Dr. Christopher Brooks has been nominated for a H.E.R.O (Healthcare Employees Reaching Out) award from the Memorial Healthcare System! The H.E.R.O.s of the Day Recognition Program applauds the volunteer spirit and contributions their employees have made to the community. Here’s what they had to say about Dr. Brooks being nominated for a H.E.R.O Award:
Dr. Christopher Brooks, Vice Chief of Plastic Surgery
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
What began as a once a year trip has blossomed to a quarterly journey abroad with two different organizations. As a global volunteer for the past 10 years this Hero of the Day has been leaving his busy medical practice to travel abroad and perform cleft palate and lip surgeries for underserved children overseas.
Cleft lip and palates are among the most common birth defect of children born in Central America. Each year, Dr. Brooks packs his medical bags and heads overseas. On a recent trip the team brought all of their own supplies and set up shop at the Mario Rivas hospital in San Pedro Sula. They are volunteers. Dr. Brooks travels with Interplast South as a one of a team of 14-19 medical professionals. For the patients, it can be a long hard journey often taking up to a week to go see the doctors. This year, the team worked up to 15 hours a day, saw 250 patients and operated on 91. Continuing the mission here at home, this HERO of the Day is an active Board Member working to ensure successful trips. Projects of this scale don’t just happen, months of planning are required to pull off such an Herculean feat. Non-Profits need physicians willing to work year round to ensure their success. This HERO of the Day does that.
Being so deeply involved with one non profit would be a lot for one person but this HERO of the Day supports two non profits for global surgical missions by traveling to countries such as El Salvador with Global Smile Foundation to perform cleft surgeries. Traveling to Hospital Nacional de Ninos Benjamin Bloom of San Salvador, El Salvador, which is the only hospital that treats children with clefts, he changes children’s lives. This hospital can only attend to 150 patients per year while the number in need increases annually by 600. Dr. Brooks responds to that significant need through his volunteerism with Global Smile Foundation. He ensures children get the start in life they need. This along with many board affiliations keeps this volunteer busy but satisfied that he is doing his part to make a change.