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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 3, 2019

The First Lady of Ukraine visits SickKids

Mrs. Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, visited The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) yesterday. The First Lady was joined by Mrs. Hanna Homonai, spouse of the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, and Mykola Kuleba, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights.

Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids, welcomed Mrs. Zelenska and her delegation with a greeting party made up of SickKids staff involved in the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program.


Mrs. Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine, is greeted by Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, SickKids

Founded in 2013 through a partnership between Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund, Ukrainian Canadian Congress and SickKids, the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program trains health-care specialists and improves paediatric care in Ukraine. It does so through observerships at SickKids, where Ukrainian fellows can shadow world-renowned Canadian doctors, and advisory visits to Ukraine, where SickKids specialists offer clinical consultations, surgical guidance and educational sessions.

What began as a neurosurgery initiative in 2013 has since grown to become a comprehensive brain health program, including neurology, neonatology and psychiatry.


Drs. James Rutka and Myroslava Romach discuss the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program with Mrs. Zelenska and Homonai


Mrs. Zelenska meets with the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program team

Following a presentation and discussion led by Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist, Cell Biology, SickKids, Dr. Cohn led a brief tour through the hospital, beginning with an introduction to SickKids and its focus on family-centred care. The group toured the main floor of the hospital before visiting the Family Centre where Mrs. Zelenska signed the SickKids guest book.


Mrs. Homonai, Mr. Kuleba, Mrs. Zelenska, Dr. Cohn and Brian Smith, Director of Capacity Building, Centre for Global Child Health, on a brief tour of the Hospital


Mrs. Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine, signs the SickKids guest book

Read the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program Five-Year Report to learn more about the program.