War in Ukraine

How we intend to help those enduring the war in Ukraine is better understood in the context of the global threat toward unreliability and instability that we see emerging, and how we believe our efforts can best defend against this threat.

The world has changed, and – from many angles – not for the better: A globally-impacting war, a resulting economic crisis, atrocities, crime, sociopathic behavior, the decline of democracy, and an overall rise in irrationality. And these are just a subset of problems that are all trending toward instability.

To enable the world to become better, we need to change the way people think.

  • Though there are many free and independent people with a conscience around the globe (i.e., those who "count their own blessings" and want to indeed help others in some way every day), the challenge we face is making people care not only about freedom, but also about reliability, personal responsibility, and ultimately stability. And it has been shown throughout human history that it is during times of "fear of what lies ahead" that people tend to become more irrational.
  • In addition, to get resilience and reliability throughout a group of people during wartime, everyone must be "force multiplied" since there is often too much to do in too little time.

  • During these situations where uncertainty abounds, and people are low on resources and running out of time, our team has proven that a Cooperative High Reliability Organization can change the situation, because it changes the way people think. It predicts problems, including teamwork-oriented ones, and enables people to work together – and count on each other – more effectively by uniquely harnessing cognitive science to make them both "willing and able" to do what is critical to get done.

    • Simply put, a Cooperative HRO force multiplies people and resources. And it is an approach that can be the fastest way to help significantly – force multiplying what's already there in front of people, or available all around them.
    • This means it can help in days and even hours, not in weeks or the sometimes excruciatingly long months until help arrives.
    • Our approach, tested at the U.S. Air Force Base that developed the world's first "safety checklist" back in 1935 (back then, a base of the U.S. Army Air Corps), has been to offer of course safety checklists. But more importantly, we offer force multiplication enablers, such as the results from our predictive model simulators that are based on available data (i.e., not on data from entirely new systems that must be implemented), which help us understand where the greatest failure threats are – and are not (what we call "protected flanks") – so that we can suggest a better allocation of resources, manpower, and "thinking." This, in turn, can support those protective strategies, tactics, and contingency plans that offer a much stronger defense and resilience. This is force multiplication.
    • A crucial end result we always seek from this force multiplication is the prevention of catastrophes that are in reality preventable – if people are able to do the right things on the checklist. And it must be done proactively, because our research has shown that often "if it's too urgent, it's too late" and increases risks and costs tremendously.
    • In other words, problems (many of which are hidden from view, especially when they are cognitive in nature) must be seen and addressed far in advance in order to truly be cost-effective.
    • And finally, the less tasks, resources, and people needed, the better. Basically, a "small footprint team" as it is known in the military, such as the Navy Seals or the Air Force's Critical Care Air Transport Team. This conserves what is already there – so that there is less need to bring in more. The advantages of this include: reducing requests for resources and manpower, minimizing training required, increasing overall readiness, less straining of local infrastructure, and getting less attention and negative responses from adversaries.
    • Force multiplication has been the specialty of our researchers and inventors toward our charity's objectives of public safety, education, and scientific study. And this has led to the advantage of a Cooperative HRO: "Reach the goal of doing more with less, by harnessing the approach of less is more."

    • The war in Ukraine has taken a catastrophic toll on that nation, foremost in terms of the lives lost directly from the conflict. However, it has had a devastating impact on the people of the nation in other ways that are not as immediately visible, but nonetheless lead to further loss of life after the attacks occur, both near-term and long-term.

      • Reducing "preventable deaths" is our primary focus in Ukraine, given that our charitable efforts center around preventing catastrophic errors, which is the goal of any High Reliability Organization. But we must make a difference – now. And fortunately, when things are at their worst in the world, cooperation and reliability can bring out the best in the world, as history showed during World War 2. It enables us to count on one another, for when it will inevitably be our turn to need help.
      • However, changing the way people think is not only strategic in nature, it is also tactical all the way down to the individual. It should not require unrealistic, super-human efforts of each person every day, when each of those days can be frightening beyond words. We believe those of us not in Ukraine need to be the ones "in the simulator" as Ukrainians brave dangers continuously and don't necessarily have time to think through all the potential risks, possible solutions, and the often intricate details.
      • Thus, we also want to ensure our quest for High Reliability is “feasible” – meaning we can reduce risks of failure with the currently available resources and the situation on the ground, not some ideal-world scenario that is simply not realistic for the current situation...

And the current situation in Ukraine?

  • There are areas still under attack and where unspeakable acts are being committed on Ukrainian civilians, leading to panic and the forgetting of safety measures

  • There are so many lives that have been taken, causing grief to families, friends, and the nation as a whole, contributing to depression, anxiety, and other mental harm to citizens

  • There is so much devastation to not only critical infrastructure like energy, water, and public health which are required to save lives and defend the nation, but also to regular infrastructure like safe buildings and resident that help prevent further loss of life later, or where damage can actually create conditions that cost health and safety later

There are several objectives we want to maximize, given the likelihood of at least a protracted war, and perhaps a sudden, unpredictable escalation war:

  • Survival in a war zone (by reducing preventable deaths, not the random ones from attacks)

  • Surge capacity for refugees (in Poland and neighboring nations)

  • Mass casualty prevention (by predicting and having feasible contingency plans within a Cooperative HRO)

  • Civil defense (to help the frontline by serving as emergency support team, as well as not getting injured or falling ill, so as not to add to burdens on the frontline)

Toward these objectives, we have currently determined seven key initiatives that HROC will do to assist Ukraine. These currently-planned HROC Initiatives solve major assessed and predicted problems, and that have detailed plans developed. They are:

  • Force multiplying scarce health resources to stretch every dollar, including medical support training of checklists and kits to improve cost-effectiveness of care and to add to civil defense in the nation’s resilience to attacks.

  • Reducing the near-term and long-term health effects of "toxic dust" created by attacks, by expanding the scope and capabilities of a Covid-prevention solution we had recommended -- HROC's Invisible Mask Initiative.

