Burden of Surgical Disease Conference at Vanderbilt

Has Call to Action with Speeches by Senator William Frist and Bob Isherwood

Nashville, TN,  March 9, 2010 (PR Web) --  The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health will host the annual meeting of the Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) in Nashville, TN on March 10-12, 2010.  www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/bosd  BoSD WG mission is to advocate for the global delivery and improvement of surgical services, especially in low-income countries where the needs are great. www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com 

According to the BoSD WG  founder Dr. K. A. Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH and Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative: "The BoSD WG has grown quickly and diversified in the 4 years since its grass root beginnings. While the group has made great strides in contributing peer-reviewed literature, to international collaboration and network building and to proactive academic discussion, we have yet to be broadly recognized by the global health community as an essential element of public health, contributing to decreased disability and premature death in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.  This year we hope to expand our focus and improve advocacy through increased communication and corporate collaboration, as well as continuing with our goals to improve surgical infrastructure in low income countries, invest in education and training, and improve surgical and anesthesia outcomes."

Speaking on behalf of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Douglas C. Heimburger, M.D., M.S. said: "Given the multidisciplinary missions of the BoSD WG and of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu , and the strength of Vanderbilt University faculty in many departments involved in  global health, it is a natural fit for Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health to lead in an interdepartmental effort on behalf of surgical needs in developing countries.  We are pleased and privileged to partner in this effort and host this conference."

The Honorable Senator William H. Frist MD will deliver a keynote address Lessons Learned in Haiti: Using Crisis to Highlight Surgical Need'.  Senator Frist, a surgeon and humanitarian, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands www.hopethroughhealinghands.org has recently returned from Haiti where he performed surgery for five days at Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital. Dr. Frist said: "While surgery is taken for granted in the U.S., in developing countries many people die unnecessarily from lack of surgical and anesthesia presence. The disaster in Haiti has highlighted the desperate need for surgeons for those who did survive the earthquake, but were severely injured. We should seize this moment to draw attention to this need, not just for Haiti, but for low income countries around the world."

Bob Isherwood, Chief Creative Dude and Co-CEO of i.e. healthcare www.iehealthcare.com will also deliver a keynote ‘For crying out loud' to address the communication challenges facing the BoSD WG's objectives and how they might overcome them.   Bob Isherwood is the former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi and Saatchi, Clio Hall of Famer, and co-author of the book ‘World Changing Ideas'.  Isherwood also has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications.  Isherwood is using his consumer engagement and communications experience to bring attention and resources to needed healthcare issues.  In February 2010, Isherwood was a mHealth Alliance panelist as part of the GSMA Mobile World Congress  www.prweb.com/releases/2010/02/prweb3633584.htm where he talked about i.e. healthcare's work with the mHealth Alliance to bring healthcare solutions through the mobile phone to improve maternal and newborn health, particularly in Africa as part of the UN Foundation's Millennium Development Goals.

Jeff W. Morrill, President and CEO, NuOrtho Surgical, Inc. www.nuorthosurgical.com added: "NuOrtho Surgical is pleased to recognize the immeasurable contributions of the Global Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group in changing the face of surgical care globally.  However, a tremendous need still exists in areas such as mobility and basic orthopedic surgical procedures. NuOrtho looks forward to assisting the BoSD WG in building sustainable relationships for global health and expanding their efforts to preserve healthy tissue and enhance mobility." 

The BoSD WG March 10-12, 2010 meeting will have an elite group of 145 participants from 10 countries with representatives from: World Health Organization, International Committee for the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Operation Smile, Global Burden of Disease Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Vanderbilt University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Washington. University of Utah, University of Toronto, University of California at San Diego, Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, International Society of Surgeons, and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.

About Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group

The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG)  is an international group of anesthesiologists, surgeons, economists and public health specialists committed to improving the infrastructure for and delivery of surgery in low and middle income countries.  The Group formed in 2007 with 25 members and has grown to more than 300.  Members of the group represent North American and European Academic Institutions, International Institutions and professional societies, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit organizations.  The BoSD WG has collectively published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and remains committed to promoting the importance and cost effectiveness of surgical intervention in preventing disability and premature death.  Recent efforts have focused on advocacy within the Global Health Community for increased commitment to and funding for surgical programs in low income countries.  Information on the BoSD WG can be found at www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com  To join the list serve, please send an email to [email protected].  You can also follow us at: www.facebook.com/pages/Burden-of-Surgical-Disease-Working-Group/111916378354

Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group Media Contact:

Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH

BoSD WG Founder