Oto Residents take Healing to Peru

Chief Resident, Shaun Desai, MD recently accompanied a Healing the Children mission to Lima, Peru. The trip, organized by WashU ENT alum Ryan Brown, MD (2011), comprised a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, scrub techs and speech pathologists from around the United States. The team, specialized in cleft lip, palate and speech procedures, performed 62 surgeries and provided speech therapy to many additional patients. Patients were from the surrounding Lima area and from rural villages as far as a week away by bus travel. This trip was sponsored by the Northeast Chapter of Healing the Children. Dr. Brown, a facial plastic surgeon in Denver, CO, recently organized a Rocky Mountains Chapter that will sponsor a return trip to the same area in November of this year.

A video of the trip and Rocky Mountains Chapter can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/XpYSQ732pHs. Donations to support future trips can be made through the HTC website (and directed to the Rocky Mountains Chapter) at: www.healingthechildren.org/donate/.

Healing the Children, established in 1979, may be the largest private organization in the U.S. with a mission to help underserved children access the healthcare they need and deserve. HTC services are provided no matter what the medical issue, what country the child lives in, and without regard to race, creed, religion, or politics. Over the past 34 years, HTC has helped nearly a quarter of a million children, representing 105 countries, and provided an estimated $650 million in donated medical services, supplies, and equipment. HTC currently has 12 chapters representing 24 states as well as many International Partners (IPs) who help facilitate our work. These partners are our ‘boots on the ground’ and work with HTC to assist children from countries where needed medical resources are not available. To meet increasing demands, HTC recently launched an outreach campaign to add additional chapters and IPs over the next 5 years (source: HTC 2012 Annual Report).

HTC works through a variety of programs developed to accomplish its mission. An International Inbound Program assists children with serious medical issues that do not have adequate specialty resources in their home country. The Medical Teams Abroad Program assembles medical teams around surgical specialties, at the invitation of the host country. Non-Surgical Teams and Special Programs provide eye exams, dental care, audiology, immunizations, training and a wide variety of other needs. The Domestic Program assists children here in the United States. Team members pay their own expenses and use vacation time for mission trips.