  • Having safer and fuel conserving delivery of critical goods to reduce risk to people’s lives as well as reduce gasoline and diesel consumed, by analyzing solutions and informing policymakers.

  • Having safer and more rapid evacuation plans in the event of dramatic escalation in the war, using our Cooperative HRO model to reduce catastrophic errors, by analyzing solutions and informing policymakers.

  • Protecting critical infrastructure via improved cybersecurity that focuses on human error and the mistakes caused by human vulnerabilities that most often (up to 90% by some estimates) lead to successful cyberattacks.

  • Reducing threats of Russian Information Warfare inside and outside Ukraine, since maintaining public support outside Ukraine is critical to getting other nations' help.

  • Learning how to withstand all forms of warfare in a changed world, since Ukrainians have acquired knowledge on how to survive physical and cyber attacks, and HROC’s work program, for Ukrainians to visit and work with our U.S. and Canadian teams, enables the rest of the world to work with those who have lived that experience.

In other words, our job will be supporting analysis and creative problem-solving for residents of the nation who simply have "more important and urgent things to worry about" and may not be able to remember or get done before it’s too late. Our point of view is that if it’s too urgent, it’s too late.

As noted in an article about the Cooperative High Reliability Organization (done by a peer reviewed journal, which in fact became the journal’s cover story), HROC’s ultimate goal is to increase reliability and resilience of any team segment of a population by making safety checklist implementation more feasible and cost-effective.

We do not simply want to give people more and more checklists to try and do, and then have them “overachieve” every day to get them done, since that is simply not sustainable. Safety must be enabled even – and especially – during the most difficult of circumstances. That is the purpose of a Cooperative HRO.

Our task force in the U.S. has already donated nearly $100,000 in pro bono time and their own money and resources to this effort. Moreover, many Advisory Board members, such as Terry Rajasenan and Jared Mort who helped spearhead the effort, will continue to provide their expertise in these initiatives pro bono in order to prevent future disasters within their expertise, as we do not want to look back in regret. We are hoping that others will want to contribute in some way, even if it is not financially.


(Note that certain names are withheld at this time for security reasons.)

SUMMARY OF SUCCESSES (followed by chronology with pictures, videos, and instruction). Our initiatives have accomplished personalized application of innovations and inventions, reducing a number of unmet needs in public safety and health in Ukraine.

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Solar chargers – HROC Advisory Board members created a supply line and distribution network for this critical item to charge smartphones, laptops, and mobile water purification systems. Power is needed for various tools for public safety and public health, so solar power were welcome innovations to bring to those on the move in Ukraine where the electric grid is unavailable. This delivery of solar chargers also led to our new HROC office in Kyiv, a supply line from Medyka Poland to Kyiv, and a supply line from Kyiv to Eastern and Southern Ukraine. STATUS: Our delivery of solar chargers is in the field in Ukraine.

  • Protective wear with add-ons – HROC Team members and their contacts created a supply line and distribution network, and with an HROC "new innovation" of protective metal placement as an add-on to ensure higher reliability given Russian weaponry. This was done by using creative problem solving from our situational analysis, and is being applied initially to help improve the safety of Ukrainian logistics support teams. STATUS: Preliminary testing being done in U.S.

  • Crank generator and smartphones for shelters’ civil defense – HROC developed a "new innovation" for reliable power in underground shelters (using creative problem solving from situational analysis, given importance of smartphones in shelters to learn survival tactics and safety measures). These crank generators can also offer a more practical way to charge at night, and also at higher wattages. Is necessary to charge drones that enable early warnings and also offer ability to deliver small supplies like medicines in dangerous areas. STATUS: Preliminary testing being done in U.S.

  • Improvised power do-it-yourself (DIY) – HROC’s Remote Rapid Response team is similar to a simulation team. It is used to problem solve based on conditions on the ground. In this case, it determined how to use disabled engines and motors in disaster zones to be a source of power to help civil defense, using an alternator-to-generator conversion process, which can be attached to wind or water turbines to generate power anywhere. STATUS: Research and development in U.S. and Ukraine.

  • Respiratory infection and inflammation DIY kit assembly – Our "Remote Prevention" team has expertise in preventing serious infections (like we did in U.S. Defense Health) that would otherwise consume scarce and costly x-ray or radiology equipment, as well as require ventilators/ICUs. Also critical is its ability to reduce the use of medications when not beneficial, as well reduce the time of clinical teams who are overloaded and burning out already. The same approach can be used in preventing inflammation from toxins, which can also lead to cancers and other long-term afflictions like those experienced by 9/11 first responders in the U.S., by monitoring for toxic dust on black surfaces. STATUS: On the ground testing in Ukraine.

  • Cooperative HRO civil defense support DIY training – Our "Remote Force Multiplication" team maximizes the positive impact support teams on the ground can make, while minimizing errors, of overwhelmed, overworked, and limited staff and resources -- like we did in U.S. Defense Health care teams. The training videos from the webinars include subtitles, since people can't play them at volume when hiding in shelter. STATUS: On the ground testing in Ukraine.

7/4/22: "On America's Independence Day and for global peace and stability, it is important we realize how dependent we and our allies still are on nations with and sources of energy that are destabilizing us. Energy is crucial to all our lives, whether it be for heat, electricity, cooling, transportation, or even in the form of food or healthcare. Without enough power, our way of life ceases. And without power, most of us would cease as well, since to support our 8 billion people on earth, 90% of them require at least electricity for water, food, heating, cooling, safety and health. Ergo, we will typically pay high prices to even to our enemies to secure it. But this jeopardizes the defense and stability of Ukraine and all nations allied with Ukraine currently -- and even does so for nations not aligned with Ukraine but could help, if they could shake the Russian energy habit to stop financing them. This is HROC’s latest initiative’s key mission."

