DALLAS - A nonprofit group that helps re-settle Ukrainian refugees is making a more permanent home in Romania.
The faith-based organization "ServingHIM," which is based in North Texas, is also expanding their clinic into a permanent hospital.
The Russian invasion in Ukraine has left a long-term chasm for medical care.
The goal is for the new hospital to fill that void, just two hours from the Ukrainian border in Romania.
"There were 400-some-odd hospitals in Ukraine that were either destroyed or damaged," said Dr. Camron Nelson.
Dr. Nelson, who is CEO of the Cooper Clinic in North Dallas, is helping to oversee the construction of a new hospital in eastern Romania, near the Ukrainian border.
"There's a lot of population in that area that has suffered greatly, and I think they're likely to continue to suffer for the time being," he said.
The hospital is funded through the North Texas non-profit healthcare ministry ServingHIM, which was founded by dentist Dr. Kevin Seidler 25 years ago.
Dr. Nelson's hope is for the new hospital to help fill the void Russia has created.
"It's staggering. The frustrating thing is that was not by accident these hospitals got knocked out," he explained. "Access to medication, including chemotherapeutic for people with cancer, insulin for diabetics. Any king of surgical supplies are very limited."
The Ukrainian flag is flown above 10 Downing Street in London, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2022. (Photo by David Parry/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dr. Nelson is traveling to volunteer at the clinic ServingHIM is already operating on September 1.
"Romania is NATO and is EU, so I feel comfortable there. I feel like the possibility of increased volume, we need to prepare for that," he said.
He said ServingHIM has the $2 million needed, as well as the permits to start the finish-out construction next month.
He said the goal is to not just meet the physical needs of refugees.
"Not only do we provide excellence in health care, but are able to share faith. This is an outreach of a local church there," he said.
In March, FOX 4 interviewed Irina Krokhmal shortly after she fled Ukraine with three children, ages seven, five, and three.
Her husband stayed behind to help others.
"My heart is hurt, because my husband in Ukraine," Krokhmal said in March.
Now, ServingHIM has helped get the whole family to Alabama.
And a pregnant mother of two, a widow whose husband was killed in the invasion, is now back at her home in Ukraine.
"I know exactly why we are there, the lord wants us there," Dr. Nelson said.
ServingHIM still needs additional funding to complete the hospital, which is expected to take 12 to 18 months.
It will be staffed by volunteer American teams who will support and train Romanian physicians.