Category Archives: Missions

Summary: ISMS Michigan Team’s mission to Kakamega, Kenya – 2013

The town of Kakamega lies in Kenya’s second most populous county about 30 kilometers north of the equator. Within this county, Kakamega Provincial General Hospital has a catchment area of over 4 million. After the ISMS Pediatric mission to Kakamega took place last year, the need for medical attention in this region was so outstanding that a new ISMS team (Team Michigan) was created with a goal to return to this area for their first mission.

Team Michigan’s mission to Kakamega, Kenya

Team Michigan's mission to Kakamega, Kenya, 2013

Team Michigan’s mission to Kakamega, Kenya, 2013

Video – Team ORV in Nepal – Gift of Sight

A short documentary about the ISMS Operation Restore Vision’s mission to Nepal – named “Gift of Sight”. Click below to watch.

ISMS Operation Kids Mission to Jalapa, Guatemala

ISMS Operation Kids
Mission 6 – Jalapa, Guatemala 2013

103 Surgeries completed with over 500 clinical patients seen and treated.

Photos by Gigi Stoll.

Triage Crowd - Waiting for a chance to be treated - Jalapa, Guatemala 2013

Triage Crowd – Waiting for a chance to be treated – Jalapa, Guatemala 2013


ISMS ORV ‘Gift of Sight’ Mission to Nepal – May 2013

ORV is a proud sponsor of the 2013 Gift of Sight Expedition to Nepal.

Click here for a brief description of the project from Dr. Ronald Gentile (Audio)

Follow the Gift of Sight mission:

G.O.S. May 15 We’re Off!

After months of scrambling, untold emails flying back and forth between Stamford and Kathmandu, and calls to opthalmic manufacturers for diagnostic equipment, three members of the Gift of Sight crew can finally relax tonight as they depart JFK for Nepal.

It was touch and go there for some team members who had to arrange to place their private lives on hold for two weeks – in one case a family emergency two days before departure that resolved itself at the last minute – for the good of this important mission.

We carry with us vitamins for the monks, Sherpa Adventure Gear for the entire crew, and a DeLorme two-way satellite communicator that will permit live texting from the field. Our Keeler retinoscopy rack and  indirect opthalmoscope are safely swaddled in expedition leader Scott Hamilton’s carry-on.

First stop is Doha, Qatar, for an overnight stay on Thursday, then a four-hour flight Friday morning to Kathmandu. Our accommodations in Kat are at the legendary Yak & Yeti Hotel. We’ve been warned to avoid the tap water lest we board the Lomotil express for a wild ride on the porcelain pony. More on that later, I’m afraid.

On the reading list for tonight is “I’ll Call You in Nepal” by Bernadette McDonald … about the renowned Kathmandu journalist Elizabeth Hawley who has chronicled Everest expeditions for decades.

The mission begins.

A message from Dr. Ravi Kothuru, ISMS – Team NY President and mission leader for Chile 2013

Team NY - Chile
Coordinating a surgical mission is a unique experience each time.  The variables are numerous and change with each mission.  One lesson we have learned over the last 15 years is that every aspect is critical for a mission to be successful.  Even a small detail can cause a mission to be cancelled.  The stakes are high. There are patients relying on our services, the volunteers who donate vacation time away from their families and the donors who support these missions. It is imperative that these missions are successful.

Team NY - ChileOver the years we have teamed up with many organizations and people.  We have learned some tough lessons about the importance of proper logistics and planning.  I could remember having our medical supplies confiscated on multiple trips or leaving a town at 4am in the back of a pickup truck because of political unrest in the region.  These are colorful stories but the success and safety of the team requires a strong partnership with committed people.

ISMS Team New York returns from Linares, Chile

Chile mapInternational Surgical Mission Support-Team New York embarked on a 10 day mission to Linares, in the Maule region of Chile.  The 18 member team included General surgeons, OB/GYN surgeons, a Thoracic surgeon, a Plastic surgeon, a Critical Care Physician, anesthesia providers, and a complete staff of nurses.  During it’s time in Linares, the team performed 85 surgeries, many of them complex.  The patient population ranged from infants to the elderly and they were treated for variety of conditions.  Some of these surgeries were life changing cosmetic procedures and some were lifesaving complex operations.

Our goal of reaching out and positively touching as many lives as possible was achieved.  As Dr. Kothuru, who was the team’s leader stated, “Each mission brings a unique opportunity to directly impact people with free surgical care and also provide support to the local healthcare system by sharing ideas and donating medical equipment.”   This year was no exception.

Correcting disfigurement

ISMS Operation Kids – Kenya 2012

We rarely hear about many children suffering sever burns in the USA anymore, with all current building codes and precautions they rarely happen. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many  African countries and fires still claims many lives and destroy thousands others.

ISMS Op. Kids mission in Kisumu, Kenya – 2011

On May 2011 mission in Kisumu – Kenya, ISMS Operation Kids successfully completed 86 critical surgical cases that had a life changing impact on local kids.