Trained in the U.S. as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Shankar Rai returned to his native Nepal to dedicate his knowledge and skills to helping others. Dr. Rai has worked with Interplast (nowReSurge) since 1992 and has completed over 5,000 surgical cleft lip and cleft palate corrections. Through collaboration with Children's Medical Aid Foundation, he has extended his services to include surgical correction of other types of birth defects such as syndactylism (webbed fingers), microtia (ear deformity), disfiguring moles and polydactylism. Dr. Rai has received many awards, including Outstanding Physician of the Year by The American Medical Association, and the Nathan Davis Award, a prestigious humanitarian honor.
Dr. Kiran Kishor Nakarmi
Much like Dr. Rai, Dr. Kiran Kishor Nakarmi came from a small village in Nepal with no modern conveniences. He grew up in a large joint Newari family with 11 brothers and sisters, living in a mud-walled house a day's walk to the nearest road. He followed his father's wish to become a doctor so he could care for the village people. In 2002 Dr. Kiran entered a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the University of Utah. In 2005 he completed a plastic surgery registration in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Rai was his teacher and mentor while involved with a project called SCALPEL, which works to empower local physicians to serve in hospitals in remote areas.
Sushila Bhattarai joined the team in 2006. She is a dental technician and a scrub nurse with multiple responsibilities in and out of the operating theater. She is deeply dedicated to working with Nepalese children and families.
Mohan Dangol joined the team in 2004, following his training in Hand Therapy at the Leprosy Research Center in Orissa, India. He also spent three months at Hospital & Rehabilitation Disability for Children. In addition to providing specialized hand therapy services, Mohan is a surgical assistant and provides followup care for patients.
Dr. Rai and Dr. Kiran work hand-in-hand to manage the challenges of developing and maintaining a program designed to care for indigent Nepalese children with congenital defects. Together they have cultivated true team spirit. Every person is made to feel important and essential to the success of this hard-working team. Commitment is reinforced as they receive each thank you from a patient sent home to heal with dreams of a better life.