Trinity Students Join First WPP Craniofacial Surgical Mission
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
For the past decade and a half, The World Pediatric Project (WPP), has been conducting general and specialized surgical missions to St. Vincent. For the very first time, there was a visit explicitly to perform craniofacial procedures for Eastern Caribbean pediatric patients in need.
The new team was lead by pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgeon Dr. Jennifer Rhodes of the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. She was supported by anesthesiologist Dr. Seamus Dore, plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Lew, and OR nurse Molly McCabe. The team’s focus was to evaluate and provide care for children with complex head and facial anomalies, and to follow up cases of children seen by previous surgical teams. Joining them in triage, prep, OR, and recovery, were Trinity 5th term students.
Eighteen children were examined on clinic day, with seven identified to receive immediate surgical care during the week that followed. The team operated mainly on birth defects to the face and head, particularly cleft lip and palate. Dr. Rhodes, noted on the WPP at large, “It’s such a fantastic and well run program and the most rewarding part is getting to see the families and children do well from their surgeries.” She praised the fact that it caters so intricately to the needs of both the local Vincentian and the Eastern Caribbean communities, adding, “The thoughtfulness with which they develop their programs and how they are so careful to really look at the communities they are working in and try and do what the community feels is best, is most important.”