Preparing for Can Tho: Jeffrey Spanko, DPM

Drs Spanko and Lehnert in
Can Tho, November 2010
It is with great excitement that the IEP medical team enters the final week before our departure for Vietnam on December 29. My name is Jeffrey Spanko, DPM, and this will be my seventh medical mission to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. I am a team surgeon on our medical missions, as well a co-founder and director of the International Extremity Project.

I have known Dr. Lehnert since he was a medical resident in the early 1990s. We have since become close professional and personal friends. It was a defining moment for me when Dr. Lehnert invited me to join him for my first medical mission to Vietnam in 1999. Together, we formed Mission Peace, our first non-profit medical team.

In 2009, we reorganized our group and became International Extremity Project (IEP). The November 2010 mission was our first as IEP (posts start here). Earlier this year, in June, we provided care in Namibia (posts start here) and are now returning to Vietnam for our upcoming mission.

This mission has special meaning for the medical team as family members and friends of IEP will accompany us to Can Tho. The friends of IEP that will join us in Vietnam include some of our most generous benefactors and fundraisers.

I am especially excited as my daughter, Laura Spanko, is joining our medical team for this mission. She is a fourth year premedical student at The University of Oregon and looks forward to working with our team in the operating room and with clinical patient care.

You can see why all of us at IEP are looking forward to spending this holiday season sharing and providing health care to the neediest of patients in the Mekong Delta.

I want to wish the joy of this holiday season to our patients, our IEP medical team, and all of those who follow our group and support its mission of charity and giving.

I hope you enjoy the daily updates of this mission on our website.