Freedom to Move Operation Walk is made up of an all-volunteer team
Dr. Hartman is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he specializes in complex hip and knee reconstruction. He was raised in a small farming community in rural Missouri. His grandfather was a general practitioner for more than 50 years and was his inspiration to pursue a career in medicine. He has been fortunate to participate in numerous mission trips to Guatemala with Operation Walk as well as provide care for Operation Walk - USA patients in Nebraska. He is excited to be a part of Operation Walk - Freedom to Move and looks forward to helping further the mission in any way he can help.
OW: How long have you been associated with Operation Walk – Freedom to Move and what is your roll in (or specialty you bring to) the organization?
SC: I have been associated with Op Walk-Freedom to Move from the very beginning, when it was only a hope. My responsibilities include working with one of our corporate partners to procure, ship, and manage total hip implants and instruments for the mission. I also assist the Dominican circulating OR nurses during our surgeries and help with the instrument cleaning and sterilization.
OW: What about the organization makes you want to donate your time and expertise.
SC: I continue to be motivated by being a part of a team that relieves the suffering and helps restore mobility to people who would not be able to get the help otherwise. Every year I look forward to seeing the friends we have made among the staff at the hospital. I am especially struck by the number of young people with crippling osteoarthritis that we have been able to help.
OW: Who inspires you in the organization?
SC: I am inspired by every member of the team who returns.
OW: What is your background in charity or in healthcare?
SC: I have been an orthopedic implant vendor for 34 years and have observed thousands of orthopedic procedures.
OW: If you could tell the world one thing about why this mission is important, what would that be?
SC: Our mission is important because we bring state-of-the-art treatments and technologies to a remote corner of the world and greatly improve the lives of patients and healthcare workers there.
Dr. Paul Duwelius
I am Chairman of Portland Operation Walk-Freedom to Move, which is a humanitarian foundation to fund-raise for this relief effort. Teams of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other volunteers raise money to help orthopedic relief operations overseas. This nonprofit organization was sponsored to help these relief efforts so that people in the Dominican Republic without access to total joint care can benefit from a total hip or knee replacement. Relief efforts in the past have centered on Juan Bosch Hospital in La Vega, Dominican Republic for the past 6 years, Cabral Trauma center in Santiago, and Institute for Latin American Concern Outpatient Orthopedic Surgery center in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Operation Walk-Freedom to Move merged about 5 years ago out of a desire to have our local mission, Freedom to Move, aligned with a national group with access to more advice and assistance in getting implants, economies of scale, and national exposure.
I initially became involved as a medical student working for ILAC through Creighton University. Since then, Dr. John Tessier and I have worked through a lot of logistical issues to find a safe hospital to perform the procedures at and establish a team of residents and attending doctors in the Dominican Republic to help us care for patients that would not otherwise receive total joint care.