UMNEWS Chernobyl group visits medical campus

The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine hosted a delegation of physicians and administrators from Ukraine, along with Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, as part of a growing collaboration between American healthcare professionals and Ukrainians who are struggling to care for victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident 20 years after the tragedy.

Children born in the region still suffer from unusually high rates of thyroid cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, cardiac ailments and other illnesses.

The UM visit and Wednesday news conference grew out of a trip to Ukraine late last year that included Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, professor and chairman of the department of pediatrics at the Miller School, and others.

The two-fold purpose of this visit was to allow the Ukrainians to participate in the annual Masters of Pediatrics conference, which began the day of the visit and to foster medical collaboration between American physicians and their colleagues in Ukraine.

Two of the Ukrainian physicians spoke about their experiences and thanked their hosts. Dr. Igor Mokryk, a congenital heart disease specialist, talked about the urgent need for more resources.