Armenian International Medical Fund
Dr. Akira Ishiyama is Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Director of the UCLA Cochlear Implant Program. He is Vice President of the Armenian International Medical Fund and received a Gold Medal from the Armenian Government Ministry of Health for establishing a Cochlear Implant Program in Armenia.
Foundation for Craniofacial Surgery
Dr. Reza Jarrahy is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics. He travels internationally on a regular basis to perform cleft lip and palate repairs and other craniofacial reconstructive repairs on children in the developing world who have no access to medical care. In addition, he is involved in community building and humanitarian efforts to help improve the lives of these children and their families. He is the President of the nonprofit Foundation for Craniofacial Surgery, which works with other charitable organizations and NGOs, such as Medical Missions for Children and Mayan Families, to achieve these goals.
Louis Matthew Kwong, MD, FACS is Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery, Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Program Director of Orthopaedic Residency Training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Kwong has been involved in disaster response worldwide for over twenty years. In 1993, Dr. Kwong provided surgical care to civilian victims of gunshot wounds and blast injuries during the Balkan War as a civilian volunteer in the city of Mostar, Bosnia as well as Split, Croatia. In 2008, Dr. Kwong led the only American medical response team for the magnitude 8.0 Wenchuan Earthquake in China. Dr. Kwong has been a member of the National Disaster Medical System for over 13 years, is the Chief Medical Officer on Disaster Medical Assistance Team California-9, and is trained as a Mobile Acute Care Strike Team lead. With the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Dr. Kwong is Reserve Captain of the Special Enforcement Bureau Medical Reserve Company, is the Senior Flight Physician and crew member on the Air 5 helicopter rescue program, and is the Flight Surgeon for the LASD Aero Bureau. Dr. Kwong is also an instructor for the LASD in Tactical Emergency Medicine and Tactical Combat Casualty Care.
Dr. Kwong is committed to Orthopaedic education and has taught the performance of Orthopaedic Surgery throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. He was honored in February 2015 by the Mexican Society for Surgery of the Hip for his contributions to Orthopaedics in Mexico.
Hearts with Hope Foundation – Corazones con Esperanza
UCLA cardiac surgeons Dr. Brian Reemtsen and Dr. Hillel Laks, Physician Assistant Christian Eisenring, and anesthesiologists Dr. Swati Patel, Dr. Judith Brill, and Dr. Michael Sopher ,as well as several residents and fellows, have participated in surgical missions to provide medical, dental, and humanitarian assistance to children with congenital heart disease in the underserved global community (ie, Peru, El Salvador). Hearts with Hope Foundation was founded by UCLA pediatric cardiologist Dr. Juan Alejos.
Hernia Repair for the Underserved
UCLA general surgeon Dr. David Chen is Clinical Director – Lichtenstein Amid Hernia Clinic at UCLA. He is a Board Member of Hernia Repair for the Underserved, a nonprofit organization whose mission is provide free hernia surgery to children and adults in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, Dr. David Chen is actively involved in training local surgeons and promoting surgical education.
Medicine for Humanity
Dr. Chris Tarnay is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Chief of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery since 2005. He is also Medical Director of Medicine for Humanity and has taken medical teams to Africa annually since 2008, involving UCLA Ob/Gyn residents, fellows in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, and UCLA nursing staff. Dr. Tarnay has been instrumental in bringing his passion for global health and the exchange of ideas to the organization. Dr. Tarnay has been active in the medical education program in Uganda and has trained a host of local physicians in the discipline of fistula repair.
The UCLA Department of Anesthesia
Dr. Tim Van Natta is a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Associate Dean at the Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He has been a member of Solidarity Bridge since 2010 and currently serves on the Professional Advisory Board. The program has partnerships in Bolivia and Paraguay, and it provides training and equipment to medical communities with the goal of empowering them to provide care to those living in poverty. Dr. Van Natta has worked side-by-side with local surgeons as well as social workers on several general, thoracic, and colorectal surgical missions.
Dr. Anthony Aldave is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Chief of the Cornea Service at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA. In 2008, he founded the nonprofit organization Visionaries International, whose goal is to reduce the burden of corneal blindness in the developing world through corneal transplant surgical skill transfer and eye bank development. Dr. Aldave and the other members of Visionaries International, which include Dr. Sophie Deng, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, have conducted skills transfer courses in 15 different countries, typically accompanied by their cornea fellows. To maximize the impact of their efforts, the members of Visionaries International work with the leading corneal surgeons in their respective countries, training these surgeons in advanced forms of corneal transplantation, with the expectation that they will in turn train other local corneal surgeons.