ReSurge Board Views Impact Up Close

India,
September 29, 2020
In May, members of ReSurge’s board of directors visited our surgical outreach partner sites in Nepal and Dehradun, India. The purpose of their trip was to better understand the specific conditions and need in each location, and to view first-hand the treatment our dedicated local partners provide to underserved people in their communities year round (with time for a little sight-seeing on the side!).

We interviewed Laura Furmanski, ReSurge board chair, about her experience.

How long have you been a board member for ReSurge?

I’ve been on the board for about seven years, and just started my second term as board chair.

What made you want to join the ReSurge Board of Directors?

I first learned about ReSurge’s work as a guest at their annual gala many years ago. I was really moved by the stories of the impact ReSurge has on patients’ lives, and I was inspired by the tireless work of our surgical partners in each country. I joined the Board at an interesting inflection point when we began expanding our strategy to more explicitly embrace and foster education. I feel quite lucky to have been part of that journey with the organization.

Why do you think it is important for Board members to visit a ReSurge surgery site?

It’s incredibly powerful to visit our surgical outreach centers to understand first-hand the magnitude of need. It’s also critical to view that in the context of the environment our teams are working in–the infrastructure that exists, the broader health care ecosystem that is in place, and the specific needs of the surgeons and their teams. Each program has a unique set of strengths and challenges, which we need to take into account with our plans. There is always one key element that is constant across all of our programs, and that is the incredible passion, dedication and talent of our surgical partners and their teams.

How did the trip change your perspective of ReSurge’s work?

I think it expanded my view of our work – it made everything really come into focus. Seeing our board members who are medical professionals work with the in-country surgical teams during clinic day gave me a lot of insight into the thoughtful way they are all considering each case, learning from and educating one another and interacting with the patients. I was struck by how the discussions stayed very focused on ways to restore function and improve the lives of each patient. The team always discussed different surgical techniques, and always in the context of how to provide the most benefit to the patient, while minimizing the complexity of the procedure.

I also gained a greater appreciation for the importance of understanding the local health care system. I think Nepal is a great example of where collaborations with the medical schools, the health ministers, and organizations like PHECT-Nepal (Public Health Concern Trust Nepal) have been integral to developing local surgeons and ensuring reach into the communities across the country to find the patients that are in need of help.

How did the trip affect you personally?

When I returned from the trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about some of the patients and families that we met over the course of the week. I was struck by the resilience of each individual and the love and support of their families. Those things are universal, regardless of what country the patients live in. Unfortunately, however, the risks and access to care are still not universal. Seeing the disparity in person really reinforced my commitment to the work that we’re doing through ReSurge and inspired me to find ways to do even more, even faster, even more consistently.

Would you be interested in visiting another ReSurge surgical site or joining a medical mission trip? If so, why?

Absolutely! Given the differences in our programs in Nepal and Dehradun, India, I realized how important it is to see the programs and understand the local health care environment in each of our regions. I also found the experience to be incredibly inspirational. I feel so lucky to be a part of ReSurge’s work

How Can I Help Now?

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings at Resurge International. Join our Community!
* indicates required

How Can I Help Now?

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings at Resurge International. Join our Community!
* indicates required

Latest Stories

Patient Stories

Stories from the Field

Donor Spotlight: How Women Surgeons in Los Angeles…

Empowered women empower women. Since we launched the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWR …

Learning and Unlearning: Our DEI Journey

“The pandemic plus the national attention to matters of equity—including access to healthcare—have h …

Juneteenth National Independence Day Statement

On June 19, 2021 the United States will celebrate Juneteenth National Independence Day, as an offici …

Surgical Partner Profile: Matolase Mtonga

Dr. Matolase Mtonga always knew she wanted to be a surgeon. But as a medical student in Zambia she f …

Transformations: 2020 Annual Report

The year 2020 was unlike any other. We began on a high note, celebrating our 50th anniversary as the …

Standing in Solidarity with India and Nepal

Dear Friends and Colleagues, The current situation and devastation caused by the novel coronavirus i …

Hope in Nepal: A Mother and Baby’s Journey

A child born with a cleft lip in Nepal has a tough journey ahead. Difficulty breastfeeding and chron …

Volunteer Spotlight: Dharshan Sivaraj

At ReSurge International, we have the honor and privilege to work alongside many talented partners, …

Delali Attiogbe Attipoe Brings a Wealth of Experie…

In pursuit of finding a non-profit that shared her personal passion of expanding health access to th …

Making a Powerful Impact in Peru 

Dr. Percy Rossell-Perry, a practicing reconstructive surgeon at Edgardo Rebagliati Ho …

Board Spotlight: Meredith Taylor

A ReSurge Board Member since 2015, Meredith Taylor was recently named Chair of our Board of Director …

The Higgins-Shaw Nepal Microsurgery Fund 

None of our work would be possible without the steadfast support of you, our donors — together we’re …

Our Founder - Don Laub

Our Founder, Dr. Donald Laub  In 1969, a group of volunteers from the Bay Area’s Latin Ame …

Do You See What I See? 

