Healing the Children - 2016 Annual Report


"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way it treats its children."
- Nelson Mandela

Healing ChildrenEveryone Together

On the Cover: Healing the Children works with many different peoples of differing cultures in many countries across the world to make sure that all children everywhere have access and receive needed medical care. These children are the collective hope for mankind’s future.


Special Feature: International Partners

Ever since the establishment of Healing the Children 37 years ago, our International Partners have been an integral asset in helping HTC provide needed medical care to children across the globe. International Partners are organizations or individuals, most frequently but not always located in a developing country where children with unmet medical needs were recognized and/or support of local pediatric healthcare providers is needed and requested. International Partners provide us with a wide range of assistance and advise on how HTC can be most effective in that country to address pediatric medical needs, local customs, and country healthcare regulations.

International Partners assist HTC to bring the neediest children in-bound to the U.S. for medical interventions in pediatric hospitals here. They also are instrumental in helping us to organize effective outbound medical teams traveling to their country, to ensure we have appropriate medical centers to work with, have pre-identified the types of medical cases each medical team has been constructed to work with, and that our teams have safe working conditions and have followed all of the necessary regulations for providing medical care in each specific country we visit. International Partners are also key to our being able to help - as may be requested - to develop stronger sustainable pediatric resources in that country.
While there are many people who are invaluably helpful, allowing HTC to be successful with a specific child or one specific project, our International Partners are appropriately designated “partners” with whom HTC has an ongoing relationship and who we rely upon to provide specific knowledge and expertise about a specific country on a longer term basis. International Partners are also afforded the opportunity to interact with all of our chapters and work in partnership with Healing the Children at its annual conference.
Healing the Children is indebted to its International Partners and is constantly seeking to increase such relationships. Here is one example illustrating the depth of the partnership HTC enjoys with its International Partner in Ethiopia, Dr Belay Abegaz and the Children’s Heart Fund of Ethiopia.

Children's Heart Fund of Ethiopia

Cardiac Center of EthiopiaHeart diseases are among the top ten medical issues confronting children in Ethiopia. Ethiopia, one of the poorest nations in the world, has a population of close to 100 million, of which an estimated 45% are under the age of 15. Yet, without any in-country medical facilities or trained medical professionals directed towards treating children with cardiology issues, HTC as well as other medical ngos outside of Ethiopia were able to care for only a small number of Ethiopian children with cardiac issues either by bringing them to the U.S. for such treatment or by creating a team of pediatric cardiology surgeons and staff, and carefully aligning ourselves with in country locations that could support these children post-surgery after our teams have returned to the U.S.
HTC’s International Partner in Ethiopia is Dr. Belay Abegaz. Approximately twelve years ago Dr. Belay began to marshal resources to create a sustainable pediatric cardiology hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. He approached Healing the Children, and other ngos, for our collective assistance with an ambitious project. HTC was able to respond to securing key equipment and supplies requested and by sending pediatric cardiology teams more frequently and able to stay for longer durations to help train Ethiopian cardiac specialists.
Since the inauguration of Dr Belay’s dream in 2009, the Cardiac Center of Ethiopia has been able to operate upon more than 3000 patients free of charge. While Healing the Children also works with other contacts in Ethiopia to help us with other non-cardiac projects and needs, we continue to recognize Dr. Belay as our International Partner for Ethiopia and to assist each other in caring for the needs of children in that country with cardiac issues.

The ICU at the Cardiac Center of Ethiopia

HTC Programs: How We Help

In order to accomplish our mission to serve children, Healing the Children has developed several programs to facilitate our work. Chapters may participate in any of the programs that they deem compatible with their resources and local interests.

