Southwest Florida nurse practitioner travels to Ukraine to help

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

A Southwest Florida nurse practitioner is headed back to Ukraine to offer her helping hand.

Andrea Leiner knows all too well the reality of what she’ll be facing when she gets there.

“The hospital we are at has had a couple of mass casualty events that were results from rocket attacks,” Leiner said.

Leiner is an emergency management nurse practitioner in Collier County. She is also the chief communications officer of Global Response Management, which specializes in high-risk and low-resource medical responses.

She is not the only one from Collier County to serve in Ukraine. An ER doctor from NCH and a retired fire chief have also traveled there.

Right now, few places are as high risk and as low resource as Ukraine.

Leiner stayed for 18 days in March and she is going back on Thursday.

“There is no doubt that even simple things, your child is ill with a stomach virus or anything like that a heart attack anything you can access, regular medical services because it’s too unsafe to even go outside,” Leiner said.

Aid and supply deliveries have all been disrupted.

“Most of the physicians and nurses have moved into their hospitals and are just living there 24/7 to meet the needs,” Leiner said.

Leiner and everyone else are bracing for worse as the United States monitors reports of a chemical weapons attack in Mariupol.

Still, Leiner said, they have hope.

“There are no shortage of people who have been displaced by violence, or poverty or hunger,” Leiner said. “When I see what’s happened in Ukraine and how everyone has pulled together to meet this situation, it really gives me hope that we can continue to face these very difficult things that are all over the globe moving forward.”

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