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Given the current stakes, we believed that energy awareness needs a rebirth and revitalization in this new world. For example, awareness of where we get energy, how do we use it to make each of our individual lives better, and then how it also makes the world safer against various threats and directly (e.g., not having energy sources to power our Military and Economy) or indirectly (e.g., buying Russian oil to fund their offensive capabilities) from attack.

  • So, to coincide with the US Independence Day, HROC is launching its new energy-focused initiative called the “Powering from Unreliable to Unstoppable Rebirth of Exponential” Energy Cooperative High Reliability Organization (or P.U.U.R.E. Energy CHRO). This comprehensive program’s goal is to reach a state of "Individual Energy Independence and Export" (or “IE squared”) in order to increase various forms of energy available in the world through new inventions and innovations.

  • Its mission is reducing reliance on Russian Energy and support the Ukrainians in their war, while HROC's new innovation lab in Ukraine seeks to help the world achieve greater energy independence from Russian fossil fuels and other materials from Russia as well. Our lab wants to innovate to help the thousands of shelters in Ukraine prepare for what will be a difficult, if not dangerous, winter. And it would try and do this innovating with the world's participation, and would offer this reciprocity to help everyone's own homes and communities in line with a mission summed up by this quote: "Help Ukraine prepare for a war-torn Winter -- and let Ukraine help you prepare for this winter too (Mr. / Ms. World Citizen)."

  • An example of how much impact an approach like this can make can be found in the Victory Gardens encouraged during World War 2. Planting Victory Gardens helped make sure that there was enough food for our soldiers fighting around the world during WW2, helping with food resources, the nation's morale, and the human morality of sacrifice and cooperation. Because canned vegetables were rationed, Victory Gardens also helped people stretch their ration coupons (the amount of certain foods they were allowed to buy at the store). In 1942, roughly 15 million families planted victory gardens. By 1944, an estimated 20 million victory gardens produced roughly 8 million tons of food. This was the equivalent of more than 40% of all the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States.

  • The specific areas will be in heat, electric power, and carbon capture, all items that will be crucial this winter for not only Ukrainian shelters, but also to the free world being held hostage to Russian energy, such as Europe (as Russia cuts off gas supplies), or to encourage and more importantly enable nations like India to reduce their reliance on Russian Energy, thus not contributing to the Russian war effort while it helps all the people of the nation in all economic classes to ensure lower energy costs are available to them rather than Russian energy.

  • The analogy these shelters will face is similar to the Apollo 13 mission, which saved the lives of astronauts braving extreme elements and risks. This was accomplished with the help of a Mission Control which was helping solve problems in real time (as depicted in the 1995 movie "Apollo 13" and showcased the challenges confronted -- and solved -- in remarkable fashion).

  • We look forward to sharing more details of this initiative as we can expand it beyond our Ukraine Innovation Lab.

6/26/22: "Completion of the draft video, and establishment of link on YouTube, of the "In Memoriam" video, to highlight the the tragic fates of the victims in Ukraine. The In Memoriam videos will be put in more complete forms, and in both Ukrainian and English versions, on the Ukrainian team's already-existing channel, as HROC's leadership had stated its intent that proceeds of these In Memoriam videos remain with the Ukraine team directly, even while this video was created with the support of the U.S. office and team."

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Here is the first war-documenting video, and is labeled as "Ukraine - In Memoriam video 2022 06 01" (with special thanks to Океан Ельзи for the song Місто Марії used in this video). It is "An in memoriam for just a few of the countless lives lost in Ukraine in this war." The next video the team is working on for future release is: "Ukraine In Memoriam: Telling the story of those who can no longer speak for themselves" (with English subtitles). The videos after these In Memoriam videos will concentrate on more of the DIY videos to help prepare Ukrainians for the coming winter, in an intiative that will focus on energy as well as health. In these videos, beyond further documenting atrocities, we will note how our Ukranian office will be trying to help the world with our efforts on what we've learned, dedicated to the memories of all we have lost.

6/3/22: "Innovating to conditions on the ground to be able to preserve and defend logistics by giving protective wear (especially Kevlar vests) to drivers – but also evaluating for the degree of safety afforded by the protective wear. (Note: This protective wear will be accompanied by a DIY video to instruct people that Kevlar vests by themselves will not stop the latest Russian assault rifle in use, which is the AK-12)."

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • For actual safety in the event of a direct hit, given the power and nature of the ammunition fired from AK-12 rifles, flat metal should be also be found in the surrounding area, and then belted, duct taped or glued over the vest to slow down the bullet sufficiently, else it can pierce the typical kevlar vest. Our first order of protective wear for testing the Ukraine delivery and distribution is today.

5/31/22: "Innovating to conditions on the ground to be able to charge drones, since solar is often inadequate. But also helping in shelters where it is often night or too dark for solar charging, but it is important to have electric power for smartphones, laptops, and water purification available."

- To explain further and elaborate: (video upcoming)

  • Drone monitoring, as our footage (to be posted later in a compilation video) near the Russian front shows, helps provide an early warning to provide more lead time to prepare or evacuate. It also can be used to deliver medical supplies under the right circumstances.

  • Unfortunately, charging drones is often too intense for the power generation of solar, so our team’s experience in hand-cranked chargers is a new innovation to provide the front.

  • However, it will first be used in shelters. We have just ordered the first hand-cranked charger to test for the drone charging before shipping it along with smartphones to a shelter near Lviv, Ukraine.

5/27/22: "Our team delivering medical supplies near Bahmut City, then performing rescue and evacuation due to a bombing." For example, while Douglas, who has been delivering supplies in Eastern Ukraine, was out he saw this explosion.

- To explain further and elaborate: (video upcoming)

  • It happened within only 100 yards or so from him and the team.

  • Here, they provide not only first responder work by loading a seriously injured person into the back of our team’s van, but they also support the last line of defense for the freedom of the Eastern Ukraine region. In fact, Douglas was recently recognized for bravery and acts of valor during his help in protecting Irpin, by the Ukrainian government in a document they sent him.

