CHICAGO – Vascular surgeon, Kenneth Cherry, MD, of Charlotttesville, VA, 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 the second summer I spent as a volunteer surgeon at LRMC,” said Dr. Cherry, the Program Chair of the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Virginia (UVA) and the Edwin P. Lehman Professor of Surgery. “I volunteered because I wanted to learn about military medical care and I wanted to help our troops.”
Dr. Cherry’s experiential learning at LRMC provided valuable insight into the medical care of coalition military personnel. “At all levels, there exists dedicated skill and commitment of the doctors, nurses, and personnel at LRMC,” said Dr. Cherry. “I learned new techniques and treatments from the military doctors.”
At the same time, the professional experience resulted in personal introspection. “One cannot help but be deeply affected by the courageous men and women of our military,” said Dr. Cherry. “Suffice it to say, I received far more than I gave.”
From August 6-21, 2011, Dr. Cherry 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 to repair the 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 3,550 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
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