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Donor Spotlight: How Women Surgeons in Los Angeles Are Paying It Forward Across the Globe

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Empowered women empower women. Since we launched the Pioneering Women in Reconstructive Surgery (PWRS) program, a joint initiative between ReSurge and SkinCeuticals to support the first generation of local women reconstructive surgeons in low-income nations, we’ve been astonished at just how much this program has resonated with women across industries, backgrounds, and nationalities.

One such example is the story of Casselith Plastic Surgery, an entirely women-owned and run practice that was so inspired by the PWRS program that they donated all the proceeds of their Antioxidant sales during the month of April to ReSurge.

We caught up with Alessandra Ricciuti, the Director of MedSpa at Casselith and the woman who spearheaded this campaign to find out more.

Alessandra, thank you so much for your generous donation on behalf of Cassileth Plastic Surgery and for taking the time to speak with us! Tell me, how did you first hear about ReSurge International and the PWRS program?

I first heard about ReSurge through a SkinCeuticals email campaign launched at the end of March. Since I work for Los Angeles’s only all-female plastic surgery practice, Cassileth Plastic Surgery, I was immediately drawn to the PWRS program. I loved the idea of female surgeons empowering other women and raising awareness for the advancement and education of female surgeons worldwide.

Cassileth is LA’s only all-female plastic surgery practice

So you went from just learning about ReSurge in March, to successfully launching a fundraising campaign in April? That’s a really short amount of time! The program and mission must have really resonated with you.

It did. As a strong female leader and businesswoman, I firmly believe in philanthropy and giving back, so I am always looking for organizations to partner with and support. Giving back is the cornerstone of any successful business; it’s important to be involved in your community and to support organizations that support your industry. PWRS is all these things, an amazing program helping women in low-income countries advance in medicine and saving and changing lives.

For many of our PWRS mentees, they will be the first female reconstructive surgeons in their home countries. What has your experience been like as a woman in a male-dominated field?

I have enjoyed working for both male and female plastic surgeons in my career, and I am truly honored and grateful to work at Cassileth Plastic Surgery. Day in and day out, I am amazed at the incredible work that our team does to change and save the lives of so many women.

Women know women, and they know a women’s body better than a man, and can empathize and understand all the emotions and intricacies involved in reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery. For this reason, female surgeons can provide a level of patient care that comes from the heart, a bond of women helping women, that male surgeons simply cannot. That’s what makes our team of surgeons so special and unique in a predominantly male-dominated industry.

We also see patient care improving with more women leaders in global health and international development. Addressing gender inequity and putting women in positions of leadership is beneficial to everyone in the community.

Our hope with the PWRS program is to bridge the gap of gender inequality not only in surgery, but in healthcare overall. Lack of gender balance in health leadership means that the global health sector loses female talent, perspectives, and knowledge.

Yes! That resonates a lot with me and is part of the reason I was so motivated to launch this fundraiser and support a program like PWRS.

Current Cohort of ReSurge PWRS Mentees

Tell me more about the fundraiser. How did you get it started?

As a SkinCeuticals flagship and a female-led business, I felt that I could create a campaign that would go hand-in-hand with National Vitamin C Day, simultaneously raising awareness about the incredible line-up of award-winning Antioxidants and PWRS.

With the blessing from Dr. Cassileth, who graciously agreed to donate the proceeds of all of our Antioxidant sales during April to PWRS, I set about educating our staff about PWRS, and the impact we could have. As an all-female team, our staff loved the campaign, and it created another fantastic benefit to share with our patrons and patients to purchase a SkinCeuticals Antioxidant!

And how much did you raise by the end of the month?

We were able to raise $8,000.

That’s amazing! How did that feel?

I had chills when I submitted our donation! It was a proud moment to witness our collective efforts come full circle and to know what an impact in the lives of so many our contribution would make. Giving back is truly a gift in itself.

That is truly inspirational, Alessandra. A huge thank you from all of us at ReSurge to the entire team at Cassileth! Before you go, is there anything you’d like to tell our PWRS mentees, or any woman who is considering a career in a male-dominated field?

You cannot go wrong if you follow your passion in life. As women, we are powerful and have strengths that men don’t innately have. Embrace who you are and the superpower gift you have to help change and save lives one surgery at a time!

Only 7 out of 100 surgeons are women. You have the power to close the gap by supporting the next generation of female surgeons. These women provide life-changing reconstructive surgical care to those in need in developing countries. Donate today.

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We are grateful for our opportunity to touch the lives of those needing surgical treatment worldwide and grow sustainable systems for local surgical teams in low-income countries. However, we cannot make an impact without your support. Donate today to create a ripple effect that changes the world through life-changing, no-cost reconstructive surgeries.

Jacob Youssef Samuel - Burn Survivor

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