CHICAGO – Vascular surgeon, Joseph Raffetto, MD, of Brighton, MA, volunteered to spend two weeks treating wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
“This was my first volunteer experience at LRMC,” said Dr. Raffetto, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “It was truly an honor and privilege to provide medical and specialty services for our military personnel.”
A vascular surgeon at the West Roxbury Campus of the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Dr. Raffetto’s two weeks as a volunteer vascular surgeon in Germany resulted in both personal and professional rewards.
“Personally, the experience helped me to realize the sacrifice that our military servicemen and women endure,” he said. “Professionally, I was impressed by the multidisciplinary approach to treatment. The diversity among different (military) services results in the best possible medical care.”
Dr. Raffetto’s volunteer service resulted in a lasting impression. “I would be grateful to have another opportunity to provide my services at LRMC,” he said.
It was from August 20- September 4, 2011 that Dr. Raffetto volunteered as a vascular surgeon at LRMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center. As the largest American hospital outside the United States, more than 64,000 Wounded Warriors have been treated at LRMC since 2001.
Since Sept. 2007, 72 Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) members have volunteered to supplement the limited number of vascular surgeons at the medical center. “The Society for Vascular Surgery is proud to have provided continuous two-week rotations of vascular surgeons at LRMC for the past four years,” said 2011-2012 SVS President Dr. Richard Cambia. “As vascular surgeons, we help repair damaged arteries and veins of coalition military personnel in the Global War on Terror."
It was in 2006 that SVS member and retired U.S. Army Col. David Gillespie of the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General and professor of surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., asked Society members to share their medical expertise as volunteer surgeons at LRMC. Immediately, SVS members responded to support the troops. Currently, there is a waiting list of 2011-2012 SVS members desiring to volunteer at LRMC.
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the United States advocate for 3,500 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at www.VascularWeb.org
® and follow SVS on Facebook and Twitter.