2016 Program Results

Total Number of Children Helped
Program 2016 1979-2016
International Inbound 26 7439
Medical Teams Abroad 3,753 183,923
Domestic 164 18,789
Non-surgical and Special Programs 5,226 58,961
International Medical Assistance Program 4 232
  9,173 269,344
23 Outbound Medical Teams to 13 Countries
Country Visits in 2016
Bolivia 1
Cambodia 1
China 1
Colombia 4
Dominican Republic 1
Ecuador 2
El Salvador 1
Ethiopia 1
Guatemala 6
India 1
Nepal 1
Nicaragua 1
Peru 2
13 Countries 23
11 Non-Surgical Medical Trips to 5 Countries
Country Visits in 2016
Guatemala 6
Haiti 1
Honduras 1
India 2
Lithuania 1
5 Countries 11
26 children came to the United States through our inbound program from:
Chile (1) Haiti (3) Dominican Republic (4)
Honduras (2) El Salvador (5) Iraq (3)
Ethiopia (1) Mexico (1) Peru (2)
Guatemala (2) Guyana (1) Philippines (1)
12 Countries

Financial Highlights

  2015 2016
Total Assets $1,748,061 $2,027,318
Total Liabilities $157,883 $205,772
Net Assets $1,590,178 $1,821,546
Total Expenses $14,997,072 $15,442,753
Total Revenues $15,034,601 $15,656,391
Increase/(Decrease) in Net Assets $78,845 $231,368
% Non-Program Overhead 2.31% 1.73%

In 2016, HTC provided urgently needed medical assistance to a total of 9,173 children, and delivered $15 million of medical services and supplies.

Over the past 37 years, HTC has now provided medical assistance to 269,344 children and delivered over $727 million of medical services and supplies for children from over 100 countries.

2016 Geographic Impact

9,173 Children Helped

Impact Around the World

2016 Highlights

Each chapter of Healing the Children operates autonomously and plans its programs to reflect the volunteer resources available in their chapter’s region and the interests of its volunteers, both medical and non-medical. Healing the Children is also fortunate to have a global network of International Partners located in many of the countries we are able to work in. These International Partners offer invaluable assistance. They help us to identify the needs of children and the pediatric resources in their countries, and they help to navigate the unique local logistics and regulatory issues that must be broached to make our programs successful.

But more than anything else our programs, our outcomes in helping children around the world, are driven by our collective passion and ingenuity. Every year we share examples of this passion, this ingenuity, with readers of our Annual Report. We hope you enjoy these samples of what we accomplished, what makes us continue on to help more and more children, and that perhaps this may inspire others to join in our efforts.

Ali from Florida

scrubs5 year-old Ali has Spina Bifida. His condition requires multiple specialists to help with his neurological, urological, and orthopedic challenges. Ali’s family emigrated to Central Florida from Venezuela and, although both parents work, they are living in poverty and had no way to get Ali the medical care he desperately needed. Healing the Children is helping Ali get the care he needs.

Gladys from Nigeria

In her home country of Nigeria there were no physicians who could help 11-year-old Gladys with her condition. Gladys had badly deformed legs caused by a severe orthopedic problem called Blount’s Disease. The Florida/Georgia Chapter of Healing the Children brought Gladys to the U.S. for treatment. During her 17 months here, Gladys underwent five surgeries to correct the curvature in her legs, and she worked hard in physical therapy. While living with her host families, Gladys' reading level went from kindergarten to a fourth-grade level. Now 13, she is back in Nigeria and continuing her education - and is able to walk normally!

Gladys at School
Gladys at School

Orthopedic Trip to Nepal

Nepal 2016

A team of five volunteers returned to the Nepal Orthopedic Hospital (NOH) from March 24-29, 2016. This marked our 9th annual Foot and Ankle Surgical Mission in Kathmandu.

The trip is orchestrated through Healing the Children’s Southern California chapter. However, the mission is only possible with the financial support of numerous groups and individual donors. The Podiatry Institute (Decatur, GA) and Dr. Craig Camasta’s (Atlanta, GA) Operation Walk non-profit organizations continue to support the mission. First-year podiatry student, Bilal Khan, generated substantial funding through an online GoFundMe campaign. This financial aid completely subsidizes all costs associated with surgery for these patients – anesthesia services, surgical fixation, medications, labs, imaging studies, bandaging supplies, durable medical equipment and the patients’ in-hospital post-operative recovery and rehab that can last weeks to months.

team in Nepal
Orthopedic surgical team in Nepal.

