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Kaiser doctor returns to Hawaiʻi after helping refugees fleeing Ukraine

Dr. Irina Crook
Irina Crook/Facebook
Dr. Irina Crook, left.

A local doctor is back in Hawaiʻi after spending about a month helping people fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

Dr. Irina Crook has family roots in Kyiv and was working as a medical volunteer at a camp on the Polish border.

She was working with her son and daughter with different groups of refugees, along with a very diverse group of volunteers.

“People from all over the world. I literally felt like I was in United Nations. And I had French nurses, Italian and French physicians, Israeli physicians, German paramedics. People who volunteered from all states of the United States — with and without connections to Ukraine. And languages spoken, where, I mean I knew about six of them and I used all of them," she said.

Crook just back from her time as a medical volunteer in Ukraine. She’s now back on Oʻahu at Kaiser Moanalua Hospital.

"I just want to tell people that although Hawaiʻi is very far, on opposite part of the world, that Ukrainians are feeling the warmth and feeling the Aloha and the warm heart. And if you keep thinking about Ukraine and donate what you can, we really appreciate that," Crook said.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 10, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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