Chair - Tom Vecchione

Chair – Tom Vecchione

Purpose: Bring opportunities for a normal life to impoverished children and adults in Mexico through the gift of plastic, general and ophthalmologic surgery. Mercy Outreach Surgical Team (MOST) works very closely with local Mexican Rotary clubs in our destination cities to coordinate week-long missions. Together, with our volunteer Anesthesiologists, Surgeons, Nurses, Operating Room Technicians, Pharmacists, and others we are able to correct cleft lips, cleft palates, microtia, syndactylies, hernias, hydroceles, strabismus, burn scars and contractures, removal of extra toes/fingers, hairy nevus, etc. These procedures enable these children to go to school, obtain an education and become vital members of their community. MOST has positively changed the lives of over 10,700 patients and their families since the program started in 1987. At this time, MOST travels to the interior of Mexico twice a year for week-long trips. The numbers of volunteers in a team are kept to the minimum amount of people necessary to do the work safely and efficiently. The team relies on the philanthropic support of donors and the efforts of volunteers to continue providing life-changing procedures to children.

Latest News: The Mercy Outreach Surgical Team spent one week in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, and one week in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.  With a team of approximately 45, we performed more than 300 surgeries on each of these trips; primarily on those with congenital malformations such as cleft palate, cleft lip, and strabismus, plastic surgery procedures on burn and trauma victims as well as hernia repairs. Patients, many of whom have traveled from great distances in the hope that we can help them, were screened and scheduled for surgery. We bring our own equipment and supplies and while one team screens patients to fill our schedules, another team sets up the operating rooms for surgeries. During the week, we share knowledge with our colleagues from Mexico. When we depart, we leave our host hospital with gifts of medical and surgical supplies.

Activities/responsibilities: A team of physicians and support personnel travels south of the border yearly to perform surgeries not available to the populations of remote villages.