A medical team made up of providers from three of Charlotte’s largest healthcare organizations has received a major gift from Novant Health. The $10,000 cash gift, a combination of funds from the Novant Health Foundation and Giving. Serving. Together., the Novant Health employee giving campaign, will help send Operation Walk Carolinas to Cuba in May to perform critical hip and knee arthroplasties (joint replacements).
The funds designated for Operation Walk through Giving. Serving. Together. were raised by Novant Health employees through a series of four bake sales and individual donations, and supplemented by a gift from the Novant Health Foundation. Novant Health also ordered $10,000 in supplies as an additional gift for the organization’s mission, and has already shipped them to Cuba ahead of the May trip.
“Giving to OpWalk truly is an extension of our mission, taking that orthopedic care and extending it to provide expertise wherever we can help,” said Jason Bernd, vice president, Novant Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital. “Our hospital is excited to be able to partner with this outstanding mission-oriented organization to provide specialty orthopedic care to this underserved population.”
Operation Walk, founded in 2016 by OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee surgeons Bryan Springer, MD, and Walter Beaver, MD, will take its inaugural mission to Cuba with a team of nearly 40. With medical providers including surgeons, internists, physical therapists, floor nurses, scrub techs and more, they expect to perform upwards of 50 hip and knee replacements in five days. Funds for the trip are raised mostly by the medical providers on the team, who volunteer their time for the cause. There are few surgeons who can perform arthroplasties in Cuba and for that reason people there have relatively little or no access to surgeries for issues which can render them unable to walk or face a lifetime of debilitating pain. While in Cuba the medical providers of Operation Walk Carolinas will host in-services for physicians from across the country to teach them about advanced treatments and care.
“It may be difficult to believe but doctors in Cuba hardly make a living wage, so there just isn’t the access to specialty surgeries that there is the United States,” said Dr. Bryan Springer, Operation Walk Carolinas founder and hip and knee surgeon with OrthoCarolina. “We’re grateful to have such a dedicated team from three of the best medical organizations in the region going with us, and the unmatched support from Novant Health. We could not make this inaugural mission happen without their generosity.”
For more information, visit NovantHealth.org.