Back to Healing (BTH), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has the mission to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by scoliosis through mental health awareness, empowerment, education and advocacy has announced that they’ll be partnering with Medtronic to provide free implants, surgical instruments and equipment to underprivileged children living with severe scoliosis located in Brazil. Ten to twelve children, who are all in dire need of corrective spinal surgeries, will receive the same standard of care that takes place here in the United States. Each surgery performed equates to a dollar figure anywhere between $100,000 to $250,000.
Spinal curvature, the physical manifestation of scoliosis, not only causes cosmetic abnormality, but can also progress to significantly compromise the function of one’s lungs, heart, and spinal cord. In addition, the mental health burden associated with patients living with scoliosis has a negative effect on the quality of life for both patients who are waiting for or had corrective surgery. With an elite group of doctors, medical volunteers and mental health professionals who too have the passion for helping communities in need, BTH will execute a series of week-long mission trips to Africa, South America and throughout the Caribbean with the first stop being in Brazil.
The BTH Mission Trip Program will partner with U.S based Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) sponsored surgeons and selectively approved teaching hospitals in hosting countries to collaboratively provide surgical correction, enhance the training of local surgeons, and supplement post-operative management with mental health support. Host surgeons will determine which of their patients are eligible and are most in need of surgery. In addition to the surgeries, the mission trips will involve continued education including hands-on demonstrations provided by the BTH team and affiliated SRS surgeons.
The beauty of these missions is that BTH gets the privilege of being invited to help care for some of the planet’s most vulnerable populations. As research has demonstrated, disenfranchised populations frequently experience worse health outcomes due to lack of access and affordability of clinical care. By partnering with expertly trained surgeons, BTH’s in-house psychologist(s) and leaders in the medical device community, BTH will direct all of their efforts towards eliminating these disparities and providing the best wellness practices to improve functional, physical and mental health outcomes to our fellow scoli-warriors.