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Posted By Mayer Tenenhaus, M.D., F.A.C.S., Project HOPE volunteer on Pacific Partnership 2015 on August 20, 2015

Labels: Vietnam , Volunteers

Mayer Tenenhaus, MD FACS is a volunteer surgeon on Pacific Partnership 2015. Dr. Tenenhaus is from from San Diego, where he works at UC SanDiego Medical Center. He is participating in Pacific Partnership 2015, currently in Da Nang, Vietnam. He and the other volunteer surgeons on this rotation are providing to patients in need.

Project HOPE volunteers Dr. Mayer Tenenhaus (left) and Dr. Alan Jamison (right) with their Vietnamese translator

What an incredible experience this has been, and it has only just begun. 

I am humbled and in awe of the tireless efforts, skills, capabilities and compassion demonstrated by the Navy, Project HOPE, Pacific Partnership and all the incredible people who’ve worked so hard to establish, develop, facilitate and organize this unbelievable endeavor. 

I can’t imagine how challenging, difficult and exhausting these efforts must be. The diplomatic, bureaucratic, planning and logistical demands are staggering...and yet here we are - countless individuals working together as colleagues and friends, all dedicated to the care of patients in dire need. 

It is absolutely heartbreaking to see our patients. Their suffering is so evident. Their tragedies are overwhelming. It is heartwarming to be one of so many to be afforded the opportunity to help. 

Operating Room at the Da Nang Hospital - photo by Dr. Pete Shumaker Restoration Surgery/Burn Team Lead

Today I’m told we examined more than 32 patients and have coordinated surgical plans for 29. We have so many more patients to review and examine in the coming days. There will be long days, and I am saddened I can’t stay longer and can’t treat more. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t express my genuine thanks to Integra, Mimedx, Stryker among others for their generous dedication of products desperately needed to care for these, our patients. 

The physicians and health care providers at the Da Nang General Hospital have been wonderful to work with, graciously including us in the care of their patients. They have been so welcoming, professional and kind. It's truly an honor to work with them, and together we've been able to do a lot of great work. 

The world truly becomes smaller, friendlier and a kinder place for all as a result of these Herculean efforts. I am truly honored to have been included and hope that I might participate again next year.

 

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