Friday, November 30, 2012

Preparing for Can Tho: Bruce's View

Bruce Lehnert, DPM and Jenni Lehnert, RN
The International Extremity Project and our team have evolved since my first medical mission in 1998. This will be my eighth trip to Vietnam and my seventh to Can Tho. It's my sixth mission with my wife as nursing director

This is the seventh trip for Dr. Jeff Spanko, the fifth time Dr. Jonah Mullens has joined us in Vietnam, and the fourth with Flecher Fleudujon as our documentary filmmaker. Henry Duvalsaint is joining us for the third time, now handling logistics from travel to communications with the hospital to many details in Can Tho. Kim Austin has been handling our website and blog over five missions and will be joining us in Vietnam for the first time this year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting to Know IEP's Henry Duvalsaint

Such a small world. About four years ago, I visited Bruce Lehnert's office for a podiatry check up. I overheard was speaking to someone using a few Korean words, which caught my attention.
We started talking about Asia and he mentioned his medical missions to Vietnam. I asked him in which city his mission was involved. To my surprise he mentioned Can Tho. I had been going to Vietnam for many years and have a lot of connections Can Tho, including my friendship with Dr. Sophia who was then Director of Can Tho General Hospital. As a matter of fact, I had just been in Can Tho that February as a guest at the wedding of Dr. Sophia's niece.

Monday, November 26, 2012

International Extremity Project: How We Do It

I feel a great sense of pride when reflecting on what our team has done.

All in all, we have performed major lower-extremity reconstructions on 250 children and young adults. These are operations that the families could not afford nor were there local doctors with the skills to perform them. These foot and ankle surgeries provide life-changing deformity corrections. Whereas most of these children couldn't walk or even wear shoes before their procedures, the corrections allow them not just to walk, but to attend school, own businesses, become farmers, and participate in their communities.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Team Member Bio: Bruce Lehnert, DPM

Dr. Bruce Lehnert, DPM -- Co-Founder, Medical Director
Since 1998 Dr. Lehnert has been organizing medical missions and performing reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries on children and adults with severe compound lower-extremity deformities.

Dr. Lehnert is a foot and ankle surgeon with Sports, Orthopedic, and Rehabilitation Medicine Associates. He has been in practice for more than 22 years since his residency and fellowship training in foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Lehnert has published many scientific articles and has teaching appointments at the California College of Podiatric Medicine and Temple University.

He has organized and participated in 12 medical missions to Vietnam and two to Namibia.

More posts with Bruce Lehnert.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2013 Mission Team

Medical Team
Bruce Lehnert, D.P.M. - Medical Director
Jennifer Lehnert, R.N. - Nursing Director
Meir Nyska, M.D. - Surgeon
Jonah Mullens, D.P.M. - Surgeon
Diane Koshimune, D.P.M. - Surgeon
Amy Levin, MA CCC-SLP - Speech Therapy
Stacy Lerner, PT, PCS - Physical Therapy
Wing Ip, D.P.M. - Resident Surgeon
Sahra Sellers, D.P.M. - Resident Surgeon
Susie Whipps, R.N., B.S.N. - Nurse
Jean Robert Duvalsaint - Surgical Technician

Support Team
Henry Duvalsaint - Facilitator
Flecher Fleurdujon - Documentarian
Kim Austin - Writing & Social Media
Michelle Wachs
Laura Spanko - Student
Michelle Albright - Student
Julia Gross - Student

Monday, November 12, 2012

Preparing for Can Tho

Dr. Jeff Spanko at MedShare.
The California-based members of the medical team met Saturday to go through more details for the trip to Can Tho at the end of the year. We have our passports and visas all settled. The medical supplies we're taking with us are are all in hand or on the way from the companies donating them. We're getting down to the details of ordering medications and counting marking pens.

Each person on the mission team will have three pieces of luggage -- one personal bag and two bins of medical supplies, ranging from dressings to surgical screws.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting Ready for Vietnam, Not Just Writing About It

Getting ready for an international medical mission involves a lot more than getting time off work, buying plane tickets, and showing up at a hospital somewhere. There are the normal travel preparation things: passports, visas,  vaccinations. Then there are the other parts and pieces like fund-raising, team meetings, inventorying equipment, packing everything into carefully weighed containers.