SUNNYVALE, Calif. — ReSurge International is a nonprofit organization that works “to provide free reconstructive surgery for people in developing countries, and to help improve health care worldwide.”
The organization focuses all of its work around one of three main objectives: offering reconstructive surgery to those who would otherwise be unable to receive it, training surgeons in developing countries and helping medical staff in program countries become self-sufficient.
Formed in 1969 by Dr. Donald Laub who “pioneered the idea that reconstructive plastic surgery could renew lives and restore hope,” it was the very first nonprofit to be based in this sector, and has since expanded to now operate in 13 countries around world in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The surgery branch of ReSurge International is diverse, but most operations that the organization performs help children and adults with clefts, burns and disfigurations. Since its inception, the organization has provided a staggering 100,000 surgeries.
Free post-surgery care is also provided, as the organization knows that “surgery is only the beginning,” allowing patients to return to full mobility with the help of expert medical staff.
In terms of educational training, ReSurge International runs a few different types of programs.
For example, the organization operates a Visitor Education Program in which medical experts travel to developing countries to transfer industry skills and knowledge. ReSurge describes this program as a demonstration of their “commitment to creating sustainability in the delivery of reconstructive surgical care to the world’s poor.”
In addition, the organization’s Medical Scholars program offers surgeons from developing countries that have worked with ReSurge International volunteers the opportunity to study their field at top medical schools.
This program increases the reach of the organization’s impact and further demonstrates their commitment to sustainability, as these surgeons return to their home countries and are able to disperse their new knowledge.
ReSurge International also runs an online initiative called ReSurge Grand Round, a “web-based program that connects isolated developing world surgeons and anesthesiologists with a global network of medical professionals for advice on difficult cases and to collaborate in the delivery of high-quality care to poor patients.”
This utilization of technology in this way allows surgeons in remote or difficult to access areas the opportunity to still benefit from the knowledge of the organization’s volunteer medical professionals.
As stated on their website, “ReSurge envisions a world in which no human being suffers physically or emotionally from a repairable congenital deformity or injury.”
Their work has certainly taken steps to achieve that, transforming the lives of people around the world and making steps to ensure medical care will always be available for those that need it.
– Emily Jablonski
Sources: ReSurge International, SBS
Photo: ReSurge International