  • We don't know how the team there on the Eastern Front of Ukraine perseveres through tragedies such as these, but as a result of their video logs, we learn what is happening and what is needed in these war- torn areas.

  • It also fuels our belief that we have to get these messages out on these "worst case scenarios" and that we must help mitigate the situation in any way we can, finding ways to improve terrible situations with what's available at the moment until everything that could more ideally help arrives, since too often that is not soon enough.

5/26/22: "Douglas sent outstanding videos on the original solar panels we took to Kyiv through Poland being put to use in the field in his civil defense role." Based on our sources, we are one of only a handful of international NGOs in operation inside with a Kyiv office and aiding throughout all of Ukraine.

- To explain further and elaborate: (video upcoming)

  • This includes the Eastern front, to be able to provide supplies like medicine, but also now power systems due to our assessment trip to Medyka, Poland, which expanded into an assessment of Kyiv, Ukraine.

  • Again, our mission in Ukraine is “make higher reliability more feasible.” And without electric power, people in these devastated areas have no means to stay connected via their smartphones or laptops, or to even get basic necessities like clean water, since power is needed for water purification systems.

5/26/22: "Our supply line contact in Poland, Felipe, just confirmed that our solar panel/generator shipment has left Medyka to go to Kyiv." This shipment is 12 panels and two generators, and was intended to test the supply line for follow on shipments.

5/25/22: “Our first webinar with components taught to the U.S. Military on our Cooperative HRO model for making High Reliability feasible by force multiplying available resources to maximize the benefits from limited time and resources.” These videos and the follow-on webinar videos help explain what we believe will ultimately enable the decimated Ukrainian health system to see twice as many patients as they would be able to care for without harnessing this unique model.

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • This model manages “cognitive resources” in a way not possible before the invention and its culture change and predictive models. Some of the videos are self-explanatory, but some require narration.

  • With the help of our team's CHRO training and guidance, to enable them to more quickly or even proactively offload tasks from care staff crucial "fungible" (i.e., shift-able) tasks.

  • This includes the key ones of 1. The patient history (since 2/3rds of diagnoses can be made by trained clinician from just patient history, as opposed to using expensive, scarce equipment), and 2. The documentation needs (to disseminate to full care team and patient/family, to know what to do, and what not to do, in order to reduce unplanned revisits that consume health staff time and care resources).

  • Also our other peer-reviewed projects' findings on administrative and medical assistant tasks that can be offloaded from doctor or physician assistant/nurse practitioner (e.g., triaging vital signs, finding/tracking medications and equipment, placing orders if local rules allow, scheduling visits for tests/treatments/other clinicians, explaining possible medication side-effects so people are prepared and not alarmed, answering patient questions, doing follow-up on patient, etc., as noted in our Johns Hopkins project and its peer reviewed articles).

5/24/22: “Our cost-benefit analysis for our first kit assembly video toward preventing and mitigating respiratory infections (a significant danger in Ukraine presently).”" Note this Cost-Benefit Analysis was calculated for Poland and Ukraine, during our assessment, in the event of new escalation and another evacuee / refugee crisis:

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • A wartime scenario illustrates how much of an impact this can have. For example, if we assume that from injuries to body that keep people bedridden, intense particulates from shelling, and traumatic brain injuries from explosions or falling objects, or even just people eating too fast because they are worried they have to keep moving, they will be at much higher risk of a respiratory infection (which are prevalent in refugees) called aspiration pneumonia.

  • Aspiration pneumonia is pneumonia caused by something other than air being inhaled (aspirated) into your respiratory tract. These non-air substances can be food, liquid, saliva, stomach contents, toxins or even small foreign objects. Aspiration of food or drink is quite common. When someone says that food "went down the wrong pipe,” it means that food or drink went toward their lungs instead of stomach. When this happens, normally they cough until they feel better.

  • However, when the same sort of thing happens to someone who isn’t able to cough the food or drink out of their lungs, aspiration pneumonia may result. Aspiration pneumonia symptoms include: 1. Shortness of breath (dyspnea) or wheezing. 2. Coughing up blood or pus. 3. Chest pain. 4. Bad breath. 5. Extreme tiredness. These symptoms of aspiration (inhaling something adverse) start very quickly, even one to two hours after inhaling something one shouldn’t have. It then may take a day or two for pneumonia to develop.

  • Aspiration pneumonia appears more severe than the common form of pneumonia. One study noted that people with aspirational pneumonia were much more likely to check into a hospital, stay in intensive care, or pass away from the illness compared to people with community-acquired pneumonia.

  • Life-threatening complications can occur if the person has gone too long without treatment or has a compromised immune system. The outlook on survival depends on state of health prior to the event, the type of foreign material that is aspirated into the lungs, and any other conditions person has. Most people (79%) will survive aspiration pneumonia.

  • But that also means 21% of people who won’t survive it, even in normal times.

  • In a wartime scenario, we estimate that at least 5% of the warzone residents and evacuees of around 10 million people, though likely even a higher percentage given fighting forces in the field, could get this condition of aspiration pneumonia.

  • At a 20% mortality rate for advanced stages, according to one study, that would be 100,000 people in Ukraine or neighboring nations that could die due to the respiratory infection during the war.

  • So, this aspiration pneumonia kit, of which we seek to distribute raw materials and instructions, alone is worth focusing on to save lives and reduce strain on health resources in Ukraine and neighboring nations.

  • For example, typically when there isn’t a war, a portable x-ray machine could be used at homes. However, it can cost $40,000 that is the size of a suitcase and quite delicate and thus not portable by most families in a warzone, even if they could somehow afford it.

  • But a wartime alternative for certain pneumonias can be a $15 pulse oximeter, and where a family can carry two in a handbag (though we recommend keeping them in different baggage in case one is lost or damaged). By taking baseline readings per person, and monitoring blood oxygen levels via the pulse oximeter to make sure they don’t hit the trigger of 91% or less, and are not dropping fast either, we can detect an aspiration pneumonia, or the likely risk of it, in its early stages.