Drs. Carl Kihm (Louisville, KY) and Jennifer D’Amico (San Diego, CA) lead the team and this was the fifth trip for each of them. Operating room circulating nurse and mission-trip veteran, Bojan Kuure (Anacortes, WA), returned for her 10th mission at the NOH; this was her 98th mission experience overall! Two first-time members rounded out this year’s team. Dr. Swapnil Patel (Decatur, GA), 3rd year resident at the DeKalb Medical Center, was a great addition in surgery. Physician assistant, Alexis Willey (Asheville, NC), was also helpful in many areas, including patient registration/screening and surgical assisting.

Our team worked intimately with the NOH staff. The NOH has a new medical director, Dr. Rajesh Maharjan, who continues to support the planning and implementation of the mission. In surgery, we continue to work alongside and train Drs. Sujan Singh and Rajiv Shrestha. As we share our surgical techniques with them, we again learn much from their experience and perspective.

This year, we again saw many challenging deformities. Ponseti casting was performed on two pediatric clubfoot deformities. The majority of our surgeries corrected neglected congenital and traumatic deformities. Our team screened a total of 54 patients. Of these, 45 procedures were performed on 27 patients. For us, this was impressive given that our team was knocked out-of-commission for 24 hours with food poisoning (a rare occurrence). After a course of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, we were back to work to wrap up the trip.

orthopedic patientorthopedic patientorthopedic patient

As always, seeing our past surgical patients doing well was a highlight of the trip. This year, more than ever though, the best part was to see the NOH running strong. Just weeks following our March 2015 trip, Kathmandu was devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Building structures and iconic temples collapsed as thousands perished. The rest of Nepal was forced to persevere. Although the NOH remained structurally sound, ongoing aftershocks continued to rock the ground and create fear of further collapse. For one month, the hospital migrated its operating rooms and patient wards outside into tents. Many disaster relief organizations and individual support was greatly appreciated during this critical time of need.

Kathmandu after the 2015 earthquake

Notably, Dr. Thomas Chang (Santa Rosa, CA) traveled to the NOH to offer his surgical expertise and service. Dr. Stephen Miller (Anacortes, WA) and the Fidalgo Island Rotary Club provided supplies and financial support. Dr. Carl Kihm connected the NOH with MedShare (Decatur, GA) who donated and express-shipped 1,000 boxes of requested supplies.

earthquake victim

Zulea from Tanzania

Zulea and Dr. Chariker
Zulea with Dr. Chariker

Zulea, a 16 year old Tanzanian, came to the attention of Healing The Children Kentucky Chapter in late spring 2016. Her medical needs were identified by two physicians from the University of Louisville: Bethany Hodge, M.D. and William Smock, M.D. during a student medical mission trip.

Zulea had suffered from an unknown dermatological scalp condition that caused irrevocable damage to her hair follicles and caused extensive open wounds that covered 70% of her scalp. She had suffered from this for 10 years, but it had become severe in the past 3 years. The past 3 years in Tanzania she had been hospitalized seven times, often for months at a time.  
Cancer was suspected but biopsies showed that was not the case. Extensive testing including genetic testing was performed. Her condition to this day remains undiagnosed, baffling over 20 specialists from across the United States who consulted on her case. Undeterred by the lack of answers but resolute in their desire to help her, plastic surgeon Mark Chariker, M.D. and Dermpath specialist George Sonnier, M.D. treated her wounds. After five months of daily home treatments and weekly doctor treatments she was clearly on the mend. She returned home just after Christmas 2016 with wound treatment supplies from our charitable partner Supplies Over Seas.   
Other physicians also provided her with glasses and dental work which greatly enhanced her life. She proclaimed one day while we drove, “What is that in the sky?”

