Making Things Possible

The Harrigan Newsletter 2013 Edition

The week before Thanksgiving, a group of people united under the auspices of Healing the Children traveled to Bucaramanga, Columbia on a trip that would likely change their lives. The group comprised of four senior Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, a band of anesthesiologists from Michigan, two resident oral and maxillofacial surgeons, a prosthodontist, and a crew of highly skilled and dedicated nurses, surgical assistants and coordinators.

In Bucaramanga, we were greeted at the hospital to a warm reception and several hundred children to be screened for possible treatment. It seemed to be a sea of children, all with clefts of some sort, and we offered them some glimmer of hope. The surgery days were long, operating heavy hours each day to accommodate as many children as possible. The teams worked well together, despite no familiarity, new facilities (although quite decent), and a language barrier. The four operating areas were utilized non-stop. The Columbian staff were quite excellent and displayed an inspiring work ethic. The hard work was second only to the Columbian hospitality; we were never far from food or drink.

At the end of the week, nearly 100 children had been treated with procedures including primary and secondary lip repairs, primary and secondary palatal repairs, closure of alveolar clefts, pharyngeal flaps, and open rhinoplasty. From simply a surgical standpoint, the training was incredible. When adding the life perspective gained, the opportunity is unmatched. A special thank you to Dr. Bruce MacIntosh, Dr. Lawrence Herman, Dr. Bill Dobbin, and Dr. Reinaldo Claudio. The surgical expertise, patience, and comradery displayed by these men was impressive and inspiring, I cannot thank them enough. My experience was made possible by the generosity of all those who contribute to the Cozzi Fund. To each and every one of you, thank you. You made an otherwise unimaginable experience real and allowed surgical exposure that would have been otherwise unattainable. Thank you all and please continue to offer your support.

Heath Evans, DDS
Eastern Oklahoma Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Tulsa, OK

Former Resident at Nassau University Medical Center
East Meadow, NY

Rafael Ruiz-Rodrigeuz 2013 Maislen Winner

Dr. Rafael Ruiz-Rodrigeuz, Professor and Chairman of the Department of OMS, Universidad National Automoma Mexico, was the recipient of the 2013 Arnold K. Maislin Award. Dr. Ruiz is well recognized for his surgical and humitarian work with patients suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. He leads volunteer missions in Mexico and throughout Latin America bringing his surgical skills and training hundreds of residents and local dentists, surgeons, speech pathologists, and social workers in the complex and team approach management of these patients.

The three graduating residents, Dr. Jin Soo Bae, Dr. Gabriel Hershman, and Dr. Ashish Patel, presented the management of complications in trauma, orthognathic surgery and reconstruction. Dr. Jin Soo Bae, a native of Hawaii, will be returning to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he will be entering private practice. Dr. Gabriel Hershman will not be traveling so far, since he is from Brooklyn, NY. he will be joining his father´s successful OMS practice and has already applied for privileges at NYU Medical Center. We hope to see him regularly. Dr. Ashish Patel is starting a 2 year fellowship at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon with Dr. Eric Dierks and faculty in both ablative and reconstructive head and neck surgery.

Dr. Joseph Niamtu is the 2013 William F. Harrigan Award Winner

Dr. Joseph Niamtu is well known in international cosmetic facial surgery circles as a surgeon, teacher and author and is highly regarded as a key opinion leader by academics and clinicians worldwide. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery. He is Board certified by the ABOMS. He lectures internationally on cosmetic facial surgery and has taught on six continents. He has written four textbooks as well as 30 chapters in other textbooks. He has authored hundreds of publications on various cosmetic facial surgery topics as well as a cosmetic facial surgery DVD series.

Dr. Niamtu has served on the boards of directors of the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation and chaired numerous committees with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. He appears regularly in newspaper articles, TV broadcasts and popular magazines. He is passionate about all aspects of cosmetic facial surgery and maintains his love for his chosen profession. He has been recognized repeatedly for his work and has received numerous ´best speaker´ awards.

Dr. Niamtu is committed to numerous charitable organizations and pro bono groups. He has been honored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch with its community Service Award for his volunteer work on third world children with facial deformities. He and his wife have been honored with community service awards from the Greater Richmond Arc and Safe Harbor Domestic Shelter. He has also been active in Operation Smile and Noah Children, International Hospital for Children , Medical Care for Children, and Connorӳ Heroes. He and his wife have two special needs children with cerebral palsy.

Dr. Niamtu will give a presentation titled: “Thank God it´s Monday: Love Your Job and You Will Never Work a Day in Your Life.” This will describe his personal journey through OMS as well as touch on some clinical material.

Register for the 2013 Annual WFHS Meeting: