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Dr. Raymond Harshbarger — El Salvador Cleft Lip/Palate Global Grant

Posted by on Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 in Blog

Reported by Healy Marroy

President Bill called the meeting to order. Vlad Bahrencu led the pledge to the United States flag and Past President Don Ray George gave our invocation of the day. Healy Marroy greeted each member and guest as they arrived and Nick Hesselsweet introduced our guests and visitors.

Caroline Valentine (sponsored by Girish Altekar) traded in her Red Badge for a Blue one. Congratulations, Caroline!

Paul Harris Fellowship CoinPresident Bill presented the following Rotarians with their Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) Awards: Tarby Bryant (PHF-Initial), Vicky Lindsey (PHF +2) and Past President Sherry Workman (PHF +4). Thank you for your continued generosity and support!

General Announcements:
Vlad Bahrencu – Please let him know if you’d like to join this year’s Scholarship Committee and help our Club change lives!
Pecan Springs Elementary School needs a painter! If you know anyone who can paint a large eagle on their front office wall, please let Jon Yates or Mary Reynolds know.

Mike O’Krent gave a Camp Enterprise Committee announcement–The 38th Annual Camp Enterprise weekend is on January 24th-26th, 2020, and they need volunteers! There will be a general meeting on Tuesday, August 20th at 11AM in the Vestry Room (at St. David’s), and if you’re planning to volunteer or would like to learn more please attend this meeting.

SAVE THE DATE for the Sunset Boat Cruise which will be held on September 18th from 6-9PM. A buffet dinner from Rudy’s BBQ will be included. Please RSVP with Sylvia Holmes.

Girish Altekar gave today’s Global Awareness Upadate. Projects that are sponsored by our Club and are currently underway include a Bangalore Literacy Grant, support to the Iraqi Children’s Foundation and a Sudan hospital expansion/renovations. Our large Panama Water Grant is under review by Rotary International (RI), and a new project that was just approved earlier today is a grant to help support a Music School in Guatemala. Please note that successful and sustainable RI Global Programs must fall within one of the following six areas of focus:

  • 100yr Rotary FoundationPeacebuilding and conflict prevention
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Community economic development

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these projects, or if you have any you’d like our Club to consider, please contact Girish.

Dr. Russell Gana (Precision Chiropractic) gave today’s Membership Minute, and we learned that one of his hobbies is practicing jujutsu. Dr. Gana is a neurostructural chiropractor and focuses on resolution rather than a temporarily relief or “patch care” of symptoms. Most of his patients have tried other chiropractors but didn’t see results or continue to have pain due to the misalignment in the upper spine caused by falls, accidents or traumas. He originally joined RCA to network but has realized that it is more about serving his community than networking.

President Bill’s Announcements:

Don’t forget to RSVP to the annual District Night at Dell Diamond when the Round Rock Express will take on the New Orleans Baby Cakes! It’s on Friday, August 23rd – Game time is at 7:05PM and gates open at 6:00PM; and there will also be a post-game firework show!

Past President Ladd Pattillo and his wife, Marilyn, are hosting this month’s “Summer Wine Down” wine party on Friday, August 16, starting at 6:30. Please join us and RSVP with Ladd!

The District is matching donations made to RI’s Annual Fund/SHARE account again this year. For a limited time any single, one-time donation between $250 and $500 will be matched! Please let Jennifer know if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.

Ellen Hunt introduced our speaker, Dr. Raymond Harshbarger, who spoke about an El Salvador Cleft Lip/Palate program he recently returned from that was partially funded by a Rotary Global Grant sponsored by our Club.

Dr. Harshbarger began by stating that this is his first time attending a Rotary meeting in the U.S., and he’s only attended Rotary meetings in El Salvador. He then spoke about the Lancet Commission, which is a group who focuses on global medical problems and surgeries. Their focus began on medicine but they soon realized that there needs to be a more concentrated need on surgical needs, including post-surgical care.