  • Moreover, preventing one septic shock patient from a respiratory infection not only saves a life 25% to 50% of the time depending on other risks, and costs in normal situations at least $15,000. Most importantly, it often requires a ventilator that is only available in a hospital -- and those hospitals may only be in a neighboring nation like Poland. This would thus force a family to try and make it across the border to help a seriously ill family member, risking their lives, straining health workers, and taking up scarce ventilators and other hospital equipment.

  • And this is during Covid and other increases in other respiratory and wound infections that lead to organ failure that would require those workers and equipment.

  • A typical ventilator costs well over $100,000, not portable since often at least the size of a bed, and rather easy to damage.

  • Thus, there is our prevention-based approach, with knowledge we have gained from our defense work published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., “A Physician Partnership” which showed how to reduce hospital readmissions by 50% by enabling better learning by patients to perform better self-care “upstream” to avoid coming to see a doctor).

  • It is of course not perfect, but it is better than no diagnosis and treatment at all (basically, it just has a higher margin of error than a doctor diagnosing and treating in the hospital).

  • And there are also many telemedicine doctors that can help if power and communications infrastructure is up.

  • But when power and communications infrastructure are down, our kit would allow people to at least play downloaded videos on their phone and use the raw or simple materials we would provide in our kits.

  • Once we identify an aspiration pneumonia is a risk, what can prevent an aspiration pneumonia from developing or getting worse?

  • Using the antibiotic of Ampicillin given orally (i.e., by mouth) can make a significant difference. Generics available of a course of it is only $18 (though in the U.S., by prescription only). Oral Ampicillin can effectively treat an early-stage aspiration pneumonia – it can be reasonably effective for someone in a war zone where hospitals and IVs etc. are not available. Effectiveness depends on the severity of aspiration.

  • However, you can always increase the oral dosage per the symptoms. Intravenous antibiotics for later stages of aspiration pneumonia (like Clindamycin) are not always required and can be avoided. Many pharmacies / apothecaries will give these antibiotics out to the right organizations for the right /cause.

  • The type of antibiotics for intravenous administration generally come in vile as powder form. Those last a long time so long as the seals aren't broken.

  • As far as oral antibiotics, they too can last a long time in their containers with intact seals. It is very easy to add saline to the powdered antibiotics and shake it up and then administer through an IV.

  • Given the scenario outlined above, and given the 100,000 Ukrainians (the ones who would likely die of aspiration pneumonia), it is important to realize that that typically 4 times that number will likely have required intensive care, perhaps including ventilators.

  • If just 10% of these 400,000 refugees try and reach Poland, that is 40,000 people requiring significant healthcare resources for just this one major disease likely to afflict Ukrainians if we can’t prevent it upstream.

  • That is 10,000 deaths and 40,000 intensive care patients (which in the U.S. would cost over $600 million).

  • We seek to prevent 90% of this figure. Other infections we would expect from warzones in Ukraine: Covid, Community Acquired Pneumonia, tuberculosis, wound infections, and infections from uncontrolled diabetes.

  • Even simple treatments like washing with soap, may be delayed or not possible (e.g., a lack of clean water to quickly and properly wash wounds and clean bandages). This will add to increased infections from wounds and is why alternatives should be put in place in our kits.

  • But starting with kits of simply pulse oximeters and Ampicillin, coupled with low-cost or used smartphones to help instruct, could offer an effective way toward preventable costs of $15,000 per case for around $100 of cost for prevention for those families that are going into more dangerous areas of Ukraine (e.g., with less infrastructure, as well as active combat). And most importantly a preventable death as well.

  • Ultimately, a key aim of our efforts is to serve as both a metaphorical "fire alarm" for revealing attacks and atrocities, and a "fire department" to help put out the fires of those attacks and atrocities, by making the evacuee and refugee population, as well as host nation population, more resilient and reliable.

  • [Sources: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21954-aspiration-pneumonia#diagnosis-and-tests ; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322091 ; https://www.healthline.com/health/aspiration-pneumonia#takeaway ; https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/blog/purchasing-insight-portable-x-ray ; https://www.uclahealth.org/u-magazine/low-cost-ventilator-prototype-could-provide-support-in-covid-19-pandemic ; https://www.goodrx.com/ampicillin/what-is]

5/23/22: “Our first kit assembly video is prepared to help provide a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to preventing and mitigating respiratory infections, which are a significant danger in Ukraine presently” (credit to Reece Odom and Ryan Odom for research and technical assistance)

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • This is an example of our mantra that "The perfect is the enemy of better -- especially when things are at their worst…" can be found in our work in dangerous respiratory infections.

  • An analogy is that it is like stratification or triage of the "power-up" procedures used during the Apollo 13 mission when a catastrophic failure occurred, but the crisis was still managed well enough to return all the astronauts safely. During power up, it was noted that sequencing or elimination of tasks that -- though they don't solve all risks or problems the way we would want in normal times – in these times will offer the only practical option during a time of extreme crisis and stress for those not fully trained or lacking important resources.

  • This is when we need to overcome "the perfect is the enemy of the good" dogma, as improvisation often requires much more mental effort (i.e., cognitive bandwidth for creative problem solving) to perform at a level that can achieve an absolute, or at least higher relative, success in the end. Our goal is not to eliminate the risks, but to rather improve the odds of survival and reduce the risk of collapse of the care team, at various levels, including of host nations. It is basically "every little bit helps", since when mistakes become apparent, clinicians tend to become more careful (deliberately or even subconsciously), taking longer to care for patients, reducing throughput, and thus capacity. That then allows infections to get worse, taking up even more resources later, thus reducing capacity further, and threatening the entire system with collapse.

