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Where We Go

Making a Difference

Face the Future™ Foundation was created in 1996 with missions to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where the focus was on treating children, many of whom were orphans, with cleft lip and palate and other major traumatic and congenital facial deformities.

In 2012, missions to Kigali, Rwanda began followed by Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2019,  Kathmandu, Nepal in 2020 and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine in 2023. Due to the tragic conflict in Ukraine, the Russian mission has been indefinitely suspended. New mission sites are also being explored in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. It is the Foundation’s goal to increase the number of missions to six a year.

Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

In March 2023, the first mission to Ukraine, led by Mission Director Dr. Anthony E. Brissett, took place at the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital with a team of 13 surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses from Canada and the United States.  This mission occurred a year after Face the Future Foundation announced it was suspending its missions to Russia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital

The mission to Ukraine was one of the most challenging ever as the patients – mainly soldiers with some civilians – had severe head and neck war injuries requiring exceptional surgical skill and Patient Specific Implants, frequently made of Titanium, to aid in the reconstruction of boney facial defects.  Face the Future was supported in this mission by RAZOM of New York, Materialise of Belgium and Dr. Nataliya Komashko, Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon at Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital.

A second mission to Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital will be held in October 2023.

Prior to the mission, 100 patients were assessed with 45 patients being selected. Once in Ukraine, 31 patients were chosen for surgery with the surgical and medical team performing 112 procedures, an average of 4 procedures per patient. This amounted to 96 hours of operating room time. In addition to providing surgical services, Face the Future held two symposiums while in Ukraine.  The International Symposium of Head and Neck War Injuries was attended by 130 Ukrainian surgeons and included 17 presentations by 6 of our surgeons and a Ukrainian surgeon over a full day. The second symposium – Nursing Academic Day – was attended by 70 nurses and included 9 presentations and moderated panel by the Foundation’s 4 nurses.  More than 300 nurses had to be turned away due to lack of space for the forum.

Number of Procedures/Operations:

31 patients / 112 procedures or approximately 4 per patient.

Number of Patients Consulted:

100 patients prior to the Mission

Size of Mission:

A team of 13 consisting of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons, oculoplastic surgeon, operating room nurses, anesthesiologists, intensive care specialists, nurse educators.

Conditions Treated:

Mandibular, maxillary, periorbital and cranial boney reconstruction, utilizing surgical plates and screws as well as Patient Specific Implants. Frontal sinus reconstruction for cranial trauma. Endoscopic sinus reconstruction as well as complex nasal reconstruction with cartilage grafting and soft tissue flaps. Facial nerve paralysis reconstruction. Complex scar revision. Complex soft tissue orbital reconstruction utilizing local flaps and grafts. Multiple regional and local facial reconstructions. Dermal fat grafting and free fat transfer.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia faces an enormous shortage of surgeons to meet the needs of its 121 million population. Surgical care interventions are poor, especially in rural areas and particularly for complex facial reconstructive plastic surgery.

The surgical wait list in Addis Ababa alone is 15,000 patients.

The Foundation’s first mission to Addis Ababa was in October 2019 and was led by Dr. Marco Caminiti, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.

The Foundation worked in conjunction with the University of Addis Ababa with a focus on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeries (OMFS) – essentially congenital, traumatic and cancer deformities of the face and jaw. An important part of the mission, as with all of our missions, is the improvement of health care capacity through teaching of local medical doctors, surgeons, and nurses. Our team will increase as further needs are identified and capabilities permit.

St. Paul’s Hospital

Number of Procedures/Operations:

16

Number of Patients Consulted:

45

Size of Mission:

4 surgeons

Conditions Treated:

Excision and complex reconstruction of major bony and swift tissue facial tumours, facial paralysis, cleft lip, facial traumatic injuries, congenital jaw deformities.

Kigali, Rwanda

Since our first mission in Kigali, Rwanda in 2012, Face the Future™ Foundation has made a significant impact not only on the number of patients treated but in the continuous teaching of local medical staff, thereby increasing capacity and knowledge transference, establishing standards and ensuring high quality post-operative care.

After eight full missions, we are proud to have been instrumental in improving the quality of care, education of local medical staff and improving patient outcomes.

We have consulted more than 450 patients and operated on over 300 patients, performing over 700 procedures. We have also helped develop an intensive care unit so we can perform more complex surgeries. Future plans include increasing the number of missions with smaller teams of four to six to focus on more advanced training in specific areas of most need.

Rwanda Military Hospital

Number of Procedures/Operations:

40 – 60 patients / 100 – 140 procedures annually

Number of Patients Consulted:

80 – 100 annually

Size of Mission:

A team of 12 to 20 consisting of surgeons, operating room nurses, anesthesiologists, intensive care specialists, nurse educators, and radiation oncologists.

Conditions Treated:

Cancerous tumours and facial trauma requiring major resections and complex reconstruction of boney skeleton and soft tissue with free flaps, cleft lip and palate revision, congenital facial deformities, scar revision for burn and traumatic scars, and nasal reconstruction.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Burns are one of the leading causes of injury and death in Nepal.

Five percent of disabilities in all age groups in Nepal are due to burn related injury.

Flame burns are most prevalent followed by scald burns, with women and children affected more often than men. The outcome of burn injuries in Nepal is generally very poor. There is also significant workplace trauma with a large number of hand and upper extremity injuries in Nepal.

The Foundation held its first successful mission to the Nepal Cleft and Burn Centre in January 2020 with a team of eight. Treatment and education are being directed towards major burn care, congenital and traumatic facial deformities and hand and upper extremity reconstruction.

The Nepal Burn Centre at the Kirtipur Hospital

Number of Procedures/Operations:

25-30 patients / 40-60 procedures annually

Number of Patients Consulted:

60-70 burn patients daily in the ICU and Ward

Size of Mission:

8 surgeons, intensive care specialists, physiotherapists, and nurses.

Conditions Treated:

Complex congenital and traumatic nasal reconstruction, microtia (absent / deformed ear) reconstruction, complex hand reconstruction utilizing flaps, nerve transfers, and tendon repairs, excision of tumors.

Ulyanovsk, Saratov, and Yekaterinburg, Russia

This is where our missions began, and from 1992 to 2019 there have been more than 20 Russian missions.

The first was to Yekaterinburg in Siberia, where the children’s hospital was in an old, dilapidated railroad building. The Foundation’s volunteer medical team has trained doctors, helped establish a functioning unit, and now returns every few years to perform only the most complicated surgeries. Of the many orphans we operated on, 92 were adopted or able to return to their homes after being “given up”.

The Foundation has also led missions to Saratov State Medical University where the team has operated on people with congenital and traumatic facial deformities and other pediatric surgical conditions. The Foundation completed its last mission to Ulyanovsk Paediatric Regional Hospital, located 700 km from Moscow. No further missions to Russia are planned.

Ulyanovsk Paediatric Regional Hospital

Number of Procedures/Operations:

40-50 patients / 60-70 procedures

Number of Patients Consulted:

70 – 80

Size of Mission:

8 – 10 facial plastic, pediatric, urologic and maxillofacial surgeons, hospitalist physicians and nurses.

Conditions Treated:

Congenital and traumatic nasal and ear deformities, congenital pediatric gastrointestinal and urological deformities. Orthognathic and maxillofacial surgery.