ReSurge is proud to announce our collaboration with Ohana One International Surgical Aid,  …

Board Spotlight: Eileen Sheldon 

  Eileen Sheldon, ReSurge Board member, recently did a spectacular job chairing our T …

Volunteer Spotlight: Deb Rusy M.D

How did you hear about ReSurge and get involved? One of the University of Wisconsin pediatric neuros …

Interview with New Laub Fellow, Chao Long

We are proud to introduce Chao Long, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Interview with Laub Fellow Dr. Anna Luan

Dr. Anna Luan recently completed the Donald R. Laub Fellowship. Named for our ReSurge founder and co …

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Fossum

When ReSurge volunteer Sue Fossum first heard about ReSurge, she was working in the PACU at UC Davis …

Dr Hien Thi Nguyen Honored at Transformations Gala

Dr. Hien Thi Nguyen knew the rural poor of her country needed the medical services ReSurge provides. …

ReSurge, COSECSA Partner to Launch Initiative in S…

ReSurge is pleased to be launching a new initiative to increase access to safe reconstructive s …

What I Learned Firsthand on the Ground in Dehradun

By Tom Seery I spent the first days of 2020 in Dehradun, India as part of a visiting educator trip w …

Fiftieth Anniversary Flashback: The 1980's

When Dr. Mark Singleton was asked to join a surgical mission trip in 1986, he was intrigued by the t …

Kathmandu Leadership Training

Last month, we packed our bags and headed to Kathmandu for a week of leadership training for the emp …

ReSurge and ASSH Volunteers Share Their Experience…

In May of this year, a medical team of hand surgeons and hand therapists traveled with ReSurge, in p …

Introducing Anna Luan, ReSurge's Third Laub Fellow

We are proud to introduce Anna Luan, the newly selected Donald R. Laub Fellow. Named for our ReSurge …

Razia, Rohingya Refugee

Earlier this month, a ReSurge surgical mission trip visited Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where we treat …

Ty, Acid Burn Survivor

Ty is a thirty-four-year-old woman with a beautiful smile. We treated her on a recent visit to Phan …

Helping India's Children Heal From Burns

Meet Sheetal. At age 12, she was burned in a fire at her home where she lives with her widowed mothe …

Donor Spotlight: A Lesson in Karma

“If you do something good for others, something good will come to you.” This is how Anthony D. expla …

Cleft Palate Repair Follow Up in Vietnam

An important part of our mission is to provide reconstructive surgical care for poor children and ad …

Delivering Long-Term Impact Through Anesthesia Tra…

A well-known expert in pediatric anesthesiology, Dr. George Gregory has volunteered his skills with …

Dr. Shankar Man Rai Bio

Dr. Shankar Man Rai, a world-renowned expert at repairing clefts and burn injuries, has provided mor …

Dr. Pramila Shakya: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shakya is a maxillofacial surgeon at the Nepal Cleft and Burn Center at Kirtipur Hospital in Kat …

Dr. Celma Issufo: Pioneering Women in Reconstructi…

Dr. Issufo is the plastic surgery service director at Mozambique’s Maputo Central Hospital. She trea …

Dr. Shilu Shrestha: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Shrestha is an orthopedic hand surgeon at the Hospital and Rehabilitation center for Disabled Ch …

Dr. Faith Muchemwa: Pioneering Women in Reconstruc…

Dr. Muchemwa is a consultant plastic and reconstructive  surgeon, at Parirenyatwa Hospital at t …

Dr. Farzana Ibrahim: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr Ibrahim is a senior registrar in the plastic surgery department at Birdem General Hospital (Bangl …

Dr. Lorena EScudero: Pioneering Women in Reconstru…

Dr. Escudero is a plastic surgeon at Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the largest nonpro …

Training the Next Generation of Surgeons in Cuba

At the beginning of his career, Dr. Bill McClure was on track to become a cardiovascular surgeon–th …

Life-Changing Microsurgery in Nepal

In mid-July, ReSurge sent visiting educators Dr. Gordon Lee and Dr. Matthew Chetta to train local re …

Burn Care Education in Mozambique

In late August 2016, a visiting educator team made ReSurge’s inaugural visit to Mozambique, as part …

Improving Nursing and Specialty Care in Bhutan

ReSurge’s Visiting Educator trips to Bhutan are making an impact after just over a year working in t …

Creating Lasting Impact in Zambia

A patient story as told by Dr. Goran Jovic. At first, I did not notice anything unusual about him. I …

An Empowered Survivor | Kanchana

Kanchana is a bright young nurse in Sri Lanka. She graduated eleventh out of 30,000 nursing students …

Giving a Mother Peace of Mind

When baby Christine was born in central Zambia, her mother immediately noticed that something was wr …

Reconnecting with Lilliam After More Than 10 Years

The year was 1987, and Marlon and Violeta in Nicaragua were like any other parents of a new baby gir …

Making Dreams Possible | Tonmoy

Tonmoy was living the life of a typical 6-year-old boy—climbing trees and running around. One day, w …

