CBTP Lab Associate Demonstrates Passion for the Medical Field in Support of Ukraine

We take pride in the dedicated team at the Children’s Brain Tumor Project. While their primary focus remains helping the pediatric brain tumor community, our team members also demonstrate a remarkable commitment to leveraging their expertise in the medical and scientific domains for other causes close to their hearts. In the photo above, Anastasia Hanafin is seen preparing to showcase her talents with her Ukrainian dance company. We invite you to read her post discussing a program aimed at bringing crucial neurosurgical skills to Ukraine, a region facing significant unmet medical needs.

Saturday, February 24, marked two years since the unprovoked, full scale invasion of Ukraine. My name is Anastasia Hanifin, and I am a research technician in the Children’s Brain Tumor Project under Dr. Dahmane. I am also a proud Ukrainian-American who has grown up immersed in my culture and heritage, something that I am innately thankful for. I have recently gotten involved with an organization called Razom for Ukraine.

Razom for Ukraine is a globally recognized nonprofit organization that has been instrumental in sending aid to Ukraine since 2014, after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea marked the start of the war. I have volunteered with Razom in the past, and as I continue on at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), I have become more aware of and invested in their healthcare programs that focus on both war aid and the expansion of medical knowledge in local communities. In my time at WCM, my experience as a Ukrainian-American and as a potential medical student has encouraged me to share more about this incredible organization and the work that they do.

Razom has many different programs in a myriad of fields, including the medical field. Right now, medicine is one of the most important areas of interest in Ukraine, especially as the war rages on and troops continue to fight despite the lack of access to sufficient treatment. Through their Razom Co-Pilot program, Razom and their partners send teams of primarily American and Canadian neurosurgeons to western Ukraine to perform complex neurological surgery procedures, and instruct Ukrainian neurosurgeons and residents on these procedures. Ukraine has had a drought of neurosurgical knowledge, and this program provides Ukrainian neurosurgeons with the ability to learn, observe, and treat cases that they see everyday. Similarly, Weill Cornell Medicine has a history of becoming involved both locally and globally in programs that enrich communities, and seeks to encourage sustainable growth within the global medical field. As someone who now works for WCM, I am proud to share my heritage and be involved in two organizations that prioritize the exchange of knowledge and understand that access to good healthcare is a universal human right.

If you are interested in learning more, Razom has published a paper about the Co-Pilot Study, which is linked below.


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