“A rainbow,” I answered thinking she just needed the English word.

With amazement she stated, “Oh, I’ve heard of those, but never been able to see one.” Her time here was not only spent in medical healing but also in learning our culture and language. She returned to her village energized to be an asset to her community by translating and helping in medical clinics.  
She taught us all many things but most notably she modeled bravery and gratitude as she journeyed in this foreign land and underwent painful daily treatments. The memory of her quick smile and thank you after each of those treatments still brings tears to my eyes.

Zulea with Elena, another HTC child from Guatemala
Zulea with Elena, another HTC child from Guatemala

Ophthalmology Trip to Ecuador

In January, Dr. Bruce Schnall, an ophthalmologist located in Voorhees, NJ, along with a team of twenty-eight volunteers screened nearly two hundred patients and performed surgeries on 124 children with strabismus in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The medical team from Healing the Children's New Jersey Chapter also saw 47 post-op patients for eye exams and photos from HTC New Jersey’s early cataract team trip, as well as five children from a prior trip. They also examined two blind children with Barron’s disease.

"Surgery to correct eye misalignment is a life altering event for these children and their families. I truly believe that we dramatically improved 124 lives on the Healing the Children New Jersey medical mission," said Dr. Schnall.

The medical team was hosted by Hospital Leon Becerra and supported by Berkeley College and The Association of Surgical Technicians.

During the week long trip, the medical team received a special visit from Todd Chapman, US Ambassador to Ecuador, where they were recognized for profoundly impacting the lives of Ecuadorian children.

eye patienteye patienteye exam

Support for Local Families

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” - Charles Dickens

The New Jersey Chapter of Healing the Children, with generous support from the community, provides financial assistance to New Jersey families who have children with complex medical issues.

TakiemTykeim is a fifteen-year-old boy who attends Passaic High School in Passaic, NJ. During a vision screening performed at school he was found to have poor vision and needed glasses. Although his mother holds a part time job, extra expenses such as glasses can be a financial challenge for the family. HTCNJ assisted with the purchase of sports goggles so he could play on the high school basketball team. Good luck on the courts, Tykeim!

MichelleMichelle, age four, was referred to HTCNJ by her social worker through the office of Special Child Health Services in Passaic County. Michelle was born with Cerebral Palsy, and has limited mobility and difficulty with feeding. She is able to walk with assistance wearing orthotics and using a walker. HTCNJ assisted the family with over the counter items needed for Michelle’s personal care. Keep smiling, Michelle!

Leaving a Legacy in Guatemala

Audiology in GuatemalaWhen Dr. Mike Mallahan, an audiologist from Everett, WA, read a newspaper article in the local Herald he was captivated. Dr. Ron Krueger, an ENT surgeon, had recently returned from a surgical trip to Guatemala through Healing the Children Oregon Western Washington (HTCORWWA).  Krueger described the trip as transformative. A short time later, Mike was coaching a soccer team which Ron’s son was on and a conversation about that article would change Mike’s life and the lives of thousands of children in Guatemala forever.

Dr. Ron said that while the ENT surgical trips were amazing, he could only help 10% of the children who came for treatment. The majority of children had hearing loss, so if Mike could form an audiology team – Guatemala needed him! It was an easy ask. Just 7 years earlier, Mike’s brother Pat had married a woman from Guatemala, so Mike was already in love with the county and had connections there.

In 2003, Mike took his first trip to Guatemala City. He met up with a Rotary Club that provided translators for the team and they invited Mike to speak. A young Finnish woman heard the presentation and told her father who then invited Mike to come to Flores in northern Guatemala. The father said there was a high level of deafness in children in this rural region. The Rotary Club paid for Mike’s trip and there he met two people Ruby and Oscar who later became two of the five Guatemalans Mike would help to train as Audio Techs. This would become the founding of the Audiology program of HTCORWWA.

