The University of Maryland Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team is gearing up for their next volunteer medical mission trip – and they’re hoping you can help them help more people. The team, led by head and neck surgeons Rodney Taylor, MD and Jeffrey Wolf, MD, has begun fundraising for their March 2017 medical mission to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Every year, the ENT team travels to different under-served parts of the world to provide their services free of charge. The crew is dedicated to providing world-class care to those in need. They pay 100 percent of their own way, including airfare, shipping costs for their equipment and the cost of purchasing additional supplies not available onsite.
This year, the funds raised will also pay for patient transportation. While there is one hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, many Vietnamese citizens living in the rural hills don’t have easy access to health care. In fact, some of them have never even been to a hospital. This year, the ENT team will be covering the funds to get patients from their homes to the hospital to receive the care they need.
In Vietnam, Dr. Taylor says there is a higher rate of cleft lip and cleft palate, so they expect to see a lot of patients suffering from those conditions. The team also is planning to treat many patients with goiters (enlarged thyroid), parotid tumors (in the salivary glands), sinal nasal masses and even some cancers.
“It’s an area where we can make the biggest impact during our time there,” Dr. Taylor said. “We will also get the chance to soak in the culture, and learn valuable lessons from the patients we serve.”
Another huge win for the team, and the patients in turn, is the addition of a pediatric anesthesiologist to this year’s crew. That means the team will able to operate on children needing surgery, not just adults.
The ENT team is working with the Project Vietnam Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization working to create sustainable pediatric health care in Vietnam, while providing free health care and aid to impoverished rural areas across the country.
All of the ENT mission trips are made possible through donations. If you cannot make it to the happy hour, donations are welcome on the Maryland ENT Mission website: http://www.marylandentmissions.org/donate.
Last year, the team traveled to Fiji for their annual medical mission. They performed 15 surgeries and saw 150 patients before the island was rocked by Cyclone Winston. Learn more here.