1999

After meeting a young girl in Guyana suffering from accidental ingestion of a caustic cleaning fluid, orthodontist and South Richmond Rotarian Dr. Julian Metts begins formation of his vision of “a hospital without walls.”

South Richmond Rotary Club incorporates its “project” as the International Hospital for Children (IHC).

2001

International Hospital for Children hires Susan Rickman as Executive Director, its first paid staff member, and an office is established in Richmond, VA.

First IHC US Referral case facilitated and brought to Richmond, VA for care at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

2002

Four IHC diagnostic and surgical teams travel to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, reaching 143 children; 19 children travel to Richmond, VA for complex surgical care.

2004

Inspired by her experiences in Haiti as well as having a son whose life was saved by the St. Louis medical community, Kate Corbett establishes Healing the Children Missouri (HTCMO) in St. Louis. Kate also served as volunteer Executive Director.

First IHC medical team travels to the Dominican Republic, diagnostic cardiology team led by Dr. Scott Gullquist of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

2005

IHC launches first capacity building program, a cardiac training consortium at CEDIMAT Hospital in the Dominican Republic.

IHC holds its first Treasures in Paradise fundraising event in Richmond, VA, raising $344,000.

1,000th child reached by IHC programs.

HTCMO brings first child to U.S. – open heart surgery patient from the Dominican Republic.

2006

IHC hires first overseas staff member, Milagro Garel, and opens office in Belize City, Belize.

First HTCMO US Referral case facilitated at Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis for complex spine surgery with Dr. Lawrence Lenke.

HTCMO holds first Golf for the Kids Tournament in St. Louis.

HTCMO sends first surgical team to Guatemala – Neurosurgery.

2007

IHC hires its first in-country representative in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jacqueline Browne-King and opens office in Kingstown, St. Vincent.

2008

IHC launches a custom-designed patient database.

IHC launches Eastern Caribbean “Hub Concept” in partnership with the government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines to extend WPP surgical services in St. Vincent to children from the entire Eastern Caribbean.

2009

First ever in-country pediatric scoliosis repair procedures occur in St. Vincent & the Grenadines for 16 children by IHC orthopedic spine team led by Spine Program Director and medical volunteer Dr. Chester Sharps.

First IHC diagnostic team travels to St. Lucia, diagnostic cardiology team led by Dr. Bill Moskowitz of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

2010

IHC establishes Neurosurgery Program in Honduras, in partnership with the Sun Life Foundation and pediatric neurosurgeons at Hospital Materno Infantil in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

2011

International Hospital for Children merges with Healing the Children Missouri to form World Pediatric Project, creating a second office location in the United States.

WPP brings Dominican conjoined twins Maria and Maria Teresa Tapia to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU where they are separated successfully in a 23-hour operation. This is the first set of conjoined twins successfully separated in Richmond, VA.

First WPP team travels to Dominica – diagnostic cardiology team led by Dr. Babak Rahimi of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center (St. Louis, MO).

First Treasures in Paradise held in St. Louis.

WPP sends first team to Panama, cardiac surgery team led by Dr. James Gangemi of the University of Virginia Health System.

2012

St. Vincent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Training Program established, under leadership of Dr. Robert Fleming of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center (St. Louis, MO).

2014

National neonatal training program conducted in Belize in partnership with the Ministry of Health, reaching more than 170 physicians, nurses and midwives across the country.

100th case facilitated in Shriners Hospitals for Children Network.

2015

First WPP team travels to Barbados, pediatric scoliosis team lead by Dr. Chester Sharps of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital (Richmond, VA).

300th case facilitated at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

2016

WPP reaches a joyous milestone, 10,000 children healed.

First WPP representative hired in the Eastern Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.

Government of St. Lucia is first island nation to make a financial contribution to WPP’s Eastern Caribbean operations.

WPP reaches $100,000,000 in total gift-in-kind facilitated.

First WPP patient treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Philadelphia.

2017

WPP launches dedicated operating theater (OR) at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown, St. Vincent.

Treasures in Paradise event in Richmond, VA reaches more than $1,000,000 raised.

First WPP representative hired in Guatemala.

Honduras Spine Program established with first teams led by Dr. James Sanders and Dr. Howard Place.

2018

WPP hires Lauren McIntosh as its first Executive Director for the Eastern Caribbean region.

First WPP representative hired in Honduras.

WPP Neonatal Training Program expanded to St. Lucia, Grenada, and Dominica, under leadership of neonatology team from St. Louis University/Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center (St. Louis, MO).

First WPP team travels to St. Kitts, diagnostic cardiology team led by Dr. Babak Rahimi of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center (St. Louis, MO).

Guatemala Spine Program created and first team led by Dr. Steven Hwang of Shriners Hospitals for Children – Philadelphia.

500th international team mobilized – Barbados Scoliosis Surgery.

2019

WPP hosts first-ever regional perinatal health conference in the Eastern Caribbean on the island of  Barbados with more than 60 participants from 7 countries.

First WPP team travels to Grenada, diagnostic orthopedic team led by Dr. Eric Gordon of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis.

First WPP team travels to Antigua, diagnostic orthopedic team led by Dr. Chester Sharps of St. Mary’s Hospital (Richmond, VA).

2020

Following six months of development, WPP migrates its custom-designed patient database into a web based system, renamed the Patient Information System.

Susan Rickman retires as Chief Executive Officer of World Pediatric Project after 19 years of service; Executive Vice President Brian Shaw is named Interim CEO.

Golf for the Kids Tournament sets record during pandemic of $450,000 raised.

Treasures in Paradise in St. Louis sets another record during pandemic of $935,000 raised

2021

First WPP surgical team travels to St. Lucia; orthopedic surgery led by Dr. Eric Gordon of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis.

First WPP child travels to Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in California for open heart surgery

WPP’s Executive Board of Directors announces Vafa Akhavan as permanent Chief Executive Officer, effective October 25th