Over the past 13 years, Dr. Mike has made trips in February and November and now August to Guatemala. An early partnership with the Guatemalan based Realizando Sueños “Realize Your Dreams” helped to provide sustainability in this work. Mallahan provided training (over the course of 8 years) for five Guatemalans as Audio Techs who now run their own businesses selling new and refurbished hearing aids. There have been 6 sites established complete with diagnostic equipment and testing and now 3 new sites have been identified for the November 2017 team. 

Rotary continues to be a big partner and financial supporter in Guatemala and the US most recently providing 20 on-line Audio Tech classes in Spanish and books which have accelerated the training program for 3 new trainees. Rotary also funds thousands of dollars in hearing aids and testing equipment annually.

Dr. MallahanDr. Mallahan

To say Mike Mallahan is changing lives is an understatement. He has in fact changed the lives of more than 3,000 children who can now hear and learn and thrive. His teams provide 1,200 children every year with assessment, treatment, and follow up. He leads audiology and ENT teams 2 - 3 times a year, with groups of up to 30 Americans and 12 Guatemalans. In 2015, he recruited audiology students from the University of Washington who go every August and do the assessments for the November team. And he is beginning to think to the future… maybe he can do this again in another country!

Each child treated has a story to share. Our work is meaningless without their voice.

Our work at Healing the Children is indeed transformative. Thanks to volunteers like Dr. Krueger and Dr. Mallahan, the many people who volunteer annually, Rotary, partnerships in Guatemala and the US, donors, and sponsors - together we are changing the world… one child at a time.

Audiology Team

Supporting Students in Mexico

Healing the Children Wisconsin continues to support the students in Citlaltepec, Mexico through it’s Adopt-a-Student Program. Students receive new uniform, shoes, and backpack with school supplies each year so they may attend school. In 2016, the Adopt-a-Student program served 100 students. Healing the Children Wisconsin also provided orthopedic shoes and prescription glasses to students in need. The area schools were treated with new playground equipment such as soccer balls, basketballs and jump ropes. Pictured below are some of the students from Citlaltepec wearing their new tee shirts from area businesses in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

Students in Citlaltepec, Mexico

Alexandra from Dominican Republic

Alexandra with Dr. Asadi
Alexandra with Dr. Asadi.

We needed a host family on one day’s notice, and thank goodness Tim and Roxanne Bareman, having just hosted their fifth HTC kid, weren’t done with their Healing the Children mission. Soon after one child returned home, they welcomed another, Alexandra Jean, age 18 of the Dominican Republic.

Alexandra was suffering from a cerebral cavernous malformation, a mass of blood vessels that caused painful migraine headaches affecting her balance and vision, among many unpleasant symptoms. Dr. Robert Selfe of Grand Rapids was on a mission trip when he met her and determined that HTC could  find her the help she needed in Grand Rapids.

Very soon after she arrived, neurosurgeon Dr. Kaveh Asadi performed her surgery at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, removing the vascular malformation in her brain. Her migraines will be gone, along with the chance that the mass would burst or cause bleeding in the brain.

It all happened so swiftly that the Baremans only got the chance to know - and love - Alexandra after surgery. “She is a beautiful girl who was very eager to please,” says Roxanne. “She loved to cook and enjoyed doing things with our family.”

“She is the  first older child we’ve cared for. She didn’t try much English, but was very willing to use the translator on my phone. We had fun with her learning how to cook and taking her bowling and to the zoo - and to Michigan Adventure just three weeks after her surgery.”

“We use Facebook to keep in touch. She was only here for 5 1⁄2 weeks, but we’ll be friends for life!”

