The Surgeons

  • Salvatore 'Sasha' Agati

    Salvatore 'Sasha' Agati / Cardiac

    MD, University of Catania, Italy
    Chief Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
    Dr. Agati is a Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon who specializes in congenital heart disease, aortic diseases, cardiac transplant, ventricular assist devices, and minimally invasive surgery. He earned his degree from University of Catania, Italy and trained at Nigauarda Hospital, Milarno. Italy. His clinical interests include congenital heart disease, aortic disease, minimally invasive surgery, cardiac transplantation, and ventricular assist devices.

  • Dean Anselmo

    Dean Anselmo / General

    After earning his medical degree from UCLA Medical Center: Surgery, Dr. Anselmo has been with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles ever since. Dr. Anselmo primary specialty is pediatric surgery with a focus on minimally invasive surgery and vascular anomalies.

  • Juliet Balderas

    Juliet J. Balderas / Cardiac

    Chief Fellow of Pediatric Cardiology, Philippine Heart Center
    Pediatric Cardiologist, Asian Hospital and Medical Center
    Dr. Juliet J. Balderas specializes in Pediatric Cardiology and is affiliated with the Philippine Heart Center and the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in the Philippines.

  • Robert Bernstein

    Robert M. Bernstein / Orthopedic

    Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs
    Medical Director of Orthopedic Center
    There are a number of reasons why I have chosen to work with Mending Kids. First and foremost is that I share their commitment to improving healthcare for children throughout the world, and in particular, access to surgical care. In addition, Mending Kids believes in sustainability. This means that teaching local physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers is an important focus of their mission. Finally, Mending Kids is the most organized and efficient program with which I have worked. I am impressed by with everyone from the Executive Director to the staff, and to the commitment of the members of the board. One can only be inspired to do more for children by interacting with the members of Mending Kids.

    Dr. Bernstein is the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Medical Director of Orthopedic Center at Cedars-Sinai. His expertise includes: pediatric orthopedics, pediatric spine surgery and scoliosis, and pediatric orthopedic prosthetics and orthotics. Internationally recognized for his work, Dr. Bernstein has published numerous research findings in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured over-the-world. He earned his medical degree from University of Southern California School of Medicine.

  • Timothy Casarez

    Timothy W. Casarez / Cardiac

    MD, FACC
    Pediatric Cardiology Medical Associates of Southern California
    Working with Mending Kids gets to the core of what medicine is truly about: serving and healing others. It is so humbling when a country welcomes our team to care for their most precious asset: their children. So many children are born with congenital heart disease and those that survive often lead very difficult lives. We are so fortunate to have the resources and technology to repair heart defects so these children can run, play and perhaps someday have families of their own. Seeing the look in the eyes of a parent after their child's heart has been repaired is absolutely priceless. Whether the Mending Kids team is in Africa, South American, or Central American I realize that the parents and children we serve are far more similar to us than they are different. Mending Kids is the vehicle that makes it possible for our physicians, nurses, and volunteers to touch the lives and hearts of so many families and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve.

  • Dan DeUgarte

    Dan DeUgarte / General

    Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery
    Pediatric Surgeon, UCLA and Harbor-UCLA
    Co-Director, Global Health Education Programs of the UCLA Center for World Health
    International volunteerism has provided me with a way to express my immense gratitude for the educational and career opportunities available to me as a first generation immigrant to the U.S.

    Since the time I first traveled to Mozambique, a country with a population of ten million children, the number of local pediatric surgeons has grown from just one for the whole country to two trained pediatric general surgeons with additional doctors in training. It has been a true privilege to mentor and train students and surgeons in teaching hospitals both in Los Angeles and in Mozambique, to share my passion for pediatric surgery, and to improve the quality of life of the families that we treat.

    Mending Kids has been instrumental in expanding our reach into different pediatric surgical specialties and has allowed us to make a greater impact in Mozambique.

  • David Ferry

    David A. Ferry / Cardiac

    Pediatric Cardiology Medical Associates
    Pediatric Cardiologist
    Cardiovascular Disease Specialist
    American Board of Pediatrics
    Dr. Ferry is a pediatric cardiologist who is affiliated with multiple hospitals across Southern California, including Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Northridge Hospital Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and since then, has been practicing medicine for 34 years.

  • Henri Ford

    Henri Ford / General

    Vice President and Chief of Surgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)
    Vice-Dean, Medical Education – Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of USC
    Member of the Executive committee of the boar
    Dr. Ford received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, his Master of Health Administration degree from the School of Policy, Planning and Development from University of Southern California, and his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He has been trained in general surgery at New York Hospital Cornell Medical College, immunology in the department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Under Dr. Ford’s leadership, CHLA has successfully developed a minimally invasive surgery program.

