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March 30, 2023 | Orthopedics • Value-Based Care
Revere Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ence, St. George Coral Desert Orthopedics, recently traveled with a group of hand and plastic surgeons from the University of Virginia to Giridih, India, for a weeklong humanitarian mission focusing on hand and face surgery. The trip was sponsored by Virginia Children’s Connection (VCC) and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) through their “Touching Hands Project”.
“The goal of the trip was to provide life-changing surgeries for the underserved population, particularly children, of the Giridih area,” Dr. Ence said.
Most of the surgeries were focused on correcting congenital hand deformities or deformities caused by injury. Most of the injuries were a result of burns from open flame cook fires, but some were a result of abuse. These surgeries were meant to increase functional independence, improve pain, and allow for greater work and social opportunities in the future.
The greatest part of the trip for me was the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many children, knowing that what we did will help them to have a happier, more productive life,” Dr. Ence said. “The children were so humble, kind, and grateful despite living in severe poverty and dealing with problems that most of us couldn’t imagine.
Dr. Ence said he returned home with a much greater sense of appreciation for the things that we usually take for granted in the United States.
“We live in an incredible country that provides so many opportunities for each of us to better ourselves,” he said. “We have clean water, access to high-quality healthcare, access to education…I could go on and on.”
He said the trip also helped him have more patience and compassion for his own patients who may be struggling and reminded him of what a great privilege it is to be a doctor and to be trusted with the care of others.
Over 1 day of clinic and 6 days of surgery, Dr. Ence and his team completed approximately 200 procedures on both children and adults. These patients then had basic post-operative care from a local physician.
The trip takes place approximately every 3 years and some patients return for additional procedures in the future.
If anyone is interested in donating, helping with future missions, or learning more about the organizations that sponsored Dr. Ence’s trip, you can click the links below:
ASSH Touching Hands: https://www.assh.org/touchinghands/s/
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.