|Jefferson Medical College Students
Volunteer in Operation Smiles New Effort in Philadelphia
Jefferson Medical College (JMC) students are volunteering their time and expertise in a new effort by Operation Smile to help children in Philadelphia receive medical care.
The JMC students participated in two screening clinics, one in North Philadelphia and one in West Philadelphia, designed to identify children and young adults needing reconstructive facial surgery and related healthcare.
Operation Smile is primarily known for bringing such care to indigent young patients in developing countries. Over the past decade, a similar program for children in need in the United States has been gaining momentum.
In December 1998 the Philadelphia chapter participated in Operation Smiles World Journey of Hope 99, the largest-ever surgical mission to repair cleft lips and cleft palates in the United States and in 17 developing countries. A total of 5,000 children and young adults including 200 living in the United States will receive reconstructive surgery in a 9-week period from February to April.
Under the guidance of John H. Moore, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, JMC, and other local surgeons, the program permits a medical student to participate in the care of the Operation Smile patient as an advocate for the patient and family. The student attends all pre-operative office visits, the surgery itself and post-operative visits. In addition, local hospitals donate equipment and operating room time, and doctors and nurses donate their services.
In a letter to Dr. Moore and the Board of Directors of Operation Smile, the JMC students emphasized the important clinical learning opportunity afforded by their Operation Smile experience.
In addition, wrote James Z. Appel III, JMC 00, President, JMC Student Association of Operation Smile, the Philadelphia clinics truly embodied the Operation Smile mission experience. It provided us with the opportunity to meet some of the innocent victims of nature that Operation Smile is dedicated to helping those who have nowhere else to turn. Not only did this give us insight into the suffering that such children must face every day, it also allowed us the gratification of doing our small part in giving those children happier, healthier lives.
Mr. Appel has been selected to accompany the Operation Smile medical mission to Managua, Nicaragua in February, to help kick off the World Journey of Hope 99. One medical student will accompany most of the 28 missions scheduled for this year.
In addition to Mr. Appel, these JMC students participated in the Philadelphia screening clinics and follow-ups: Anitha Nimmagadda, JMC 02, Edward Caterson, JMC 00, Elizabeth Owens, 01, Fiona Pasternack, JMC 02, Robert Bales, JMC 00, Srikala Shenbagamurthi, JMC, 01.
Participating from Jeffersons medical staff, in addition to Dr. Moore, were Steven E. Copit, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, JMC, and Valerie E. Armstead, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, JMC. Also participating were Jean C. Givey, Executive Associate to the President, Thomas Jefferson University and, from the Department of Social Work, Joan Tannebaum, LSW, Director, and Judith Gold, MSW, Pediatric Social Worker.