Bareman Family

Mariana from Peru

Dr. Kutlu with Mariana
Dr. Hakan Kutlu with Mariana

Mariana’s journey began in 2014 when she came to the U.S. from Peru as a two-year-old to undergo surgery for a severe facial deformity. Mariana suffered from hairy nevus that covered the entire left side of her face. Since that first surgery, Mariana has been back to the U.S. twice to undergo additional procedures by Dr. Hakan Kutlu at Morristown Medical Center, and will return again in 2018 for scar revision surgery.

“It has been a privilege to take care of this beautiful child with her challenging issues. I am confident that she will continue to thrive as she grows older and I look forward to helping her further in the future,” said Dr. Kutlu.

Mariana is a part of the family at the Sisters of Charity Mallinckrodt Convent in Mendham, New Jersey. Sister Immaculata Arboline and the entire congregation have hosted Mariana and her mother on their many trips to the U.S., providing them with a loving and nurturing environment. All of us at HTCNJ are grateful to Dr. Kutlu, his staff and everyone at Morristown Medical Center for their generosity and support.

Daniel in New Jersey

DanielIn August, 2014 nine-month old Daniel from the Dominican Republic traveled to the U.S. seeking treatment for a congenital lymphatic malformation. He received a full evaluation by the Pediatric Multidisciplinary Vascular Clinic at St. Peter’s University Hospital. The team of doctors treated Daniel with interventional radiology and he was fitted with a custom compression garment with the hope of shrinking the lymphatic malformation significantly before having to do surgery.

Thus, Daniel returned home that November. Unfortunately, this approach did not produce the results they had hoped for and in October, 2016, nearly two years later, Daniel returned to the U.S. to undergo surgery. He had surgery for his congenital lymphatic malformation performed by Dr. Stephen Palder, a pediatric surgeon and his team in the early summer. While in New Jersey, Daniel, an active three-and-a-half year-old, spends his days with the Alectoridis family, a loving family that has hosted numerous children in the last decade.

Aproximately 50% of the tumor has been removed. Daniel will return to New Jersey in 2018 for further treatment.

Daniel in New Jersey
Daniel with his host family parents

Medical Missions Abroad

In 2016 Healing the Children Rocky Mountains coordinated two volunteer medical missions abroad focused on helping children in need.

In July 2016, a group of 8 volunteers travelled to Guatemala City, Guatemala on a medical mission focused on cleft lip and cleft palate surgery and on microtia surgery. Microtia surgery is where we make ears for children who were born without a normal ear out of rib cartilage. These children are often teased and treated as different. We partnered with the Guatemalan Pediatric Foundation and utilized their clinic and operating rooms for our mission. 49 patients were screened with 27 patients receiving 36 procedures. The value of medical services donated was $291,138.

Microtia Surgery in Guatemala
Microtia before surgeryMicrotia after surgery


In November 2016, we returned to Lima, Peru for our 6th cleft lip and palate medical mission there with a team of 33 volunteers.

Dr. Ryan Brown
Sixth consecutive cleft lip and palate mission to Lima, Peru.

We screened over 120 patients and performed 116 procedures on 81 patients. We also followed up on many patients we have treated over the years. Almost all of the surgeries were for cleft lip, cleft palate, and difficulties with speech. We also brought down two speech therapists and they provided 63 free speech therapy sessions to patients and their families.

An exciting development during this mission was that we expanded the non-surgical treatment we offer. We brought down an optometrist and about 900 pairs of donated glasses and they spent the week fitting patients with new glasses. We also brought down two audiologists and about 50 donated hearing aids and they spent the week testing patients and fitting them with free hearing aids. They also brought down computer software and taught the local Peruvian ENT department how to program the hearing aids.

We worked side by side with Peruvian medical students and physicians and taught them procedures. We also provided 7 lectures throughout the week to the hospital staff and physicians. Our nurses in the operating room and in the recovery room also collaborated with their Peruvian counterparts to share ideas and improve processes.

New Optometry and Audiology Clinics provided expanded services on our trip to Lima, Peru.
Optometry ClinicAudiology Clinic

Cleft Lip and Palate Mission to Ica, Peru

Drs. Ransom and Alemi with family
Dr. Evan Ransom (left) and Dr. Sean Alemi (right) with a patient and his mother following cleft lip repair.

