Garden City plastic surgeons travel to El Salvador to establish surgical training partnership

Dr. Laurence Glickman, Dr. Vincent DiGregorio and El Salvador Health Minister, Dr. Maris Isabel Rodriquez.
Dr. Laurence Glickman, Dr. Vincent DiGregorio and El Salvador Health Minister, Dr. Maris Isabel Rodriquez.
A pair of Long Island doctors from the Garden City-based Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, PC (LIPSG) have returned from a trip to El Salvador where they established a surgical and teaching partnership between the country’s teaching hospital and Mission: Restore, a charitable organization affiliated with the medical group.  
Dr. Vincent DiGregorio and Dr. Laurence Glickman spent three days in February visiting Hospital Nacional Rosales in the Central American nation’s capital, San Salvador, arranging future reconstructive surgeries, meeting with doctors who will participate in a Mission: Restore three-year training program and visiting with patients who will require the reconstructive surgery expertise of the surgeons.  
“It went very well,” said Dr. DiGregorio, a senior surgeon at LIPSG. “It was successful in that we identified the appropriate government officials and the institution where we can work collaboratively.”   Drs. DiGregorio and Glickman met with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaime Miranda and the Minister of Health, Dr. Maris Isabel Rodriquez, a former medical school dean.  
“She’s a national treasure. She was just unbelievably fantastic,” Dr. DiGregorio said of the 91-year-old health minister.   The surgeons also met with Dr. Mauricio Ventura Centeno, the hospital’s administrator, and Dr. Reynaldo Tejada of the department of plastic surgery.   The Long Island doctors also visited with patients to assess what is needed and to tailor a program that would most benefit patients. While there, they saw patients with electrical burns, skin cancers, and intracranial and extracranial tumors, said Dr. DiGregorio.  
“Our goal is to establish a long-term relationship with the people of El Salvador and the plastic surgery community of El Salvador that’s mutually beneficial,” Dr. DiGregorio said.  He said doctors on his team could learn from their Salvadorian colleagues, who work on advanced cases that typically are not seen on Long Island.   “They are eager to have an educational experience and many people can benefit from this alliance,” DiGregorio said of the Salvadoran doctors.   In deciding to provide assistance to El Salvador Mission: Restore considered the Central American nation’s ties to Long Island, where more than 100,000 Salvadorans reside.  
The training process under Mission: Restore initially will be conducted via video conferencing, but the Long Island doctors said they plan to return to the country to conduct a surgical mission in the next few months.  
“Our hope is that we'll be able to visit in the future and collaborate with them and have their residents come to New York and train,” Dr. Glickman said.  “We can go down there and help with complicated surgeries.”  
Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, chairperson of Mission: Restore, said, “By partnering with doctors in countries like El Salvador, we are able to tailor our surgical and education programs with an understanding of the culture, the healthcare delivery system and the prevailing medical needs of the people of El Salvador.”  
About Mission: Restore  Established in 2010, Mission: Restore is a 501 c (3) not-for-profit founded by a group of surgeons affiliated with Long Island Plastic Surgical Group. Mission: Restore provides expert reconstructive surgical care to patients globally, educates and trains medical professionals dedicated to volunteer care and invests in scientific clinical research to improve plastic surgery practices and procedures.  For more information, visit missionrestore.org  
About Long Island Plastic Surgical Group For 65 years, Long Island Plastic Surgical Group has been dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive care, while pioneering and performing the most advanced reconstructive and cosmetic surgical procedures. As the largest and longest running private academic plastic surgical practice in the nation, LIPSG surgeons have more than 250 years of combined experience as leaders and innovators in the field. The size of the practice and diversity of expertise is reflected in its 10 specialty centers: Skin Care and Age Management; Non-invasive and Surgical Facial Rejuvenation; Pediatric Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery; Facial Reanimation and Peripheral Nerve Repair; Microsurgery and Hand Reconstruction; Breast and Body Cosmetic Surgery; Burns and Complex Wound Management; Breast Reconstruction Surgery; Post-Weight Loss Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery; and Migraine Treatment. For more information about LIPSG, visit lipsg.com.