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.

See the publications list below for more details. For more information on trips to Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, please visit More Than Medicine.

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