The Northeast and Northern California chapters of Healing the Children recently completed their fourth annual cleft lip and palate mission to Ica, Peru. In partnership with the AAFPRS Foundation’s FACE TO FACE Program, the 31-person mission team was led for the fourth year by Dr. Evan Ransom, an ABFPRS certified facial plastic surgeon from San Francisco, CA and Dr. Joseph Rousso, MD, FACS, an ABFPRS certified facial plastic surgeon from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Additional surgical staff included Augustine Moscatello MD, an otolaryngologist practicing in Westchester, NY, Jordan Virbalas, MD a pediatric otolaryngologist practicing in Oakland, CA, Norman Chan, MD a fellow of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, NY and Sean Alemi MD, a fourth year otolaryngology resident from the University of California, San Francisco. Anesthesia care was provided by a stellar group from Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX.

As in years past, the team began their mission by being enthusiastically greeted by a waiting room full of families and their children, some of who traveled up to 48 hours to reach The Hospital Regional de Ica. With the assistance of pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, anesthesiologists, nursing staff and several local medical student volunteers, the team screened a record number 128 patients this year. From this group, the surgical team successfully completed 68 operations during the week – highlighted by 27 primary cleft lip repairs, 23 cleft palate repairs, 4 frenuloplasties, one cleft rhinoplasty, one first stage microtia repair, and a second stage microtia repair on a follow up patient the on whom the group had performed a primary repair the preceding year. In addition, the speech and language pathology group was able to work with a large group of previously-repaired patients, as well as children from the community with other oral and speech issues.

The team is already planning for next year, with ongoing efforts to expand patient recruitment and surgical care during the week. To get involved with our charitable programs through FACE TO FACE and/or Healing the Children, or to make a donation, please visit us online at www.AAFPRS.org, www.htcne.org and www.HTCNorCal.org.

cleft operation
Dr. Sean Alemi (left) and Dr. Evan Ransom (right) in surgery.
Dr. Rousso
Dr. Joseph Rousso with a patient following cleft lip repair.

Surgical Mission in Ethiopia

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Healing the Children began traveling to Ethiopia twice a year over eight years ago. During that time, we have developed partnerships with government, NGOs, and the medical community that have had a significant impact on the development of pediatric medical resources in this country of over 100 million people, about half of them children.

Highlights from HTC Greater Philadelphia's Spring Trip to Ethiopia

These are some of the highlights from our most recent trip.

NatnaelNatnael was strangled when he was 12. He wore a tracheotomy tube for 7 years. After a third bronchoscopy and dilatation by our team over a 3 year period, he was finally decannulate – free to attend high school like other teens.

SeydaSeyda was working as a domestic servant in Saudi Arabia. She had terrible headaches and gradually lost the vision in her right eye. An MRI done there showed an enormous cystic lesion eroding her skull base and pressing on her eye. We reviewed the images with experts in Boston and Pittsburgh over the internet before performing transnasal drainage of the cyst. Her vision was restored.

Zeyneba's surgeryZeyneba had a painful enlarging mass of the back of her neck. Asnake and Billen are graduates of the Black Lion residency where HTC has been doing ENT training for the last eight years. They removed the tumor completely without injury to the surrounding structures.


Training Medical Residents

Healing the Children's educational program for otolaryngology residents is one of the core missions of our involvement in Ethiopia. The program continues to progress. Now Ethiopian graduates of the program are doing much of the teaching in the operating room.

Rather than giving lectures, we coordinated the first Journal Club teaching session to help young doctors learn to critically read the otolaryngology literature, a skill that they will need in order to advance their knowledge throughout their careers.

Working in coordination with SmileTrain, we also put on a four day safe pediatric anesthesia training course for Ethiopian anesthesia providers – the first such course in the country.

