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Living in a pretty spot
I always knew I wanted to go into plastic surgery. You get to work with the whole body, and it allows you to be creative.
I joined Plastic Surgery Clinic in Denver in 1991, which is when we moved to Golden.
My wife Sandie and I raised two children, and they’re still local.
I grew up in Minnesota. I decided I wanted to live in a pretty spot, and Colorado seemed to be the place. I’m active in the outdoors — I like to golf and go skiing. It’s great to have these amenities within an hour of each other.
Bringing Tanzania into the 21st Century
I’ve been providing voluntary reconstructive plastic surgery services in Tanzania for the past 23 years. Dr. Mark Jacobson, a friend I grew up with in Minnesota, started a hospital out there. There are now two hospitals, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre and Selian Lutheran Hospital, and a rehab center called Plaster House.
I developed a team of surgeons and doctors who travel to Tanzania together, and we go at least twice a year. About eight to 10 of us go each trip, and we bring our nurses and surgical assistants to help work with the local medical staff.
In Tanzania, we work with the native surgeons to get them up-to-speed and into the 21st Century. Within the past five years, they’ve developed a formal surgical training program, and we’ve been helping out with that. We’ve trained the doctors to treat many things — burns, head and neck cancers, cleft lip and cleft palate, for example.
Tanzania is a country where children with disabilities are hidden out. A cleft lip, for example, is a birth defect and is something that’s easy to treat. The goal of our team is to treat things like that. It’s rewarding to be able to get those children into society, and it helps them bond more with their parents.
One World Medical Relief
Tanzania is a beautiful area of Africa. But it’s an incredibly poor part of the world. A lot of my patients here in the U.S. hear about what we’re doing in Tanzania and want to get involved. So, a nonprofit called One World Medical Relief began about 12 years ago. Through the nonprofit, people can give tax-deductible donations. All donations go toward supporting the hospitals in Tanzania and the cost of medical supplies.
A website for One World Medical Relief will be launched soon, but for now, anybody who wants to learn more or get involved can call 303-830-7200.
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