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news item News Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 2:35 PM - Tuesday, April 16, 2019 2:35 PM

Ukrainian ambassador to United States presents Boston anesthesiologist with prestigious medal for pediatric outreach efforts

Valeriy Chaly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States of America, presented Gennadiy Fuzaylov, M.D., with the Presidential Medal for Saving Life. Dr. Fuzaylov is an anesthesiologist at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as president of Doctors Collaborating to Help Children. Ambassador Chaly traveled to Boston Tuesday to bestow the medal on behalf of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. It is given to Ukrainian citizens or others for saving human life, acts of charity, humanitarian public health work and accident prevention.

Since 2010, Dr. Fuzaylov has led eight outreach trips to Ukraine to treat children at various stages of recovery from burn injuries. The multidisciplinary outreach teams include plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, many of whom work at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. Dr. Fuzaylov estimates more than 7000 Ukrainian children sustain burn injuries every year and the country lacks adequate acute burn and reconstructive care to meet those children’s unique and long-term health care needs.

In 2018, Dr. Fuzaylov and his team treated more than 200 children in Lviv, Ukraine. The seven-day trip included six days of patient exams and surgery, and one day of lectures to educate Ukrainian health care providers about burn care. During each outreach trip, the Boston Shriners Hospital team identifies children whose needs are too complex to address in Ukraine and initiates the process to bring those patients to Boston for further evaluation and care.

“Our mission is not just to treat children within the walls of our hospital,” said Matthias B. Donelan, M.D., chief of staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. “The work we do is unique and there are so many underserved children, that we also have a mission to bring our expertise to corners of the world where we are needed. We are so proud of Dr. Fuzaylov and the work he has done to extend our reach and bring life-changing care to the children of Ukraine.”

The outreach clinic has established Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston’s reputation with Ukrainian health care providers who frequently contact Dr. Fuzaylov directly when there is a child with a severe burn injury in need of immediate care. In many instances, those children travel to the Boston Shriners Hospital, sometimes in critical condition.

During his visit to the Boston Shriners Hospital, Ambassador Chaly had the opportunity to meet three Ukrainian patients who are currently at the hospital receiving care. One of those patients is Mykyta. He spent more than six months at the Boston Shriners Hospital after an electrical injury left him with burns on 80 percent of his body. He returned home a year ago and is back in Boston for follow up treatment. Read more about Mykyta.

The medal presentation was a day of celebration at the hospital. Members of Dr. Fuzaylov's family, friends and many of his colleagues joined him for the event. Other guests included Imperial Sir Gary Bergenske, Shriners Hospitals for Children Board of Directors; and  Robert Turner, chairman, Board of Governors, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston.

Ambassador and Fuzaylov withhospital leadership