In partnership with Memorial Care Outpatient Surgical Center Long Beach, we held our 9th Hometown Mission on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
On our one-day outpatient Hometown Mission 16 medical volunteers changed the lives of six children residing in Los Angeles County and throughout California. From the outset, it has been our mission to address the expanding health disparity gap among disproportionately inequitable populations. Whether a child cannot afford medical coverage due to a family's loss of income, the inability to pay costly deductibles, having been denied access to care for conditions deemed as "non-life-threatening" or "cosmetic" by health insurance providers, or for being undocumented – we have been, and will continue to be, dedicated to providing access to the necessary services to correct highly stigmatized physical and congenital anomalies with the goal of restoring self-esteem and mitigating bullying. In the past 9 years, we have successfully done so for 143 children.
Among our patients was an 18-year-old who had suffered for the past 3 years from a botched sinus surgery. The family appealed to their insurance carrier, but was denied and received no support. The patient's mother learned about the Hometown Mission via an Instagram post from Mending Kids board member, Dorothy Lucey.
Another recipient returned for her second and final surgery to remove a very visible birthmark.
After moving to the U.S. four years ago, an 11-year-old Syrian girl came to us suffering from catastrophic burns. Two of our volunteer surgeons, Dr. Andre Panossian and Dr. David Kulber, simultaneously operated on her (treating different areas of her body) to help advance her reconstructive repairs, which will be many.
All children deserve access to surgical care that can help mend and save their lives. Thanks to our amazing partners, sponsors, and volunteers – Memorial Care Outpatient Surgical Center, The Helen & Jose Colton Foundation, The Open Hearts Foundation, the La Cañada Junior Women's Club, The Charitable Foundation, Hendershott Wealth Management, Annette Michelson & Bear Givers – we have given these children the care needed to restore their self-esteem, achieve a sense of normalcy and face the future with confidence.
For parents, guardians, and advocates who need to refer a child, or medical professionals interested in volunteer opportunities, please call: 1-800-993-5680 or email Hometown@mendingkids.org
Finally, we would like to give a special thanks to all of our volunteers for making this day of mending a success.
Dr. Andre Panossian, Dr. Henry Chen, Dr. Ayal Willner, Dr. David Kulber, Kylie Tanabe, Raquel Vazquez, Dr. Michelle Dee, Dr. Glenn Tan, Dr. Karen Butterworth, Laura Compton, Hong Tuyen Nguyen, Alma Reyna, Lilia Benitez-Martinez, James Hogan, Jaqueline Diehl, Daniel Tan-Goldhammer, Louie Kulber, Alli Dee, Kelly Fogel, Bruce Kaplan, Dulcie Morris, Michelle Rathmann and all of the staff at Memorial Care Outpatient Surgical Center
Last month, Dr. Lia Jacobson, and MK board member, Dr. Ayal Wilner, led their annual ENT missionto Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania. They mended 16 kids, and not only successfully performed multiple highly complex operations, but capitalized on the opportunity to use them as incredible teaching opportunities for the local staff. Dr. Jacobson and Dr. Wilner always bring to Tanzania an intense dedication to teaching and training, and this mission was no exception.
This mission was made possible thanks to the generosity of Medtronic, Phacon, Americares, Medshare, MAP International, and Vyaire Medical.
Our 2021 annual report is here and it is chalk-full of information – anecdotes, statistics and other data which serve as a comprehensive snapshot of how we spent our time in the past year. We are proud of our impact and accomplishments, but more importantly, in 2022 we are excited to build upon the post-pandemic foundation we have laid. From our training, research, and innovation program, to our Mend US and overseas surgical missions, it's all here, have a look.