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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 01/12/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Plastic Surgeon Leads Academic Health Volunteers to Phillipines

Cincinnati--On Friday, Jan. 19, Kevin P. Yakuboff, MD, associate professor at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, will lead a volunteer medical team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and pediatricians to the Philippines. Interplast, Inc., a nonprofit organization, will sponsor the team to provide free reconstructive surgery for children. Interplast was established in 1969 to send medical volunteer teams around the world to treat children with congenital deformities such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate, or those who have suffered severe burns or other crippling injuries.

Without the help of these medical volunteers, many children with these deformities are unable to eat or speak normally. These conditions sometimes cause the victims to be shunned by their communities with little hope of living a normal life.

Since 1991, Yakuboff, who is also chief of plastic surgery at the Shriners Hospital of Cincinnati, has led such teams to the Philippines. Last year, David Billmire, MD, associate professor of surgery at UC and chief of pediatric plastic surgery at Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) and his wife Elaine Billmire, MD, who is also a pediatrician, joined the team to Bago, Philippines, where it performed 68 surgeries in 10 days. The Billmires will help Yakuboff lead this year's medical team of volunteers to Bago.

The uniqueness of this team is that all volunteers are pediatric specialists from Shriners and Children's Hospitals and/or the UC College of Medicine. Other members volunteering for the January trip include: CHMC anesthesiologists David Ness, MD, and Anna Vaughese, MD; nurses Carolyn Parker, RN, Susan Bugg, RN, Kelly Cross, RN, and Sue Lloyd, RN. For more information about this medical volunteer effort, call Johnna Coakley at (513) 558-4363.

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