Mount Prospect dentist on mission to help Ukrainian homeland

Vasyl Baranovsky calls his Mount Prospect dental practice Angel Smile Dental Care.

These days the name is taking on a new meaning for Baranovsky, who is taking on the role of an angel of sorts for his homeland of Ukraine.

Baranovsky, who came to the United States in 1994, has assembled about 250 pounds in dental supplies in a Bensenville garage and plans to ship them to the beleaguered Eastern European nation by plane in May. Items include gauze, local anesthetic, antibiotics and composite resin for dental restoration, as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits home for Baranovsky. His sister lives in the northern part of the country, near the border with Belarus.

“She called me in the middle of the night and told me that the war started, the Russians started attacking,” Baranovsky said. “And she told me that she heard the explosions.”

His nephew stayed home to fight against the Russians after his wife took their two children to Poland, and a friend and patient traveled from the U.S. to help the Ukrainians, he added.

“And I keep a very close connection to him,” Baranovsky said. “And he gives me some horrible info about what is going on there.”


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

There is urgent need for dental supplies in Ukraine, he said, as the war has stopped the production of needed items.

Getting the supplies to their destinations is a complicated matter, involving a chain of couriers moving items from Chicago to Poland to the Ukraine border.

In addition to sending dental supplies, Baranovsky is supporting a dental clinic in western Ukraine that will treat refugees and wounded from the war-torn eastern part of the country who need dental help.

Baranovsky’s work is part of a larger effort across the region to send medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The work involves organizations such as the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America. Its president, Maria Hrycelak, the CEO of a pediatric practice in Park Ridge, said efforts are underway to send a plane carrying dental supplies.

“We just recently received requests for dental supplies because of the increased number of refugees, and they have come with nothing,” she said.

Spearheading an effort to send high-end equipment to be used in facial and oral surgery is Oak Brook resident and periodontist Andrew Browar. He has been involved in efforts to obtain orthopedic plates and screws for jaw fractures and fractures of the face because those kind of injuries are very common.”

“And most of the medical relief is going for stuff for other parts of the body,” he added.