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Operation Walk - Women Orthopaedist Global Outreach

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Care

Mission: To empower, educate and engage women and their larger community in developing countries around the world:empower - provide free life-altering orthopaedic surgery that eliminates debilitating arthritis and restores disabled joints so that women can reclaim their ability to care for themselves, their families and communities. Educate - train in-country surgeons and other healthcare professionals in specialized orthopaedic skills and technologies so they can improve the health of their patients. Engage - provide role models for girls and young women by promoting the importance of education and helping to expand their understanding of what a woman can accomplish.

Programs: The wogo surgeons travel to the mission city for a pre-trip session where they meet with local surgeons and healthcare professionals to coordinate logistical details. They work with local medical professionals to screen, evaluate and take x-rays of potential surgical candidates. The x-rays and test results are entered into an electronic medical record system, making wogo one of only two operation walk teams to use this technology. This enables them to plan their surgeries with greater precision and assemble appropriate supplies, including specific sizes of joint implants. The surgeons and the support team spend about a week in the mission city. All surgeries are performed during the first few days of the trip to ensure that the wogo team is on hand to monitor outcomes and treat any complications. The goal is to perform as many joint reconstruction surgeries, as time and donations allow. For patients, the surgical procedure involves pre and post operative patient education and a two-to-four day stay in the hospital. Rehabilitation is the focus of the latter part of the week. Physical therapists conduct classes for patients and their families teaching and demonstrating safe techniques. Local physical therapists are trained to continue the healing process for these patients after the wogo team returns to the united states. In 2016, the team travelled to the democratic republic of the congo in partnership with the dikembe mutombo foundation. They performed needed surgeries and trained local doctors and medical staff. The team plans to return to perform more sugeries in 2019.

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