WASHINGTON (WMBD) — OSF HealthCare Vice President of Government Relations Chris Manson was recognized by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the National Archives last week.
According to an OSF news release, Manson, on Sept. 21, was presented with the Cross of Ivan Mazepa for his humanitarian work helping those in need following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“It was a great honor to meet the President of Ukraine. I am very humbled to receive such an honor and know that I would not be receiving this medal had I not had the support of so many people and organizations which made our effort possible,” said Manson.
Manson founded U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine in March 2022, after his daughter asked him if anything could be done to support the people of Ukraine.
He worked with OSF Healthcare, Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois, and the Ukrainian Consulate of Chicago to send the first donated ambulance to Ukraine on March 29, 2022.
Since then, 67 vehicles have been sent to Ukraine, including 52 ambulances, eight fire engines, six SUVs and one utility truck. All the vehicles were filled with medical or firefighting equipment.
Manson has also been to Ukraine six times and has led five vehicle convoys into Ukraine.
Several others were awarded medals or commendations on behalf of the people of Ukraine. Also in attendance the first lady of Ukraine and several key Ukrainian staff members, the U.S. Attorney General, members of Congress, and Penny Pritzker, the new U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery.