University of Maryland Ear, Nose & Throat Team Preparing, Fundraising for Annual Volunteer Medical Mission

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.

Fiji Team

The ENT Team during last year’s mission trip to Fiji

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.

ENT Surgical Team Annual Volunteer Trip

Annual Volunteer Trip Takes UM Surgical Team to Fiji to Treat Patients with Head and Neck Conditions

Update (2/21/16): This past weekend, Fiji was devastated by Cyclone Winston.  All 12 members of the UM surgical team are OK and awaiting the international flight home.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Fiji as they struggle to rebuild, and we pray for the families who lost loved ones and whose homes were destroyed.

We are exceptionally proud of the courage and dedication of our mission team. They saw over 100 patients over the course of their stay and completed a large number of surgeries. The actions of these selfless individuals embody many of the reasons that individuals choose medicine as a career and many of the reasons that a number of clinicians volunteer for such medical missions.


University of Maryland head and neck surgeons Rodney Taylor, MD and Jeffrey Wolf, MD have seen first-hand how devastating cancer and other conditions of the head and neck area can be for some patients.  Not only do certain types of conditions undermine their health, but they can also be disfiguring and carry social stigmas.

Dr. Wolf

Dr. Jeffrey Wolf

Dr. Taylor

Dr. Rodney Taylor

“Many times people with head and neck conditions are ostracized from their communities and go into hiding. These conditions can be life-altering,” says Dr. Wolf. He and Dr. Taylor are associate professors of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who treat patients at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

The doctors are determined to help. Each year, a team of University of Maryland Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists (led by Drs. Taylor and Wolf) travel to a different under-served part of the world to provide their services free of charge. The team pays 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 UM medical mission boasts 12 volunteers – surgeons, anesthesiologists, residents and nurses. This specialized ENT team will travel a total of 29 hours by plane, boat and car to Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu. There they will operate out of the Mission at Natuvu Creek, a nonprofit model community that provides medical and educational services to rural people of Fiji.

This visit will mark the first time Vanua Levu has been visited by ENT, head and neck surgeons, and the team is eager to start helping those in need. They expect to see a lot of patients with disfiguring conditions, such as cancer, and those with goiters (enlarged thyroids) and parotid tumors (on the salivary glands). The team will care for as many patients as they can during their week-long stay in Vanua Levu.

The trek will be long, and the medical team is hopeful the surgeries will be successful.

The team heads to Fiji on February 12.

Donations will help defray the cost of travel and other expenses. Learn more about how to donate here: http://www.marylandentmissions.org/donate

For more information on the Mission at Natuvu Creek, visit their website: http://natuvu.org/