Everyone has heard the old Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Rotary Districts 5000 and 2241 with the support of The Rotary Foundation, are taking that phrase to a whole new level by working to change the way complex cranio-facial pediatric medical procedures are being handled in Romania.
The change began when Dr. Daniel Murariu, now a plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh, PA, was doing his general surgery residency at the University of Hawai’i in Honolulu. He approached his local Club, RC Honolulu Sunset, with the idea that together they could make a transformative and sustaining difference in the lives of children in need throughout Eastern Europe. Dr. Murariu had been performing medical missions in Romania for years. He was inspired to help children who were suffering from the worst congenital cranio-facial deformities.
   “We would go to villages and have a team from the U.S. and one from Romania. Together we would work to provide specialty consultations to patients who couldn’t afford to go to the city,” said Dr. Murariu. “Over the years I met local plastic surgeons like Dr. Dragos Pieptu. We had several discussions about what the needs were in plastic surgery with the main one being pediatric cranio-facial malformations. These cases were not being treated to the same high standards as they would in the U.S."
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