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The Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital conducts global surgery efforts, aimed to improve surgical education and access to advanced surgical care in resource-limited settings.
The Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital strives to improve health equity in resource-limited settings around the world through a range of surgery initiatives. Clinicians, residents, fellows and staff from the Department of Surgery participate in global medical missions to teach, learn and provide advanced surgical care to patients. Recent efforts have focused on developing and implementing more comprehensive surgical curricula at underserved sites such as Mbarara, Uganda.
Since 2002, James C. Cusack, Jr., MD, FACS, has been involved in global surgery efforts in countries such as China, Bangladesh, Liberia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Botswana and Uganda. In fall 2013, he was appointed director of the Mass General Global Surgery Initiative to coordinate the global surgery efforts within the Department of Surgery. “What continues to impress and motivate me is the spirit of collaboration that marks these missions—it is the most rewarding work of my career,” Dr. Cusack says.
Dr. Cusack is engaged with the following Global Surgery Initiatives of the Department of Surgery:
Since the successful introduction over the past decade of comprehensive programs to treat the common communicable diseases of Africa including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, deaths related to communicable disease have steadily dropped. Over the same time period, deaths related to cancer have strikingly increased particularly among women with cervical and breast cancer.
In December 2013, the World Health Organization announced that the Global Cancer Burden had risen to 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012, with projections that there will be a substantive increase to 19.3 million new cases per year by 2025. More than half of all cancer deaths occur in less developed regions of the world, that are ill-equipped to address this increasing burden of disease.
Dr. Cusack is leading efforts in the Mass General Department of Surgery and Mass General Cancer Center to build capacity in surgery and cancer care in resource-limited settings to address the increasing burden of death related to cancer and surgically treatable disease. Dr. Cusack's recent presentations and meetings include:
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