Dr. Chrystyna Rakoczy – an optometrist from the USA, a volunteer of the NGO "Community Self-Help"

Dr. Chrystyna Rakoczy came to Ukraine on the invitation of Community Self-Help and spent two weeks as a volunteer consultant for refining a rehabilitation system for civilians and military personnel affected by russia’s full-scale military invasion.

Chrystyna is an optometrist and world-class specialist in the assessment and rehabilitation of vision after brain injuries. Her skills have helped evaluate many US military personnel with visual dysfunction.

In Ukraine, Dr. Rakoczy held a number of meetings aimed at strengthening institutional cooperation between specific departments of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, individual rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. During her visit, she met with the Ministry of Veteran Affairs of Ukraine to learn how the system of rehabilitation of military personnel in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Ukraine is structured. She also shared her experience regarding the structure and organization of the work of similar institutions in the US. She raised the possibility of sending members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to the US for rehabilitation in the future, contingent on agreements being reached between the two countries and relevant institutions.

Chrystyna met with volunteers and representatives of Ukrainian charitable foundations to discuss the urgent needs of military personnel in the combat zone, including the provision of tactical medical supplies and equipment (in particular, to protect the eyes and hearing) and water purification systems.

She visited state institutions for mental health and for the rehabilitation of military personnel, where she had a number of meetings with head doctors. She also communicated with ophthalmologists, neurologists and psychologists. Together, they identified what equipment is needed for diagnosis, rehabilitation and vision assessment. They agreed to translate and share training manuals and procedures for evaluating patients’ vision, and to continue cooperating. They discussed the possibility of organizing both remote and in-person training programs in optometry for specialists from Lviv and Kyiv.

Community Self-Help expresses its gratitude to Dr. Chrystyna Rakoczy for her concern, active public position and openness to further cooperation.

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