LEAD Magazine: What inspired you to undertake this type of work?
Dr. Jason Frischer: I was in the early to middle part of my practice when I went to Google and looked up doctors and mission trips. I just started Googling mission trips. It was the right thing to do.
That led to a phone conversation about goals. Mwanza, Tanzania, had a need. I flew there alone, a 40-hour trip. I met the surgeon. His goal was to establish a program. I have a minimum of a five-year commitment. He is training a surgeon, not a pediatric surgeon. She is now in a pediatric fellowship in Kenya, learning surgery.
The surgeon’s skills are not equal to skills of American-trained surgeons. After my initial trip, I met Sister Massenga, a nun who is a surgeon. She is general surgery trained. She is committed to the patients. I have gone back two more times with a team of 10 to 11 from Children’s Hospital Medical Center with a few volunteers. Sister Massenga is now in a pediatric surgery training program. The goal is to bring her here to Cincinnati for a few months of training.
Mending Kids helps with supplies, etc. CHMC is very generous in letting us go. No vacation time is used. The average salary per week there is $2. Sister Massenga gets the patients organized to be at the clinics. We bring surgical assistants, nurses, anesthesiologists, etc. The nurses teach pre-op and post-op care. The surgical assistants teach correct handling of instruments, etc.
LEAD Magazine: What have you learned by doing this work?
Dr. Jason Frischer: I learned that people are very appreciative of the work you do. We all felt it was extremely special. It is the best week of my life. I would like to do two trips a year until I can no longer walk.
LEAD Magazine: What message would you like to share with our readers about this work?
Dr. Jason Frischer: To understand that there are multiple ways to give back. I’m just using the skill set I have and bringing along my friends and colleagues. I am as equal in importance as the scrub tech I bring, who is training their scrub tech to properly hold the knife, etc., and proper cleaning of instruments.
2015 & 2016 Trip Members
Jason Frischer | Surgeon
Beth Rymeski | Surgeon
Paul Samuels | Anesthesiologist
Rupi Mavi | Anesthesiologist
Molly Lierman | Nurse Anesthetist
Steven Kraus | Radiologist
Patricia Kern | Colorectal Nurse
Laurie Rosendahl | Colorectal Nurse
Monica Holder | Colorectal Nurse
Julie Schletker | Colorectal Nurse
Sarah-Ross Tolin | OR Nurse
Samantha McGraw | Surgical Tech
Ebony Gray | Surgical Tech
Isabelle Fox | Mission Coordinator, Mending Kids
Gaby Morgerman | Volunteer
Lynne Friedman | Volunteer
Dulcie Morgerman | Volunteer
Ian Friedman | Volunteer