Back to School Despite His Disability | Alam

Alam lives in an apartment building in Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. …

Regaining the Ability to Walk | Mohammed Hussein

Mohammed Hussein was just 7 years old when the accident occurred that left him on crutches. He was p …

12 Years After Cleft Lip Surgery

Ganesh is 14 years old. Despite living in a small rural village of Nepal, he dreams of becoming a do …

The Road to Hope | Priyanka

Vijay arises early, before the sun is up, and gently wakes his daughter Priyanka. She looks into his …

A Glimpse into Man Kumari's life

Outside Bharatapur, a southern crossroads town where Nepal’s east and west meet on the nation’s main …

A bright Future | Kalus

Kalus is an 8-year-old boy from a small village between Pokhara and Kathmandu in Nepal, who could no …

Creatively Treating Acute Burns | Astha

Astha, a baby girl in Nepal, fell from her mother’s lap into a fire during a traditional ceremony wh …

Freeing Sirisu's Hand

Sirisu is a charming 4-year-old from Nepal who accidentally scalded his arm while making hot food fo …

Restoring future dreams | Rinchin

Rinchin, 13, wants to be a movie star. He is one of the patients we met recently when students from …

Without Surgery, School Was Not Within His Reach |…

Four-year-old Nguyen was born with three of his fingers fused on each hand, a congenital birth defec …

Helping Mother and Child | Hoa & Hoai

Hoa, a young mother, knew intimately the stigma of a cleft lip as she had been born with one herself …

A Family Renewed | Thi

The ReSurge team fell in love with 3-month-old Thi Ngol Quyen during a trip to Vietnam in April 2013 …

A Contracture Released, A Life Renewed | Quynh

Like more than 2 billion people worldwide, Quynh’s family in Vietnam does their cooking over open fi …

Mom and My | A Mother's Hope

Sixteen-month-old My and her mother, Hat, live in Quy Nhon, on Vietnam’s eastern coast. When Hat was …

A Mother's Dedication | Y Dim

Y Dim, now 2 years old, was born in the rural mountains of Vietnam with a cleft lip. After she was b …

A Smile 58 Years in the Making | Tam

On a surgical team trip to Quy Nhon, Vietnam, we met Tam, a man who has been waiting 58 years to hav …

Removing Stigma | Huynh

Five-year-old Huynh was born in a small village in Vietnam with a condition known as congenital hair …

The Character and Spirit of Hasan

Hasan is a daughter, a sister, a mother and at the moment, our patient. Hasan’s smile is a clear win …

An Emotional Return to India | Nisha

I’ve been looking forward to returning to Dehradun because I would finally get the opportunity to re …

The Incredible Impact | Punkaj

In early 2013, ReSurge sent a team trip to Dehradun, India, where we have a Surgical Outreach Progra …

Magali: Paying it forward

Magali’s original accident took place when she was two years old. Her mother was preparing caramelo …

Healing Hands: Joseph and Adriana

Joseph is a 7-year-old boy from El Alto, Bolivia. He was born with syndactyly, a condition in which …

Future Basketball Player | Jonathan

When you meet Jonathan, you quickly realize he has more cares than a typical 6-year-old should. He h …

Dara: The Right Start to Life

During a clinic in Nicaragua last March, we met 2-month-old Dara. Dara, like so many other children, …

Our First Patient | Antonio

In the 1960s, Antonio, a 13-year-old boy from Mexicali, Mexico, was being raised by his grandmother, …

The Real Impact of Surgery | Luis Fernando

On a trip to Ecuador in 2012, we met five-year-old Luis Fernando. Two years prior, he had been terri …

Andrea: From Patient to Nurse

Jacqueline’s 28-year-old daughter, Andrea, is her pride and joy. When Andrea was born with a bilater …

Making Connections for His Care | Sorie

As the director of international services at ReSurge International, Amy Laden is often contacted by …

Helping Oumar Be Mali's First Reconstructive Plast…

In Mali, there is only one physician for every 12,800 people—and no reconstructive plastic surgeons. …

Bringing Hope to Mali | Awa

Awa, an 11-year-old girl, was shaking down fruit from a tree with a metal pole when her pole hit a l …

Seeking Advice on a Hyena Bite

When Dr. Goran Jovic was presented the case of a teenager attacked by a hyena, he turned to ReSurge …

A Mother's Hope For Her Son

Mateo was one of nearly 17,000 people who receive a severe burn every year in Zambia, a country with …

Chrispine and Mwate: Crossing the Border for Hope

Determined to do the best they could for their babies, mothers Bella and Mwanga banded together for …

Jacob's Arms are Freed

Five-year-old Jacob is bright, outgoing and likes to play football. But life for Jacob hasn’t been c …

Meet Jonas from Tanzania

Jonas is one brave little 5 year old. He lives with his family under a giant baobob tree on the plai …

A mother’s fierce hope | Basanti

ReSurge’s patients and their families are brave. They are strong. They are fighters. Some take a bus …

Hands & Father's Hope

When Favour was 3 years old, he was at home alone with his 12-year-old cousin who was looking after …