Otolaryngology trainingTraining session

Before and After

Jeff Degner, director of the Illinois/Indiana Chapter, has been involved with Healing the Children for twenty-five years. His early experiences were acting as an escort for the Wisconsin chapter, bringing needy children to and from Central America to the United States. More recently, he has been reunited with several of these children, once little, frail and sick, and now older, vibrant and healthy.

Here are two examples of these happy reunions. Though not all Healing the Children cases have such dramatic endings, these before-and-after photos surely are heart-warming and wonderful to behold.

Jeff and Dora
This is Dora who had cardiac surgery.
Jeff and Ingrid
Ingrid was born without an esophagus.

How You Can Help

Thank you for reading the stories of many brave children and learning exactly why Healing the Children envisions a world where every child has access to medical care, regardless of circumstance. If you were touched by a story in any way and would like to get involved, Healing the Children would love to hear from you.

Here are a few ways you can help:

Together we are Healing the Children

Board of Directors

Helen Salan

Ann Anderst

Steve Moore

Tim Brelig

Rhonda Anderson, Member at Large
Kristin Brodowski, Chapter Director
Dr. Ryan Brown, Chapter Director
Dr. Jennifer D’Amico, Chapter Director
Jeff Degner, Chapter Director
Desma Ferrell, Chapter Director
Dr. Francis Gardner, Member at Large
Melissa Freeman, Chapter Director
Shirley Lewis, Chapter Director
Karen Mackie, Chapter Director
Kristin Mathews, Chapter Director
Debi McDonald, Chapter Director
Steve Nargiso, Board Representative
Dr. Evan Ransom, Chapter Director
Arlene Rhodenbeck, Chapter Director
Kathy Slack, Chapter Director
Dr. Jack Stephens, Board Representative
Peggy Wydeven, Chapter Director


Our Chapters

National Office
Carol Borneman
P.O. Box 9065
Spokane, WA 99209-9065
(509) 327-4281
fax: (509) 327-4284
Arizona Chapter
Kristin Matthews
Debra Karam
8711E Pinnacle Peak Road #195
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(602) 320-3197
Florida/Georgia Chapter
Arlene Rhodenbeck
P.O. Box 608432
Orlando, FL 32860
(407) 877-9311
Greater Philadelphia Chapter
Desi Ferrell
46 St. Andrews Ct.
Westampton, NJ 08060
(609) 864-2393
Illinois/Indiana Chapter
Jeff Degner
20821 N. Scott Avenue
Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 381-8821
fax: (847) 381-8821
Inland Northwest Chapter
Shirl Lewis
P.O. Box 8345
Spokane, WA 99203-8345
(509) 624-1729
Kentucky Chapter
Debi McDonald
331 Conner Station Rd.
Simpsonville, KY 40067
(502) 419-9090
Michigan/Ohio Chapter
Helen Salan
2140 44th Street SE, Ste 204
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
(616) 281-6972
fax: (616) 281-6973
New Jersey Chapter
Karen Mackie
112 5th Ave
Hawthorne, NJ 07506
(973) 949-5034
fax: (973) 949-5036
Northeast Chapter
Missy Law
219 Kent Road, Suite 20
PO Box 129
New Milford, CT 06776
(860) 355-1828
fax: (860) 350-6634
Northern California Chapter
Evan Ransom
450 Sutter Street, Suite 1212
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 550-1077
Rocky Mountains Chapter
Ann Brown
4142 W 105th Way
Westminster, CO 80031
(314) 956-8260
Seattle Chapter
Marshall Partington
10220 NE Points Drive, Suite 110
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 273-1334
Southern California Chapter
Jennifer D'Amico
23164 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(619) 453-8174
Southwest Chapter
Melissa Freeman
1112 San Pedro NE, Box #203
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 228-1404
Wisconsin Chapter
Peggy Wydeven
1732 Van Zeeland Court
Little Chute, WI 54140
(920) 277-2392