  • In the Apollo 13 space mission, the Astronaut Ken Mattingly was in the simulator to assist the astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, who were all trapped perilously in a severely debilitated spacecraft. While trying to determine these power-up procedures remotely for the astronauts in space, Mattingly's famous answer to the question "Need a break, Ken?" was, simply, "If they don't get one, I don't get one."

  • To conserve scarce resources and precious time, people must avoid major errors and wrong decisions, as well as ensure creative problem solving can be done well. All of these objectives require "cognitive bandwidth" -- that is, what is also known as "time to think." Moreover, to avoid the "corruption" that leads systems, personnel, and processes to poorly use, or even outright lose, these scarce resources, people must ensure accountability and reliability (i.e., everyone can count on them). This means critical people must all learn, and be willing and able to follow the rules and checklists.

  • For healthcare, we can use the example of a CT scan, which often is used to determine if the brain is bleeding inside the skull after a car crash. Yes, CT scans can detect brain hemorrhages. But "connecting the dots" on symptoms can also do that. This can eliminate the radiation risk from the CT scan that could lead to a cancer developing down the road.

  • However, beyond the safety risk of this type of test, there is also the conservation of a scarce resource. A key reason a CT scan is considered to cost $500 per scan is that the cost of one component -- namely the bulb, which can cost $250,000 -- and has only a limited number of times it can be used before needing replaced. And as with any bulb, they are also breakable and not only costly to replace, but in a warzone difficult to find. Hence why it is so critical to try and find ways to find ways to diagnoses without the CT scanner, if possible.

  • A CT scan or another form of radiology -- they x-ray machine -- can also be used to detect or diagnose Covid or aspiration pneumonia. For either disease, we are looking for "opacity" (i.e., "opaqueness"), and if the opacity is deeper in the lungs (i.e., in the lower lobes of the lungs) in the x-ray or CT, we know the odds are higher of Covid or aspiration pneumonia.

  • However, we can also diagnose these diseases pretty well (not as good, but still reasonably good) just from symptoms and a $15 PulseOximeter device for detecting oxygen levels in the bloodstream. PulseOx is not as good as an x-ray or CT, but is not only better than nothing, but also useful based on significant scientific evidence. So the key question we asked ourselves is, "Do we hope, and wait, for the perfect? Or do we do something immediately now?" To us, the answer was clear. Get a PulseOx device and a course of Augmentin or Ampicillin to include in shipments to Ukraine as quickly as possible, to get better prevention that saves lives and avoids the need for over $100,000 to treat very sick patients when trying to rebuild a healthcare system in a war-torn nation.

  • Here is the basic scientific argument for the kit: About $100 in relatively abundant and durable items in our kit can prevent over $100,000 in costs of staffing, equipment, and facilities that may not even exist to save a patient. More details will be upcoming in a more detailed cost-benefit analysis. And below is an optimized way of assembling the kit on your own to be able to get this higher level of safety and health when evacuating or traveling throughout Ukraine.

Steps to assemble the DIY kit to protect from respiratory ailments and infections

Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 EndProd

5/20/2022: Began instructing on our Canadian office's research against Covid-19 and respiratory infections called the "Invisible Mask Initiative" and its evidence-based checklist. This is important not only in Ukraine, but also in Poland and other nations that are hosting refugees that had to endure poor conditions and could not adhere to social distancing, etc.

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • The Invisible Mask Initiative (IMI) is based on scientific research in Covid-19, as well as proven techniques and methods that enable cost-effective High Reliability Organizations.

  • IMI reduces spread of respiratory infections at locations via “science and compliance” help.

  • The Cooperative HRO Rapid Response Teams in an areas would work with our partner organization that does air quality data intelligence to measure the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission in buildings, then take the necessary actions, such as the IMI checklist.

  • This is a way to further protect public health, via micro-targeted measures and by managing exposure risk for all IMI stakeholders throughout the community, both in the winter as well as the summer, when people are indoors more often and in drier air conditions, whether from dry heat of furnaces or dehumidified air from air conditioning (for comfort reasons, yet which is ironically more dangerous).

  • Prevents spread of Covid and its variants, as well as other respiratory infections. It also reduces the impact of toxic dust.

  • Overview of IMI: The principle is simple -- the greatest risk of serious infection is when humidity is at its lowest (for multiple reasons).

  • Static electricity warns us of that condition, and solving for that can reduce infectiousness by up to 70%.

  • This can help wherever there is poor vaccination rates, mask use, or social distancing practices.

  • However, there must be "buy-in" of measures, and the least amount of work -- or even knowledge -- necessary to reduce the risk of becoming infected with high viral loads (which are what cause the most serious infections, as they overwhelm the bodies own immune system).

  • It is important because lockdowns occur because cities do not want to overwhelm the finite number of hospitals and especially ICU beds, since that means they will need to then ration care, leading to agonizing choices of who lives and dies (not to mention future lawsuits or even physical threats to the lives of the doctors and nurses involved). Moreover, the pandemic's toll is that of doctors and nurses leaving the industry, with many retiring or moving to other jobs [source: “Hospitals Face Severe Staffing Shortages” https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/us-hospitals-pushed-to-financial-ruin-as-nurses-quit-en-masse/ar-AAS1JqW].

  • Thus, we must "flatten the curve" to make sure that the spread is slower, thus reducing the number of people requiring ER and hospital care in a city. This is especially true for small towns, since many either never had hospitals, or they have shut down over the past decade.

  • Learning the Checklist: Invisible Mask Initiative's learning time is estimated to take: 1 minute review of checklist x 3 times checklist reviewed = 3 minutes to learn.

