Live from Ukraine: Webinar on Critical Healthcare and Mental Health Challenges in Ukraine Amid Ongoing Conflict

Contact: Brian Reardon
Catholic Health Association
[email protected]

Offered by the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) in Collaboration with Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach (HSHS) and the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)

Event Summary:

Title: Catholic Partnerships in Ukraine: Reflections and Future Challenges in Healthcare and Mental Health Support

Date: Oct. 26, 2023 - 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET

Register at

The webinar will cover a range of critical topics, including:

  • Medical equipment and medicines already delivered to Ukraine.
  • Contributions from Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach and CMMB.
  • "Helping better" - The expansion of compassionate and effective partnerships.
  • Current and future medical needs.

Additionally, the event will include discussions on the significance of chaplains in delivering spiritual and emotional support to those in need.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, this webinar aims to illuminate the pressing health care and mental health challenges faced by the Ukrainian people. Under the theme "Catholic Partnerships in Ukraine: Reflections and Future Challenges in Health Care and Mental Health Support," this virtual event offers a unique opportunity to gain direct insights from professionals currently on the ground in Ukraine.

Presenters Erica Smith, MPH, President and Executive Director of Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, and Monsignor Robert Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), will provide valuable insights as they broadcast live from Lviv. They will delve into the ongoing collaborative efforts to support the Ukrainian people, drawing upon the collective strength of organizations such as ICMC, CHA, HSHS, and other Catholic partners.

Ms. Smith and Monsignor Vitillo will share their experiences from their two-week visit to Ukraine, offering a profoundly human perspective on the challenges the Ukrainian people face. Smith will also provide insights on effective ways individuals can contribute to relief efforts, including updates on the distribution of medical equipment and medicines and how best to address critical health care needs. Upon returning to the US, Smith will share her learnings with the broader Catholic health ministry in a Dec. 7 virtual event dedicated to establishing a community of practices for in-kind donations of surplus medical equipment and supplies.

Monsignor Vitillo will explore ICMC's and partners' work in mental health and psychosocial support, highlighting initiatives such as rehabilitation and psychological support for children, the establishment of Mental Health Hubs, capacity building for seminarians, priests, psychologists, social workers, and support for the pastoral ministry of the Church in newly liberated areas.

The Catholic Health Association
The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation. 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day. Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation. The Catholic Health Association empowers bold change to elevate human flourishing.

Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach
Founded in 2002 by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Mission Outreach exists to improve the health and wellness of people across the globe through the responsible donation of medical supplies, equipment, and support services. As a Medical Supply and Equipment Recovery Organization (MSRO), Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach collects medical supplies and equipment from hospitals across the Midwest and makes them available to health care facilities in low-resource areas around the world. The team also provides the support services necessary to ensure environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for recipient communities.

International Catholic Migration Commission
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) protects and serves uprooted people, including refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced people, victims of human trafficking, and migrants — regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, or nationality. ICMC gives priority to assisting the most vulnerable people in need of protection. Its programs are based on needs-first and right-based approaches. They comply with humanitarian standards, principles of good governance, and Catholic social teachings.


Media Contact

For specific media assistance, please contact Brian Reardon, Vice President, Communications and Marketing.

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