By Chester H. Sharps, MD
I am actively involved with World Pediatric Project (WPP) by volunteering my time to lead international surgical missions to St. Vincent. WPP treats children living in developing countries who are suffering from birth defects, illness, and injury. Many of these conditions are easily treated in the U.S., but in developing countries that lack pediatric critical care resources, they quickly become life-threatening.
World Pediatric Project was founded in 2001 as International Hospital for Children. Dr. Julian Metts, in conjunction with the South Richmond Rotary Club, founded the organization after returning from a dental mission trip in which he witnessed many children who were dying due to lack of access to critical medical care which is readily accessible in the United States. On March 1, 2011, International Hospital for Children merged with a nonprofit organization in St. Louis and became World Pediatric Project.
I love caring for the children on these mission trips and am happy to share my medical talents as well as time. I understand that fundraising is essential in order to continue with these critical mission trips. I recently agreed to expand my role with WPP and have been named Medical Co-chair of the World Ambassador Society for WPP. The Ambassador Society is an honorary society for supporters donating $1,000 or more. I will work closely with the Community Co-chair, Bruce Gottwald, to raise much needed funding.
All of the pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at Tuckahoe support WPP through medical mission trips. I am planning another mission trip for November to perform scoliosis surgeries in St. Vincent. Dr. Chad Aarons will join me on this trip. To learn more about WPP, go to www.worldpediatricproject.org.
After reading this article, Sue Farley, Senior Vice-President of Development for WPP, had these comments to share: “We couldn’t have a better person on our team. When Chester talks about the children, you can witness his passion for this cause. He sees the total picture and understands that donations are critical to continue the mission. Doctors plus donors equals much needed care for children across the world.”