CHICAGO – Society for Vascular Surgery® member, Virenda I. Patel, M.D., of Somerville, MA, 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.
“Caring for men and women who have the courage to risk their lives for the freedoms we benefit from was a rewarding experience” said Dr. Patel, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “The Joint Services Trauma System is very efficient and provides outstanding care for injured US and NATO troops.
The successes are easily measured in thousands of lives saved based on the volume of care provided.”
For two weeks, Dr. Patel applied his vascular surgery skills to help Wounded Warriors. “It was an honor to be a small part of the entire operation which spans from in-theater trauma care to the transfer back to the US,” he said. “It was humbling to see the dedication with which troops are cared for as well as the individual tenacity to survive, recover, and serve again.”
Dr. Patel’s volunteer service at LRMC extended from Mar. 18-31, 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 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.
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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