Practicing medicine in 2014 is an interesting endeavor. Many times the patient-doctor relationship is obscured by insurance companies, electronic medical records and pre-authorization requests. Every once-in-a-while, I am reminded why plastic surgery is such a fantastic vocation. As a member of the Board of Directors and a Volunteer Surgeon, I am lucky (and humbled) to be part of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
Fresh Start Surgical Gifts was founded in the 1980s as a non-profit to treat children who suffered from traumatic injuries or birth defects. Its mission is to provide children with a “fresh start” in life. Our model is much different than the average plastic surgery charity. Instead of traveling abroad to offer our services, where sometimes patients may not have access to appropriate follow-up, Fresh Start welcomes both domestic and international children to San Diego. As they arrive in San Diego, every aspect of their care is donor-funded. From transportation, meals, evaluation, surgery and post-operative recovery. They stay until they are ready to head home safely…it’s that simple. In addition, Fresh Start is one of the only organizations where U. S. children who are “under-insured” can receive cosmetic surgery secondary to deformities of traumatic injuries if their primary insurance denies service or if it is too costly for their families.