Founder, Trans-Atlantic Medical Relief Foundation
Jun 16, 2022
Shawn Yunayev established the Trans-Atlantic Medical Relief Foundation (TAMRF) in 2016 as a humanitarian, nonprofit organization with the mission of aiding populations with limited access to quality health care. Today he and his team are focused on his native Ukraine.
As Russia’s attack on the country continues, ensuring Ukraine’s access to medical supplies and medicines becomes ever more critical. Supplies are running low, and making deliveries is a complicated risk.
“To know the country and to know what it looks like, and then to see your own family, your own brothers or sisters, your mothers or fathers, your own children, suffering and dying, it’s so heartbreaking,” Yunayev told NY1. “I can’t describe it any other way than heartbreaking. The constant bombardment is overwhelming and you want to do something about it.”
And so he is.
Since the Russian invasion began, the Trans-Atlantic team has collected well over 4,000 pounds of lifesaving medical supplies from people all over the U.S., including insulin, gauze pads, tourniquets, various medications and surgical equipment. “These supplies can mean the difference between life and death,” says Yunayev, who is by day an obstetrician- gynecologist based in Old Mill Basin.
It’s one thing to collect the supplies, it’s another thing to get them there. To house the equipment, the foundation created a makeshift depot in Brooklyn. From there they work with a company based in New Jersey that ships everything to Poland. “The Polish government only allows shipments to enter if they’re coming from a nonprofit to a nonprofit where a partner charity helps transport the shipment over the border into Ukraine,” explains Yunayev.
As a nonprofit, TAMRF works with a Ukrainian charity that helps deliver the supplies to Kyiv, where colleagues distribute them to nearby hospitals. “One bandage or one suture or one dose of insulin,” says Yunayev, “is going to mean the difference between an improved quality of life versus the opposite.”