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Spokane Doctor to travel to Ukrainian border to assist refugees

Hospital leaders at Holy Family Medical Center prepare to unload medical supplies with Dr. Kyle Varner, a physician who will soon travel to the Ukrainian Polish border to offer medical assistance.

A Spokane doctor will soon head to Ukraine’s border to provide medical assistance to refugees who are fleeing to Poland.

Dr. Kyle Varner is a physician at Providence, and has assisted refugees in the past through the non-profit MedGlobal. Varner’s work has taken him to the border of Colombia and Venezuela to offer his expertise to those in need, and he says he hopes to do the same on the border of Ukraine and Poland.

He says situations like this are why he became a doctor, and he hopes the groundwork he will do in the coming weeks will inspire others with health care training to also volunteer.

“We're going to work on establishing operations, hopefully a field hospital, clinics, with some NGO's,” he said. “Then, it's going to be your turn, and you're going to need to go over there and work, and volunteer, and use your skills to make the world a better place."

Varner will take with him medical supplies donated by Providence and a private business. He expects to be away for a month. He says other doctors at Providence have volunteered to give up their off-days to cover his shifts at the hospital.

Varner urged those without medical training to consider donating to groups that are offering aid on the ground.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.