  • Background Research: https://trajasenan.medium.com/managing-humidity-anywhere-an-immediate-painless-science-based-solution-to-beating-any-killer-8bc95d4da5a2

  • HROC’s Canadian Office Childrens Video on Air Moisture: https://www.tiktok.com/@hroc_social/video/6965286702038420741?lang=en&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6951944368722839046

  • HROC’s Canadian Office Childrens Video on Masks: https://www.tiktok.com/@hroc_social/video/6962647373009014021?lang=en&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6951944368722839046

Steps in the IMI checklist to protect from respiratory ailments and infections

Step 2

5/19/2022: The takeaways based on our mission is that a Cooperative HRO can indeed "make higher reliability more feasible" as we discussed in an article our scientific team published in a peer reviewed journal. That is because of validation of our belief that the Ukraine-focused efforts we are doing follow the mantra of: "The perfect is the enemy of better -- especially when things are at their worst…" – and this will become the tagline for all of HROC's future humanitarian initiatives.

5/18/2022: “Returned from assessment [by our U.S. advisory board member] for this initial trip to help Ukraine and our [European Union] allies.” By some measures our largest economic partner as well. This region does impact the United States, and most often shares our values and desires for freedom.

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Ultimately, the trip was cost-effective, coming in under budget substantially, while also yielding significantly more than we expected from an assessment mission -- sometimes, in certain critical ways, the innovations and ability to change are done better once experts (in this case, experts in reliability) are on the ground, which was a key hope of this mission.

  • The end result of this mission was the unexpected expansion of HROC into Ukraine from the trip, to help offer Ukrainians staying in or returning to the nation a safer and improved life, as well as the neighboring nations a chance to reduce the strain they are facing to their health systems, infrastructure, and economic reserves all required as assistance during their noble humanitarian efforts.

5/17/2022: “Developed plan for increasing support throughout all of Ukraine, wherever needs are most acute.”

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • With the first supply line having been proven from Medyka, Poland, to Kyiv, Ukraine, our Ukraine team is also embarking on serving as a supply line from Kyiv to Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

  • There are limited NGOs actively in Kyiv and its east currently, but our new, remarkable team members have given us the eyes, ears, and boots on the ground to identify and understand problems, as well as to assess in advance what may be useful, and finally to test the usefulness in our studies before distributing and educating people on the optimal use of the materials by directing to our videos we are now developing.

  • Our 501c3's charter of public safety, education, and scientific study, leading to an immediate focus on health and safety, which includes smartphones and solar chargers to support healthcare and connectivity for information. But there appears to be so many other ways we can help the people of Ukraine survive and recover, complementing their resilience and commitment to overcoming adversity.

5/16/2022: “Formalized the aid transfer from our visiting advisor to the new HROC advisors Douglas and Igor, who said the solar chargers will help immediately.” This proved our ability to have a supply line as well as evacuation team using our remarkable Ukrainian team. Also did more assessment of the area and the damage, yet infrastructure still surprisingly intact.

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

Our solar panel shipment made it to Kyiv

Step 2

5/15/2022: “Our HROC advisory team members assessed the damage around Kyiv.”

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Douglas, shown to the left in the photo, is the newest HROC Advisory Board member, and is a well-known documentary film maker in Hollywood.

  • He showed up the first day of the war and told the squad he was with that he wasn’t going to just document them dying, so he spent the next two months helping defend Kyiv with Igor (the person on the right, actively involved as part of the Military in the defense of Ukraine) and his territorial unit.

Assessing the situation in Kyiv

Step 2

Our new HROC-Kyiv team members

Step 2

5/15/2022: Our HROC advisory team viewing HROC's new office address in Kyiv. The new office's address is:

02088, Kyiv, Ukraine Yevhenia Kharchenka street, 42 D

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

5/14/2022: "Kyiv and the remote areas near the front are in far deeper need than Medyka. Medyka has become more of a transit point for those Ukrainians coming into Poland and going onward to Warsaw and other European cities, as well as now going back into Ukraine."

Medyka, Poland


- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • In fact, the Economist has said that there are now more Ukrainians going back into Ukraine than those coming out of Ukraine.

  • "As Russia’s invasion stalls, Ukraine’s refugees return home. More Ukrainians are leaving Poland than entering", link: https://click.e.economist.com/?qs=8c8442918b9e02c54fdd7221fbeb196506167a61ae50d450b361c4d1f704770983d664fc7abcef1dd224add2f671563cb018a35287401d1ce974e8ce693a3cdc

  • We also found out that smartphones not needed in the cities but are needed in smaller locations where evacuees have fled our other Ukrainian team members have told us.

  • But we have new cellphones that we can ship through another HROC partner toward Lviv, where we have been told they are needed.

  • We received a pledged donation of old smartphones, that needed to be reset and cleared by another one of our advisory board members, but will be sent within 2 weeks through our new NGO partner.

5/13/2022: "We have offered cellphones to serve as spares for our broken ones caused by the war, thanks to this effort."

  • - Distribution network in Poland and Ukraine, after delivery by HROC of cellphones from HROC's mission to Medyka, Poland

5/13/2022: Delivery of solar chargers (for use by cellphones) to Medyka, Poland, by our Advisory Board Member on the ground

5/12/2022: HROC advisor update: "As a transit point, the Poles and EU have done a fantastic job of taking in the refugees and dispersing them across the EU to avoid large scale refugee camps with their attendant issues. There are UNHCR booths/tents as soon as they come across to let them know their options. And buses running non-stop to take them places they want. From what [our advisor] had witnessed, it took them to the main train terminal in Przemysl. There is a large grocery store right on site at the border crossing. But food, clothing, and medical care is provided free by all the NGOs as soon as any refugee comes across the border. Most importantly, solar chargers were received well and are definitely necessary, for ‘cellphones, laptops, and portable water purification’ [our advisor] was told by NGOs in Medyka."

5/12/2022: "I've learned from the HROC public safety initiatives what soft target risks are (such as risks for IEDs and suicide bombings), how to avoid them myself, and how to warn others. And as I see and learn, I know that now I can apply to HROC's work program in Canada and the U.S. to be able to share my first-hand experiences with others."