Dr. Harshbarger - Cleft Palate Talk

Learn more about Dr Harshbarger’s work HERE

Raymond showed a world map highlighting areas where surgical care was regularly provided and those where there is limited or no access. Unsurprisingly, Africa has the worst access to surgical care. Studies conducted by the Lancet Commission show that, when taking into account availability, safety, affordability and timeliness, more than 5 billion people lack access which is more than double their previous estimates.

Statistics include: In low to middle income countries surgical volume is just 6% of the total global volume; there is a growing need for more than 143 million procedures per year just to achieve the global volume; the estimated cost of surgical expansion (2015-2030) is $350 billion compared with total projected GDP losses (2015-2030) exceeding $12.3 trillion; and 28-32% of the global burden of disease is from substandard surgical conditions.

Dr. Harshbarger explained that there are three models of care: vertical, horizontal and oblique. Vertical is the “classic” model where doctors fly in to the country that needs help, they do the work and then they fly out; Horizontal emphasizes teaching/training of in-country staff and not necessarily doing the work for them; and Oblique is the preferred method and is a combination of both vertical and horizontal and is designed to allow countries to continue the work on their own after initial help is provided.

Raymond is now a part of Austin Smiles. Austin Smiles has been doing mission trips for over 30 years with a protocol that involves visiting communities 6 weeks before surgery so doctors can meet the patients and provide any pre-surgical recommendations; scheduling/performing the surgeries; followed by subsequent visits to check back in on the patients about a month after surgery. The ongoing development in El Salvador is focused on education funded by a Rotary Global Grant including: Fellowship training and ASMS basic course; Equipment enhancements including a plating system in the hospital; Multidisciplinary craniofacial clinics; Tele-clinics with teams of doctors in the United States; and Sustainability with the development of an independent foundation.

Dr. Harshbarger reported that he was part of the military for 8 years and worked in the Dominican Republic. He decided to focus on lip/palate corrective surgeries, held extensive patient screenings and worked with local physicians. He concluded with special thank-you’s to Ellen Hunt, Lisset Burgos Castro and Victor Miguel Silhy.

Next week we’ll hear from the Rotary Group Youth Exchange students who have recently returned from Australia. President Bill thanked Alison Michels (Evolve 360 Realty) for supporting our newsletter, and we stood to close the meeting with Gary Gerstenhaber leading us in saying the Four Way Test.

More About Our Speaker:

Dr. Raymond HarshbargerRAYMOND HARSHBARGER

El Salvador Cleft Lip/Palate Global Grant

Raymond J. Harshbarger, MD, FACS, FAAP is the Craniofacial & Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship Founder/Director for the ACGME-accredited Dell Children’s Medical Center Program.

He holds faculty appointments at UTMB and serves as Associate Professor of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the University of Texas Dell Medical School and as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical

Engineering at University of Texas at Austin. After completing his Doctor of Medicine degree at University of Rochester, he trained in General/Plastic Surgery at the Brown University Program and completed a Craniofacial Surgery & Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/USC Medical School.

Dr. Harshbarger served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army and directed the craniofacial reconstruction program from the Iraq/ Afghanistan War at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Dr. Harshbarger’s clinical interests are in treating cleft, craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgical conditions. He also manages complex facial trauma and craniofacial reconstruction.

Dr. Harshbarger has a passion for international humanitarian surgical work. He has participated in many cleft and craniofacial surgery missions to third world countries including Vietnam, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru.

He has organized and led four missions to the Dominican Republic and over 20 missions to El Salvador where he currently performs orthognathic surgery and is assisting local physicians in creating a viable craniofacial center there. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Austin Smiles, a humanitarian cleft surgery organization.

Dr. Harshbarger also maintains an interest in clinical and basic science research, conducting grant- funded research in the genetics of craniosynostosis. He has written numerous publications and has spoken frequently at national and international conferences and has served as a visiting professor.

He is a member of multiple societies, including the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, American Society of Craniofacial Surgery, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons.


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