Medical Missions – Vietnam

A Vietnam Mission

Dr. Arash Emami and Michelle Brenner, N.P. were invited by the Butterfly Foundation to participate in a medical mission for impoverished scoliosis patients.  Dr. Arash Emami, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, is director of spinal deformities at Seton Hall University and holds a teaching appointment at New York University Medical Center.

Dr. Emami is a respected medical educator who teaches surgeons, fellows and residents the skills required to master complex spine surgeries. Michelle Brenner, Nurse Practitioner and RN First Assist, has worked and trained with Dr. Emami for over 5 years.

The 2008 Vietnam Spine Clinic mission was held in conjunction with the 14th annual Spine Society Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at the Hospital for Trauma-Orthopedics (HTO), December 8-13, 2008.

Dr. Vo Van Thanh invited clinicians from around the world to learn spine technology by observing and/or participating in the surgeries. Dr. Andrew Moulton (spine surgeon and founder of the Butterfly Foundation) and Dr. Quentin Deward, (neurosurgeon) participated in the mission. Surgical instruments were donated by the Medtronic Charitable Mission Group.

Many patients at HTO haven’t had regular medical care, and often present with advanced spinal curvature/degeneration brought on by scoliosis or tuberculosis. The mission provided 25 surgeries for patients whom otherwise would not have had access to advanced technology and multinational spine deformity expertise.

“I want to thank Dr. Moulton and the Butterfly Foundation, our host Dr. Thanh and his many skilled colleagues including Dr. Hien, for the amazing opportunity to participate in this scoliosis mission trip. I am forever humbled by the gracious people I met in Vietnam.”

—Michelle Brenner, Nurse Practitioner

Below are photos taken during this mission.