Gary Heit, MD, PhD

Neurosurgery, Redwood City

Americare Neurosurgery International

“Everybody wins. The developing countries get equipment they lack, our physicians get to train their colleagues abroad, and most importantly, seriously ill people get the care they need.”

In 2002, Dr. Heit co-founded Americare Neurosurgery International (AMCANI) and led its first mission to Peru, where three neurosurgical teams performed 28 procedures. Flying home, he had an epiphany: train and equip local neurosurgeons to deliver the care.

In addition to training, developing countries can lack equipment for complicated cases. Dr. Heit identified a discarded operative microscope and other neurosurgery tools in a storage facility. In 2006, he shipped the equipment to the Hue University Hospital in Vietnam. Since then, he and KP colleagues have made three trips to Hue to install equipment and train faculty.

The Vietnamese surgeons are now doing more complex spine and cranial surgery, and many patients are being saved. Dr. Heit wants to send a new team there, while he identifies a teaching hospital in India that could benefit from AMCANI.

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