Embarking on Humanitarian Missions
At home and abroad, facial plastic surgeons offer their services gratis, through the AAFPRS Foundation humanitarian program, FACE TO FACE.
Since its inception in 1994, the domestic violence help-line has received more than 22,000 calls from survivors of facial injuries. Without finances for required surgery, callers seek help in restoring their appearance giving a needed boost to self-esteem as they rebuild their lives. Participating surgeons are matched with eligible patients through FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project, the first such program sponsored by a surgical society.
Internationally, FACE TO FACE sponsors missions to countries where unusual numbers of children suffer from facial deformities present at birth or caused by trauma or disease. More than 500 children have received help so far, 90 of whom are orphans. Twenty-five orphans were adopted after corrective surgery. International missions work in teams with local surgeons and nurses, exchanging information, so that a more lasting impact is made. To ensure that these programs continue making a difference worldwide, the campaign seeks $400,000 to endow an annual grant to fund the domestic violence project and to increase the number of international missions.
There is something special about being a doctor, I think. We are the only people in the world who are permitted by law to invade a person’s body with a knife and try to help them. This is being a doctor. I take it seriously.
John J. Conley, MD
Call it pro bono work or, as I prefer, ministry. This type of work is good for the donor, the recipient, and the Academy.
Lori E. Hansen, MD
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