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

2013 Surgical Humanitarian Award: Donald R. Laub, Sr.

Dr. Laub with a patient with a congenital hand deformity, October 1998, in the preoperative clinic at Hospital Leonardo Martinez San Pedro Sula, Honduras (Dr. Leonard Furlow in background).Donald R. Laub, Sr., MD, FACS, of Redwood City, CA, received the 2013 Surgical Humanitarian Award in recognition of his lifetime of service providing surgical care to the underserved in developing countries and his legacy of individuals and organizations that have emulated his model to provide surgical humanitarian outreach around the world. A pioneer in the field of global humanitarian surgery, in 1969, Dr. Laub founded Interplast (since renamed ReSurge International), the first organization to take multidisciplinary teams from foundations or university medical schools to developing countries on short-term surgical trips to provide patient care, teaching, and research. During his career, he completed 159 surgical trips and performed 1,500 cleft lip and palate surgeries. His legacy, however, extends far beyond these patients. ReSurge trains hundreds of local medical personnel each year through its surgical trips and workshops, and now has 11 permanent surgical outreach programs around the world that provide year-round access to high-quality reconstructive surgery. To date, ReSurge has performed 95,000 operations in 15 countries. Since ReSurge’s founding, 58 independent university or foundation-based humanitarian surgical organizations worldwide have been established. At Stanford University, Dr. Laub now teaches one of the few university undergraduate courses on international humanitarian surgery, preparing the next generation of humanitarians.