  • - Evacuee #2 (an Internally Displaced Person within Ukraine) discussing the public safety initiatives

5/11/2022: "I was getting bleeding ulcers in my nasal passages and worrying about what was happening. From the HROC initiatives, I've already learned to watch for static electricity and high dust patterns on black surfaces I monitor (and electrical tape we are putting in key areas) to be the 'warning signs' for low humidity (and thus drier, less protected respiratory passages) and high toxic dust risks that can lead to infections now or cancer later, reminding me when to use my masks."

  • - Evacuee #1 (an Internally Displaced Person within Ukraine) discussing the public health initiatives

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • Notes on the science: Humidity helps our immune system's “first line of defense” against any respiratory infection or toxic substance. Below are some examples where prolonged unprotected exposure can be fatal.

  • HROC's research showed the epicenters for Covid outbreaks were wherever a larger number of people were indoors – such as office buildings, retail establishments, or simply social events – in low-humidity areas. And not just states like Arizona, given dry or dehumidified air conditioning in public spaces, but especially dry heat in winter when humidity was most often less than 35%

  • A major health system, which has published with our team in the past, in 2018 said "Seventeen years out from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, nearly 10,000 first responders and others who were in the World Trade Center area have been diagnosed with cancer. More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to 9/11 illnesses. It will get worse. By the end of 2018, many expect that more people will have died from their toxic exposure from 9/11 than were killed on that terrible day."

  • The challenge Ukraine will face is that in some regions of the country, there are not even any hospitals left. This means little ability to treat present-day victims of this exposure to prevent future tragedies such as this toxic dust crisis which will be emerging.

5/10/2022: HROC's first advisor to Poland - Warsaw arrival travelogue: "Thought the only issues would be with Polish customs explaining the new phones and solar generators. But problems at the customs point, so this is an option to bring in supplies without much hassle. What was interesting in Warsaw is that T-Mobile seemed to work better here than in the states. But that was right at the airport."

5/9/2022: "Two of my friends and fellow HROC colleagues told me of their friend, who helped at the 9/11 attack site as a first responder and in rescue/recovery, that died of cancer in just 7 years from that 'toxic dust' environment. Then I told my colleagues in Ukraine that could be happening in Kyiv given what I'd seen."

  • - Leader of Ukrainian team discussing interviews with HROC's broader task force for Ukraine and those inside Ukraine

5/6/2022: Developed contact in the Polish government, Malwina Piaskowska-Łacek, due to our proposal. Her title is Attaché from the Department of Development Cooperation in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland (www.gov.pl/dyplomacja ; https://twitter.com/PolandMFA). She was very helpful to our cause, such as telling us the taxes and rules for sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which she noted could be found on the dedicated website of the Ministry of Finance:

- To explain further and elaborate on this topic:

  • https://www.podatki.gov.pl/ukraina/kwestie-celne-zwiazane-z-pomoca-dla-ukrainy/

  • https://www.gov.pl/web/finanse/zasady-realizacji-transportow-z-pomoca-humanitarna-na-ukraine/

  • It seemed as though we actually got more response from the Polish government (maybe due to higher prioritization and credibility) after our advisors arrived and were on the ground in Medyka.

  • It did also help that we had a translator, Agnieszka Wdowik-Melfi, and a wonderful team (led by one of our Advisory Board members retired from the Navy) of dedicated Polish speakers with key contacts in Poland providing reconnaissance, Ukrainians, and even Russian exiles dedicated to humanitarian efforts and peaceful cooperation.

  • Shipping and taxes increased the cost by 80%. Our team determined that there would be no import tax for these humanitarian supplies into Poland, given our charitable NGO status. There is also an NGO in California shipping directly into Lviv Ukraine that has offered to deliver without shipping costs.

  • We also have a Polish contact to receive goods now in the Medyka area to aid the camps, in case there is an escalation of the war and refugees begin to return.

Our HROC-Ukraine office, with its communications and video production experts, and our offices in the U.S. and Canada, will combine our medical experts, analysts, scientists, inventors, engineers, and Military Veterans (who have been in multiple combat zones, such as Afghanistan), help ensure we can:

  • Document recent acts of terror -- Beyond credible sources' news on the atrocities of this war, there is more that needs documenting not only the horrors of the war, but also the happier times of Ukrainians we have lost whose story we believe not only needs to be told, but is also a lesson for us all. There is also the need to document the current struggles and immediate needs of the population in practical terms (i.e., how to survive in a war zone).

  • Help Ukrainians to survive -- Staying healthy or recovering to health when the critical infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, and ensuring health and safety checklist adherence -- even in the face of “task saturation” and panic.

  • Help Ukrainians to win the war -- Global economic and military support relies on popular support from host nations for refugees, and Western nations staying true to sanctions and continuing massive arms shipments. Breaking through the Russian, Chinese, and other disinformation "noise" out there making people doubt own common sense about who started this war, and doubt their own eyes about the horrors of the war.

  • Help Ukrainians to keep the peace and show the value of a free world -- Disinformation was the basis for this war. Blocking the disinformation noise from above from false charges (e.g., the Moldova "terrorist attacks" claimed against Russians, that Russia may use as a pretense to invade Moldova next, as well as false claims that Ukraine is attacking railway systems in Russia) to ensure that the world stays strongly aligned against Russian attacks. "Never Again" means "Never Forgetting" and not falling for “Big Lies.”

Your donation to the work shown on this page helps us acquire supplies and equipment that can benefit this team, virtually all of whom are working inside the nation of Ukraine, and helps us to directly support people living inside Ukraine. Thus, it supports their livelihoods and Ukraine’s economy in the process. These Ukrainian team members, in turn, help many more Ukrainians, creating a virtuous cycle that helps in ways that grow beyond your initial contributions. Ultimately, this is for a nation of people that have demonstrated a tenacity and commitment to hold onto, and sacrifice for, what the free world treasures – cooperation, resilience, and reliability – and offers a model for the rest of the world to learn and improve from Ukraine’s struggles and triumphs.