Surgery overseas: Toledo surgeon volunteers in Germany treating American soldiersWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Vascular surgeon Ralph Whalen of Toledo recently spent two weeks treating wounded American soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq at the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.
Whalen, who volunteered last year as well, was in Germany from April 16 to May 1. He is scheduled to return for a two-week rotation in May 2012.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the care of our soldiers,” Whalen said. “My first experience at LRMC last year was very humbling. The injuries sustained were severe. LRMC has some of the finest trauma physicians I have ever worked with.”
Since 2004, 66,000 military personnel have been treated at LRMC, the largest American hospital outside the United States.
Whalen, a member of the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS), is one of 72 members to volunteer at LRMC since September 2007, after SVS member and retired U.S. Army Col. David Gillespie of the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s Office asked members to volunteer at LRMC. There is now a waiting list for SVS surgeons willing to volunteer this year.
“Speaking on behalf of SVS leadership and all of its members, we are extremely proud of the vascular surgeons who donate their time to help treat war injuries,” SVS President Dr. Robert Zwolak said.