CHICAGO – Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) members, Naren Gupta, M.D., of Brookline, MA, and Joseph Raffetto of Brighton, MA, recently volunteered to spend two weeks treating wounded coalition soldiers transported from Afghanistan to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
“I was encouraged to volunteer by Dr. Joseph D. Raffetto also of the West Roxbury Campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System,” said Naren Gupta, MD. “He had a great experience last year and returned this year.”
Both Boston area VA vascular surgeons felt called to volunteer their skills for the benefit of America’s warriors. Both found the experience at LRMC personally and professionally rewarding.
“Personally, I realized the tremendous sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform,” said Dr. Raffetto. “I was grateful to be able to help two wounded warriors who required major revascularizations to save their limbs.
“On a professional level, the experience demonstrated the incredible dedication of military physicians and staff to provide the best possible care to the injured.”
Both Drs. Gupta and Raffetto plan to volunteer at LRMC next year.
Dr. Gupta’s volunteer service at LRMC occurred between July 22 and August 4. Dr. Raffetto served at the military hospital from August 5 -18. In both instances, the surgeons applied their vascular surgery skills to reconnect damaged veins and arteries. This helped to save limbs as well as the lives of coalition forces.
LRMC is the largest American hospital outside the United States and 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, 84 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 2012-2013 SVS President Peter Gloviczki, MD. “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 3,683 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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