|Dr. Sudarshan Reddy has been arranging missions for many years. Mercy Missions started in 2003 after Dr. Schneider joined Dr. Reddy on a mission to Brazil. Since then we have organized 13 missions. Each mission takes about 6 months of preparation. The missions are usually 10 days long. Since these are surgical missions, we solicit volunteers from the operating room of Henry Ford Macomb and St Joseph's Oakland. Our teams consist of 12-14 members including 2 surgeons, 3 anesthesia personnel and the nursing staff to run two operating rooms. We hope to perform about 80 operations during the trip. Dr. Garapati has been our lead anesthesiologist for the majority of the missions and has been an integral part of the team. Team members are generally operating room staff who volunteer their time and money to travel on these missions.
We collect all of our supplies from the materials that would normally be thrown away after surgery at the hospital. These are all clean supplies that just need to be repackaged and sterilized. The administration and staff of Henry Ford Hospital Macomb have been huge supporters of our missions. They offer their time to help collect, package and sterilize the supplies. Some of the supplies are donated by the medical supply companies supporting the hospital. We generally take 24 thirty gallon containers to transport the supplies with us when we travel.
We go on these missions not only to offer care to those who have no access to medical care but also we go as ambassadors of the USA. Showing the world that we as Americans are trying to give back to those who are less fortunate.