Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Surgeons Travel to Jordan to Operate on More Than 30 Local Children with Physical Deformities and Injuries, Including at Least Three Young Syrian Civil War Refugees

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Surgeons Travel to Jordan to Operate on More Than 30 Local Children with Physical Deformities and Injuries, Including at Least Three Young Syrian Civil War Refugees

Janet Dotson (Jordan)Office: (323) 361.5979E-mail: orLorenzo Benet (323) 361.4823 (Los Angeles)Email:

A medical team of specialized surgeons from the and the at departed for Amman, Jordan Thursday, May 30 for a weeklong medical mission to treat children with devastating physical deformities at the King Hussein Medical Center in Amman.

The hospital will be working in collaboration with the Children of War Foundation, a non-profit, non-politically affiliated organization that provides medical care to children with physical deformities that would be otherwise untreatable in their home country.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Children of War Foundation are creating a global footprint,” says Jeffrey Hammoudeh, MD, DDS, director of the Jaw Deformities Center at Children’s Hospital. “With the skills and resources of our group of highly sub-specialized surgeons, we will provide the young patients transformative care. By making a dramatic change in the way a child or teen looks, it aids the physical, spiritual and emotional transformation of the patients and their families.”

The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles physicians will also be treating at least three Syrian civil war refugees. Of the 76 total cases reviewed thus far, the doctors expect to perform surgeries on more than 30 children.

“This mission is a testament to this group of highly sub-specialized surgeons at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and it shows that their passion for what they do extends beyond U.S. borders into regions where children that are in desperate need of their expertise and care,” says Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, the hospital’s vice president and chief of surgery who has led many humanitarian care missions to his home country of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

In addition to Dr. Hammoudeh (Beverly Hills), the team of Children’s Hospital physicians traveling to Jordan include: Mark M. Urata, MD, DDS, chief of Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery (La Canada Flintridge); Andre Panossian, MD, director of Vascular Anomalies Center (La Canada Flintridge); and Pediatric Urologist Andy Chang, MD (Pasadena). Along with volunteering their surgery expertise, they will be leading a symposium for surgeons throughout the region, providing Jordanian physicians the knowledge needed to continue providing specialized treatment once the team of doctors returns to the United States.

“This magnificent initiative being undertaken by Drs. Urata and Hammoudeh and their multidisciplinary surgical team in conjunction with the Children of War Foundation is a great example of the commitment of our hospital and its staff to improve the lives of all children in the U.S. and abroad,” says Dr. Stuart Siegel, MD, director of the Center for International Health at Children’s Hospital. “These efforts will give hope to these children and their families for a better future.”

Through the assistance of Dr. Khaldoun Haddadin, chief of plastic reconstructive surgery at King Hussein Medical Center, and the Jordanian medical team, the surgeons have reviewed 76 cases with more to be seen once they arrive in Jordan. This is the first outreach program to Jordan and compared to other international medical programs, this trip to Jordan is different from all others.

“The complexity factors of these cases, on a scale of one to 10, are all an eight, nine or 10,” says Dr. Hammoudeh. “The children have gone their entire lives without the operations due to lack of sub-specialized clinicians in the region.”

The cases are severe and include: hemangiomas, vascular anomalies, hand reconstruction, craniofacial reconstruction, and children with ambiguous genitalia, among other abnormalities. Dr. Urata will be doing a facial bipartition operation, a nine-hour surgery that under normal circumstances no child could get unless they were operated on in the United States.

In our world, ‘cosmetic’ surgery has a special meaning,” explains Urata. “Having a facial deformity can be emotionally and socially devastating for kids who simply want to fit in. That's our job: to help them have a normal childhood

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles doctors and nurses personally volunteering their time and expertise internationally is a growing focal point of the hospital’s mission. This is a major component for the hospital’s international program to build a humanitarian presence in the Middle East. To date, the hospital’s global missions have spanned six continents and 47 nations.

The mission concludes June 7, 2013.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious . Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

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