CHICAGO – Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) member, Stephen Self, M.D., of Louisville, KY, volunteered to spend two weeks treating wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
“The experience was very inspiring,” said Dr. Self. “I don’t have a military background but I saw this as an opportunity to show support for our Wounded Warriors who are willing to sacrifice so much.”
For two weeks, Dr. Self applied his vascular surgery skills to help Wounded Warriors. “I was impressed by the collaboration between the different military services and the medical specialties that definitely put the patient first,” he said.
“The Landstuhl trauma / critical care service is cutting edge and provides the best possible hope for the wounded to recover. The emotional support and caring for the patients and their families are incredible.”
Dr. Self’s volunteer service at LRMC extended from Jan. 22 - Feb. 4, 2012. As the largest American hospital outside the United States, LRMC is an American College of Surgeons Level 1 Trauma Center. Since 2001, the medical staff at LRMC has treated more than 64,000 patients from Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Since Sept. 2007, 72 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.
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 3,750 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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