In August, a group of ten professionals from across Regent Surgical Health’s network of ambulatory surgical centers were forever changed by their experience providing desperately needed pediatric spine surgeries to eight teenage and young adult patients in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
To bring this service mission to life, and to pave the way for future trips and charitable work, Regent launched Regent Cares, an umbrella for the work Regent employees take on to uphold the company’s R.I.S.E. values.
For the outreach in the Dominican Republic, the Regent team worked with the International Surgical Foundation (ISF), a non-profit Christian-based charity founded out of a need to provide to the impoverished population of the Dominican Republic, and surrounding areas, the very best in surgical treatment for spine disorders and to advance the education and surgical skills of local surgeons.
“The trip was a way to deepen and live our R.I.S.E. values of Respectful Caring and Stewardship, involving contributions from all of our centers,” explains Regent CEO Chris Bishop. “Our focus was primarily on patients under the age of 18, the most vulnerable citizens in 3rd world countries. I’ve known Dr. Duane Pitt, the executive director of ISF, for about ten years and have been very impressed with his commitment and experience in bringing quality pediatric spine surgery teams to the Dominican Republic. The organization’s history made our contribution even more impactful.”
The Regent team conducted four days of successful surgeries at Cedimat Hospital in Santo Domingo and is already planning a return trip in August 2019.
Jocelyn Ocampo, an Executive Assistant in Regent’s Westchester, IL headquarters office, joined the Regent team as the primary Spanish-language translator:
“I personally thought it was a great experience. I have always wanted to do something for others. Just being able to give back, as a translator, was so rewarding.”
Ocampo shared one story of a 15-year-old girl with severe scoliosis whose dream was to be able to properly wear a formal dress for her high school prom. While she was not able to walk upright before the surgery, following her procedure, the young woman was thrilled to be recovering rapidly and already standing up straight enough to wear her prom dress.
“I was there during her surgery and when she woke up, and I was there translating the pain she was having to her family,” says Ocampo. “And afterward, her doctor told me she was already running up the stairs. Just to hear that from a physician felt like a miracle, it was amazing.”
Bishop says the match between Regent and ISF is powerful as well. “We’re a surgical company, so we have a lot more to offer this effort,” he says. “We provided supplies and nurses and techs and helped with fundraising as well. This was a cause we could really give back to, sharing some of the resources we take for granted here in the U.S. as part of the world’s greatest healthcare system with a third world country that needs them desperately.”
For more information about Regent’s effort, or to connect with ISF, contact Jocelyn Ocampo at JOcampo@regentsh.com.