American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

2010 Surgical Humanitarian Award: Richard S. Bransford

Dr. Bransford with a patient in Africa, where  care for children with disabilities  is nearly nonexistent.

Richard S. Bransford, MD, FACS, of Kijabe, Kenya, was honored with the 2010 Surgical Humanitarian Award in recognition of more than three decades of service in Africa, primarily at the Africa Inland Church (AIC) Kijabe Hospital. After completing his surgical training, serving in the U.S. Air Force, adding a degree in Tropical Medicine, and serving brief periods as a missionary surgeon in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros, in 1977 Dr. Bransford and his wife and five children moved to Kenya. There he embarked on more than three decades of service at AIC Kijabe Hospital, first as a staff surgeon, and later as the program director of pediatric rehabilitation surgery. In 1998, Dr. Bransford co-founded the Bethany Crippled Children's Centre (BCCC) adjacent to the hospital. A 30-bed pediatric facility with two operating rooms, the BCCC treated children suffering from a wide range of conditions including burn contractures, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, cleft lip and palate, clubfoot, polio, scoliosis, hypospadias, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophies. In 2004, he co-founded BethanyKids at Kijabe Hospital (BKKH), a 67-bed facility that has become widely known in Africa as a referral center for disabled children, and is supported by a network of 14 outreach clinics across Kenya. Dr. Bransford has also provided surgical care during disasters and crises elsewhere in Africa, including in Rwanda, Somalia, southern Sudan, and Zaire.