April 22, 2008 – Vientiane Times

A surgical team from York County Medical Foundation provided free operations to Savannakhet residents in cooperation with the provincial hospital’s surgeons from April 5 to April 10. Twelve surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses from the US foundation performed 11 hernia surgeries, 27 gallbladder removals and seven cleft lip and palate repairs and also assisted with three other emergency surgeries.

 “We had four surgeons cooperating with the foundation’s team to help the patients in our province access the free surgeries,” Savannakhet Hospital’s Head of Administration Dr. Chinnaly Simyxay said yesterday.

Surgeons use a monitor to observe their instruments inside the keyhole incision

He said the foundation donated to the hospital more than 217 million kip (US$25,000) in laparoscopy components, used for internal monitoring during surgery.

“It was the first visit of this foundation and they have agreed to come again to help our hospital in the next two years.” he said.

He said the hospital organized a baci ceremony for the foundation team, which was attended by Savannakhet Governor Vilayvanh Phomkhe, doctors, and officials.

According to a press release from the foundation, in December 2006 it sent to Laos the first US volunteer surgical team in 40 years.

This team performed surgeries at the Mahosot Hospital and the Mother and Child Health Hospital in Vientiane.

York County Medical Foundation is a non-profit organization from York, Pennsylvania, that provides free medical training and surgical procedures to disadvantaged children and adults in developing nations.