the fund, visit Northwell’s Center for Global Health.

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals, 850 outpatient facilities and more than 12,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 79,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Christian Preston



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