Global Outreach

Global Outreach

Vanderbilt Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery is committed to global health. Our program has an over-20-year history of traveling to low-resourced areas of the world to provide integrated medical support and care to patients. On each outreach mission trip, our expert team works with local physicians and surgeonsin coordination with local ENT societies, local academic residency programs, and host hospitalsto train them in new surgical techniques while providing free medical care to community members.

​Every year, several humanitarian trips are led by Vanderbilt Otolaryngology physicians. Countries visited have included: Bolivia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Uganda. 

During these trips, residents and medical students provide integral support and care for patients as well as pursuing research, if desired. Projects they have worked on have varied from a physician-extender program in rural Kenya (described in this video: Kenya Hear Me) to setting up electronic medical record systems at host hospitals to provide a way to do some follow-up after returning home. Residents of all years are invited to attend these trips, although it is typically easiest for residents on research blocks to take advantage of these incredible learning and service opportunities. Several residents have also utilized their six-month research block to work in low-resourced areas of Africa and Latin America. Another resident created a relationship with the World Health Organization in Geneva. If a resident is specifically interested in global health, we do everything we can to make sure and allow them to have a full immersive experience and exposure during their residency.

Recently, in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health, we have partnered with other residency programs on campus to create the Vanderbilt Collaborative for Global Health Equity. This is a year-long global health curriculum taught by global health experts among Vanderbilt’s community which aims to build knowledge, skill, and attitudes expected of physicians competent in global health work. Residents that complete this curriculum would graduate from their program with a GME level certificate in Global Health Equity. One of the ultimate goals of this program is at the culmination of the year-long curriculum, residents that participate would have a month-long global health rotation in a low-resourced setting,

See the publications list below for more details. For more information on trips to Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, please visit More Than Medicine. For more information on other global efforts at Vanderbilt, please visit the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

  • A little boy from Guatemala who received a new ear from Scott Stephan, MD
  • Giselle, a Guatemalan girl who had surgery for unilateral microtia
  • Drs. James Phillips and Ryan Belcher performing cleft palate surgery in La Piedad, Mexico
  • James Phillips, MD teaching cleft lip repair in Haiti
  • Haitian students receive hearing tests in Port-au-Prince
  • Marc L. Bennett, MD discusses surgery with Haitian doctors
  • Drs. Kyle Mannion and Sarah Rohde performing free flap surgery in Kijabe, Kenya
  • Residents Ben Campbell and J-N Gallant in Kenya
  • Residents J-N Gallant, Kristen Yancey, and Seth Davis, with Dr. James Netterville and SLP Rachel Sims, presented outreach outcomes research at the International Health Care Foundation seminar.
  • A Kenyan teacher shows a student how to use a mobile diagnostic hearing device
  • Resident Kristen Yancey in Malindi, Kenya
  • Resident Seth Davis in Malindi, Kenya
  • Resident Kristen Yancey in the OR in Malindi, Kenya
  • Uganda Cancer Institute, Kampala, Uganda
  • Drs. Peter Karempelis, Frank Virgin, and Ryan Belcher outside the Vanderbilt Children's-sponsored hospital, the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, in Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Sarah L. Rohde, MD, MMHC in Kijabe, Kenya
  • James Phillips, MD in Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • James L. Netterville, MD teaches local ENT surgeons in Malindi, Kenya
  • Ryan H. Belcher, MD assisting with intubation and airway evaluation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Drs. Kyle Mannion, Sarah Rohde, and Robert Sinard with a patient recovering from free flap surgery in Kijabe, Kenya
  • Ryan Belcher with a mother and child after cleft lip and palate surgery in Kijabe, Kenya