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Humanitarian Aid: Help for Ukraine Doctors

For the past six years, I have been a board member for the Northeastern Ohio District Export Council (NODEC) working in conjunction with the Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. District Export Councils are volunteers who advise exporters and support the work of the Department of Commerce on matters related to exports and export promotion. Besides that, my profession is working as an international freight forwarder and customs broker for Rohlig Logistics USA.

Recently a fellow NODEC board member, Timothy Jablonski, VP of International Sales & Marketing at Codonics contacted me to seek help with an idea the company had. Codonics wanted to donate six advanced mobile X-ray machines to Ukraine to help their medical community with the overwhelming efforts to save lives of their injured citizens.

Tim came to me because our company has helped in previous humanitarian efforts and the District Export Councils routinely helps exporters with difficult export issues. As you can imagine sending X-ray machines into a war zone is no easy task. Rohlig USA donated the transportation from Cleveland to Chicago and the airfreight to Warsaw, Poland. The Commercial Service in Cleveland and Washington gave advice on the ever-changing export rules covering Humanitarian Aid. The Ukrainian Embassy was overwhelmed and unable to assist moving the machines from Poland to Ukraine. Rohlig’s European partner, Rohlig Suus, stepped up and connected us with the Ukrainian Central Hospital who is coordinating Ukraine’s medical relief. They provided the locations and Rohlig Suus found and covered the costs of a very brave Polish trucker willing to deliver the machines.

Not to diminish the fact that the effort took many hours of difficult work to accomplish but in the end, we found that people were eager to help and we were able to get the medical equipment in the hands of the doctors whvo are tirelessly trying to save their people’s lives in Ukraine. I would like to thank the following people for their efforts. First of all, the CEO and President and staff at Codonics in Cleveland for their VERY generous donation and the inspiration to do some good for people they will never meet.

Troy McManus and my team at Rohlig Cleveland for the countless hours to relentlessly forge a path to deliver this help. The management and owners at Rohlig USA and Rohlig Suus, especially Dariusz Korczynski, for allowing this effort and donation to accomplish this task. The Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce in Cleveland and Washington for their advice and encouragement.

The picture below is of the Codonics mobile x-ray equipment after arriving and in use at one of the three destination clinics 24 hours after arrival. The head of anaesthesiology of the Kharkiv region, passed back their sincere thanks to all for your efforts.

To anyone reading this article who is inspired to do some good I can tell you that all you have to do is ask and you will find people are willing to help. You will most likely find your business partners and elected officials eager to assist. Last, from me, thank you to Codonics and everyone involved in this effort. I am truly in awe of your selflessness and appreciate that we were allowed to participate in helping with your efforts.

James L Haynes III is the Director of Business Development at Rohlig USA, Cleveland, Ohio, a board member of the Northeastern Ohio District Export Council and a non-member export training committee member with the National Association of District Export Councils.

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