Wed. Sept. 28, 2022 Speaker: Richard G. Ohye, M.D., Topic: "Building a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program in El Salvador"

Wed. Sept. 28, 2022 Speaker: Richard G. Ohye, M.D., Topic: “Building a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program in El Salvador”

Dr. Ohye is a pediatric cardiac surgeon at the U of M C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Vice Chair and Edward L. Bove, M.D. Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Section Head of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School.

Since 1998, teams of American pediatric cardiac surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, and perfusionists have been going to Hospital de Nino Benjamin Bloom in San Salvador, El Salvador with the Gift of Life Program of Rotary International. At that time, very little cardiac surgery was done in the country and hundreds of children died from repairable heart defects each year due to this lack of access. Working with a dedicated team of Salvadorean colleagues, the Gift of Life Program has transformed the center at Benjamin Bloom to one that does all but the very most complex surgeries, saving hundreds of children each year.
From an OR suite with open windows without screens and flies literally buzzing around the operating room in 1998, to opening a dedicated 6-bed pediatric cardiac ICU, the Salvadorean team and Rotary International’s Gift of Life has accomplished a tremendous feat when viewed in the realities of the very limited resources of a third world country.

Dr. Richard G. Ohye is the co-Director of the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center. Dr. Ohye’s major clinical interests are in complex congenital heart defect repair. His research interests are in clinical and translational research, and he is the Co-Founder of the Michigan Congenital Heart Outcomes Research and Discovery (M-CHORD) program. Dr. Ohye is the study chair of a 15-center randomized trial comparing techniques for the Norwood operation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the first multi-institutional prospective trial ever performed in congenital heart surgery. He has a strong interest in innovative device development for pediatric patients with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and is currently involved with the development of several novel devices.

Introducer: John White:

 “I met Rick Ohye at a party  in May. He noticed my Rotary pin and began to tell me how impressed he was with what Rotary had done in the Central American countries where he volunteers his expertise in pediatric cardiology to save the lives of kids. I asked him to speak to our club on his experiences and he graciously agreed.”