Volunteer Work

For over a decade Dr. Alex Kim has traveled to multiple parts of the world to help those in need.

NOVEMBER 2022

PROJECT VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

After planning, organizing, and waiting for 3 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our Project Vietnam Foundation (PVNF) Surgical Mission Team was finally able to return to Vietnam in early November.

Our team of 39 volunteers from the US and helpers from Vietnam, screened almost 100 patients with cleft lip and palate birth deformities and eventually performed 78 needed surgeries for 67 children over 5 days.

MARCH 2018

PROJECT VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

My annual trip to Vietnam with Project Vietnam took place over the first week of March. Our surgical team was larger this year, thanks to additional surgeons from Oregon. We are 6 surgeon-team!

Upon arrival to Saigon, we learned that the hospital we usually work is not available due to the extra paperworks and signatures needed. The patients and their family members already in Saigon at this time. The team quickly found a church where we were able to screen the children prior to surgery on Sunday. The hospital we used this time is a smaller rehabilitation/orthopedic hospital in District 7.

On Monday, we quickly set up the operating rooms. We could only set up three operating tables, for 6 surgeons! Despite difficulties, we managed to start surgery on Monday and by Friday, we loved the hospital, and we completed 63 operations.

The staff at the hospital were very excited with our team and they were very helpful. Our team members worked well and hard. At the end of the mission, we left the hospital with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, and desire to do more for those children.

NOVEMBER 2017

ETHIOPIA HEALTHAID, ARCE NEGELE, ETHIOPIA

My dear friend, Dr Gudata Hinika, is Ethiopian by birth, and he was educated in the US. He is currently a trauma/general surgeon in Los Angeles. In order to serve the rural community in Ethiopia where he was raised, he founded Ethiopia HealthAid, which organized mission trips to the area.

To better serve the community, the foundation built a hospital in Arce Negele, where no hospital was accessible. He hired several general surgeons and gynecologists to care for the patients. I was asked to visit the hospital to teach plastic surgical techniques that trauma and general surgeons can utilize to better serve the community.

During the 3 day-stay, we performed a number of procedures together, including skin grafting, local flap procedures, and even cleft lip and palate procedures. These doctors face numerous challenges, but they are excited with the new opportunities to serve the communities. I am sure more trips to the hospital will be in the works.

MARCH 2017

PROJECT VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

In 2017, we returned again to the Army Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City. This year, our team consisted of 4 plastic surgeons and surgery support staff members.

With all team members, we performed about 70 procedures over the 5 days of surgery. Many of the anesthesia and nursing staff members are returning volunteers, and we renewed the friendship, and made new friends.

After the surgery, we traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Here, we toured the World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat. These amazing complex of temples astoshed us. They were beautiful!

SEPTEMBER 2016

OPEN HEART FOUNDATION, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Once again joined the team of oral surgeons with Open Heart Foundation who has been providing free oral surgery and cleft lip/palate care in HCM City.

Collaborated with the local oral surgeons in HCM City, who provided pre and post operative care.

Surgeries were performed with the local surgeons and anesthesiologists working along with the team members.

MARCH 2016

PROJECT VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Returned to participate in the volunteer project in HCM City with Project Vietnam providing free medical/surgical care to underprivileged children in Vietnam, including primary care and screening, dental care, ophthalmologic care, and plastic surgery. Current projects include plastic surgery (cleft care), training for pediatric emergencies, primary care in a remote province.

Surgical team consisted of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, OR and recovery nurses, and volunteer medical students, totaling 40 members. This year we had 6 plastic surgeons!! Patients are brought to Ho Chi Minh City from the remote provinces to undergo surgical repair. The hospital used is Army Hospital 175, which is one of the largest and most well equipped hospital in Vietnam. Over 5 days, we performed over 80 cleft lip and palate repairs.

OCTOBER 2015

OPEN HEART FOUNDATION, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

For the first time, I joined the team of oral surgeons with Open Heart Foundation who has been providing free oral surgery and cleft lip/palate care in HCM City.

Collaborated with the local oral surgeons in HCM City, who provided pre and post operative care. Surgeries were performed with the local surgeons and anesthesiologists working along with the team members.

MARCH 2015

PROJECT VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Returned to participate in the volunteer project in HCM City with Project Vietnam providing free medical/surgical care to underprivileged children in Vietnam, including primary care and screening, dental care, ophthalmologic care, and plastic surgery. Current project includes plastic surgery (cleft care), training for pediatric emergencies, primary care in a remote province.

This is the first time I came to HCM city, where we performed over 80 surgeries. Surgical team consisted of plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, OR and recovery nurses, and volunteer medical students. Patients are brought to Ho Chi Minh City from the remote provinces to undergo surgical repair. The hospital used is Army Hospital 175, which is one of the largest and most well equipped hospital in Vietnam.

MAY 2014

ETHIOPIA HEALTHAID, ADAMA, ETHIOPIA

The third mission trip to Adama, Ethiopia, included the reconstructive procedures at Adama General Hospital. The team consisted of general surgeons, plastic surgeon, gynecologist, and primary care physicians.

Major reconstructive procedures included the resection of large lip hemangioma, and nasal reconstruction.

JANUARY 2013

PROJECT FELIZ SONRISA, MOYOBAMBA, PERU

This project was materialized cooperative efforts by the City of Moyobamba, American Peruvian Medical Society and the local philanthropists, as II JORNADA MEDICO QUIRURGICA DE CIRUGIA PLASTICA.

A team of surgeons – general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons – were invited to the rural Peruvian town of Moyobamba to provide surgical care to the local population.

MARCH AND AUGUST 2012

ETHIOPIA HEALTHAID, ADAMA, ETHIOPIA

The Ethiopia HealthAid was founded by Dr Gudata Hinika, a trauma surgeon in Los Angeles, who emigrated to the US as a young boy from Ethiopia, and its mission includes developing sustainable medical community in rural Ethiopia.

Adama General Hospital in Adama, Ethiopia, is a new hospital founded by the local philanthropist, and is in need of clinical expertise.

Travelled to Adama Hospital and performed 20+ procedures including the ear reconstruction. The procedures and the project was featured in the Ethiopian media.

Participated in the project to build a high school in Gode in a rural Ethiopian community, and donated materials for the school including computers and books.

Performed the first stage procedure for an ear reconstruction during the first trip in March, and returned to Ethiopia in August to perform the second stage procedure to complete the reconstruction.

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