With just a few days until the mission officially starts, the team’s excitement is building daily. We have had a series of meetings over the last several months at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to finalize the details of the trip, with presentations from Thomas Thornhill, MD (Chairmain of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Chief Executive Officer of Operation Walk Boston), Roya Ghazinouri, DPT (Chief Operating Officer of Operation Walk Boston), and Lauren Ehrlichman, MD (Orthopedic Surgery Resident and Chief Medical Officer of Operation Walk Boston).
There will be nearly 60 nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians, surgical technologists, therapists, students, and industry representatives traveling to the Dominican Republic as part of Operation Walk Boston 2015. The team has a mix of veterans – many of whom have been a part of every Operation Walk Boston trip to date – and first-time volunteers whose excitement and enthusiasm to contribute in any way possible will help to make the mission a success.
We will perform approximately 60 joint replacement operations during our week at the Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud, an ambitious goal that is only attainable thanks to the year-round work of dozens of volunteers. Hours of preparation at home in Boston help to ensure a smooth workflow on location in the Dominican Republic. Included in the planned procedures are a number of complex cases that will both challenge the attending surgeons and provide excellent learning opportunities for the residents and students.
While we have been planning in Boston, our colleagues in the Dominican Republic have been working equally hard to prepare for this year's mission. Dr. Luis Alcantara and his team at the Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud screened hundreds of patients from throughout the country to find the best group of surgical candidates.
I would like to close my first post of this year's “On Location” blog with a sincere thank you to the volunteers and supporters who make Operation Walk Boston possible. We will do our best to provide outstanding care to our patients, and to continue to further the educational collaboration with our colleagues at the Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud that has become such an integral part of the trip. Please check back for daily updates and photos.
Forrest H. Schwartz, MD (Orthopedic Surgery Resident)