CHICAGO – For two weeks, vascular surgeon Patrick Dietz, of Cooperstown, NY, volunteered to treat
wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
“It was an amazingly rewarding experience,” said Dietz, a former Navy lieutenant commander.. “It was a pleasure to see the quality of medical care the military provides injured soldiers.”
From November 20 to December 5, 2010, Dietz volunteered at LRMC - the largest American hospital outside the United States. The volunteer service provided Dietz with an opportunity to “give back.”
“I feel we owe a huge debt of thanks to current service men and women who are doing all the work and taking all the risks,” he said. “It was a pleasure to be able to make a small contribution. The experience was very educational. I definitely received more than I gave.”
Since 2004, 66,000 military personnel have been treated at LRMC. Since Sept. 2007, 72 Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) members have volunteered to supplement the limited number of vascular surgeons at the medical center.
“Speaking on behalf of SVS leadership and all of its members, we are extremely proud of the vascular
surgeons who donate their time to help treat war injuries,” said 2010-2011 SVS President Dr. Robert Zwolak of New Hampshire.
“Vascular surgeons repair damaged arteries and veins through traditional open surgical techniques. Our member volunteers are determining the value of endovascular methods in these most challenging and difficult cases."
The inclusion of civilian SVS members at LRMC began in 2007. 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 for SVS surgeons who are willing to volunteer at LRMC during 2011.
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 3,350 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.