Volunteer trips, supplies aid ‘life-saving’ cleft palate surgeries

By Medline Newsroom Staff | December 21, 2022

Environmental, Social & Governance

Volunteer trips, supplies aid ‘life-saving’ cleft palate surgeries

Medline supports Global Smile Foundation

Medline Europe trip to Beirut to aid Global Smile Foundation

It was more than 25 years ago when Tripp Amdur, then in charge of Medline’s relatively new international sales department, met Usama Hamdan, MD, a surgeon and co-founder and president of Global Smile Foundation (GSF).

The introduction led to a long-term relationship between Amdur, Medline group president, and GSF, a nonprofit organization providing free, comprehensive integrated cleft care for underserved children and adults in Africa, Central America and the Middle East. Children with cleft palates are born with an opening or split in the lip and/or roof of their mouth.

“What Dr. Hamdan and Global Smile do is marvelous. These children are treated by the world’s best surgeons.”

Tripp Amdur, Medline Group President

Tripp Amdur

Medline Group President

“What Dr. Hamdan and Global Smile do is marvelous,” said Amdur, who serves on the GSF advisory board and has volunteered on a mission to Beirut. “These children are treated by the world’s best surgeons,” which means most patients will require only one to three surgeries. “All of the professionals volunteer their time and contribute to their own travel expenses.”

A ‘labor of love’

“Everyone involved is there as a labor of love,” Amdur continued, “and if you see the impact that these surgeries have on children; it’s remarkable. Many of these children with cleft palates would not survive without these surgeries due to nutritional deficiencies and emotional trauma. These surgeries are life- saving.”

“Medline employees have joined us in Lebanon, Ecuador and Peru,” said Dr. Hamdan, a retired professor and surgeon from Harvard and Tufts universities. During a typical mission trip, the organization treats up to 166 patients and conducts up to 133 surgical procedures with volunteer surgeons, orthodontists, nurses, speech therapists, and other professionals from the most prominent children’s hospitals in the world. Medline volunteers aid with logistics, note taking, and clinician, patient and family support before and after the surgeries.

Global Smile Foundation

11-month-old Othman, before and after surgery

This year, Medline also provided a broad range of surgical supplies – from personal protective equipment to surgical and recovery instruments, including forceps, scalpels, and oxygen and endotracheal tubes — becoming an official Global Smile Foundation sponsor.

“We are very appreciative of Medline’s and Tripp’s donations and support,” said Dr. Hamdan.

Global Smile Foundation also trains doctors and medical staff on integrated cleft care including surgeries, speech therapy, dentistry, nutrition and psychosocial support. The organization opened the first Cleft Center for integrated care in Ecuador in 2012 and is working on opening another cleft center in Peru. None of GSF’s board of directors or advisory board members receive any compensation for their work with GSF.

Emily Janke, Medline Global Smile Foundation Employee Volunteer trip

Medline Senior Marketing Manager Emily Janke in Trujillo, Peru with Global Smile Foundation

“There is nothing like being on the ground and having joyful tears in your eyes and seeing the love and affection from patients and their families,” said Dr. Hamdan.

Medline resumes global health trips

Medline resumed global health trips this year, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, with employee volunteers traveling to the Dominican Republic to implement supply chain solutions. Launched in 2017, Medline’s Global Health Initiative seeks to eliminate barriers to care in low-resource settings by leveraging employees’ skills and expertise to improve operating room efficiency, supply chain management and health education.

Medline also partners with international humanitarian organizations to provide medical supply donations to aid care throughout the world. Between 2018 and 2021, Medline donated nearly 1,000 metric tons of medical supplies, valued at approximately $13 million, to support healthcare in more than 80 countries.

Learn more about  the work Medline is doing to make communities — and our planet — healthier, stronger and more sustainable.

Categories: Company News, Social Responsibility

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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