Surgery Weekend Program Description
The Fresh Start Surgery Weekend Program provides comprehensive, high quality medical care to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured children with physical deformities and other conditions. The Surgery Weekend Program consists of six, eight-week Surgery Weekend Cycles per year. Each eight-week Surgery Weekend Cycle includes an intensive 2-day Surgery Weekend where volunteer medical professionals provide extensive reconstructive surgeries. Throughout the rest of the Cycle, Fresh Start holds dental clinics, laser treatments, speech therapy services, and health education to ensure comprehensive medical care. At each Surgery Weekend Cycle, Fresh Start treats approximately 65 children, totaling approximately 400 children annually.
Medical treatments are provided at the Fresh Start Clinic at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, CA, USA by an all-volunteer team of medical professionals. All lodging, food, and transportation to the Clinic is provided at no cost to the family.
Fresh Start treats a wide variety of conditions ranging from congenital defects to deformities caused by accident or abuse including burns, cleft lip and palate, hemifacial microsomia, Treacher-Collins syndrome, Goldenhar syndrome, and many other conditions that can require anywhere from just one surgery to multiple surgeries coupled with neurosurgery, orthodontia, speech therapy, and other specialty procedures. Fresh Start's specialty services provide patients with personalized and individualized care that often cannot be found at other healthcare organizations or state funded programs. Fresh Start's laser clinics treat patients afflicted with deformities such as port wine stains and burns and also reduce the appearance of scars. The dental clinics provide services ranging from orthodontic work for children with cleft lip and palate to fillings and more basic care. Speech therapy services help children regain their ability to speak audibly and correctly.
Fresh Start maintains long-term relationships with patients - the majority of patients receive medical care for over seven years - and even years after they have completed the Program patients still receive follow-up evaluations and personalized care to ensure that they continue on a healthy path well into adulthood.
Fresh Start treats infants, children, and teens suffering from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease. All patients have limited access to healthcare services because of their income level, citizenship status, or racial background - the approximate annual income of patients and their families is US $25,000.00 . All patients are uninsured or underinsured, and over 70% of the children treated are from ethnic minority groups.
Children enrolled in the program are mostly from the United States (49%) and Mexico (49%), with a few from other countries (2%). Of those from Mexico, approximately 90% are from Baja California.
Specific Need Being Met
Currently, Fresh Start leases a Laser for surgical procedures. This requires that, besides being costly, the machine being moved into the facility, set up, and calibrated for each session. Purchasing and maintaining the Cutera Laser will alleviate the need for both leasing a laser and the necessary set-ups, etc. on a sustainable, on-going basis.