  • Andrew Freedman

    Andrew Freedman / Urology

    MD, FAAP
    Vice Chair of Pediatric Surgical Services
    Director of Pediatric Urology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Member of the Department of Surgery and the Urology Academic Practice
    Dr. Freedman currently serves as the Vice Chair of Pediatric Surgical Services, Director of Pediatric Urology, and a member of the Department of Surgery and the Urology Academic Practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He specializes in diagnosing and treating various disorders and diseases in both men and women through minimally invasive urology. Dr. Freedman earned his medical degree from Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University.

  • Jason Frischer

    Jason Frischer / ARM

    MD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
    Director, Peña Colorectal Center at Cinicinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Director, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program
    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Surgery
    Dr. Frischer specializes in pediatric colorectal surgery including inflammatory bowel disease, Hirschsprung’s disease anorectal malformations (ARM), fecal incontinence and constipation as well as neonatal surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Frischer earned his MD at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and did his residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, ECMO/Research Fellowship and pediatric surgery residency at Children’s Hospital of New York, Columbia University. Dr. Frischer is also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, which is a national medical honor society.

  • Philip Frykman

    Philip Frykman / ARM

    Associate Director of Pediatric Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences
    Associate Professor, Academic Affairs
    Assistant Clinical Professor, Surgery
    Dr. Frykman is the Associate Director of Pediatric Surgery in the Pediatric Surgical Services at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery for infants and children. He earned his medical degree from University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

  • David Kulber

    David Kulber / Plastics

    MD, FACS
    Clinical Chief, Cedars-Sinai's Department of Surgery
    Director, Cedars-Sinai's Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    Director, Plastic Surgery Center of Excellence, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group
    Professor, Plastic Surgery, University of S
    Dr. Kulber is the Clinical Chief of Surgery at the Department of Surgery, Director of the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Director of Plastic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group. He specializes in orthopedic hand surgery and plastic surgery of the hand. Over the 26 years he has been in practice, Dr. Kulber has received numerous awards for his work and is a member of many medical societies. He earned his medical degree from University of Health and Sciences/The Chicago Medical School.

    My involvement in Mending Kids reminds me why I became a doctor. The fulfillment of helping a child and seeing them transform and blossom in front of our own eyes offers no greater reward. Each mission I have participated in has reconfirmed my belief in humanity and that working together we can make a positive difference in our world. The people, families and children we take care of are an inspiration. I can think of no greater honor than to have the opportunity to contribute in changing a child's life for the better. Mending Kids is a great organization with forward thought in how to best serve the under-served children of this world in a number of venues.

  • Marc Levitt

    Marc A. Levitt / ARM

    Surgical Director, Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
    I am passionate about surgery for children and am committed to making available to all children anywhere in the world an excellent quality of life, without the hardship imposed on them by a variety of congenital colorectal disorders. I have found that with key techniques and good nursing infrastructure, patients with colorectal problems can live a normal life. Sadly, these are lacking in many parts of the world – but the surgeons, medical doctors, and nurses there are passionate to accomplish these same goals. Therefore, by bringing this expertise to them, helping them learn and develop their skills, we can impart specialized care to the children who need it. I have travelled throughout the world with this goal in mind, in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. A recent initiative in Cape Town, South Africa is particularly exciting and promising in that collaborating with the team at Red Cross Hospital there has led to their developing unique colorectal expertise. With this collaboration, we have had surgeons from all over the continent of Africa come to Cape Town for a yearly training experience. And then they return to their home countries with new knowledge, and in addition, more surgeons are available to visit them and to continue to foster the development of new skills. In this way the impact on more and more children grows. Mending Kids has this same philosophy, i.e. developing skills with partner centers and maintaining and sustaining the effect for years to come. It is therefore a natural to coordinate my colorectal effort with them.

  • Gopichand Mannam

    Gopichand Mannam / Cardiac

    Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Star Hospital
    Dr. Gopichand Mannam is an international surgeon who specializes in cardiothoracic surgery.

  • Gerardo Manzo

    Gerardo S. Manzo / Cardiac

    Examiner, The Philippine Board of Thoracic Surgery
    Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, Philippine Heart Center
    Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery. Asian Hospital and Medical Center
    Assistant Director for Medical Services, Philippine Heart Center
    Chief M
    Dr. Gerardo S. Manzo's specializes in Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery and is affiliated with the Philippine Heart Center and the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in the Philippines.

  • Chris Moir

    Chris Moir / General

    MD, University of British Columbia
    Professor of Surgery at Mayo Clinic
    Dr. Moir is a board certified general surgeon in Rochester, Minnesota. He is interested in pediatric hepatobiliary surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Moir received his medical degree from University of British Columbia and trained at Medical Research Council of Canada at the University of British Columbia and did his pediatric surgery fellowship at McGill University.

  • McCoy Moretz

    McCoy L. Moretz / Plastics

    MD, FACS
    F.A.C.E of Beverly Hills
    Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    American Board of Medical Specialties
    Dr. McCoy L. Moretz specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgeries and is affiliated with F.A.C.E of Beverly Hills.

  • Nam Nguyen

    Nam Nguyen / General

    Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery; Associate Clinical Professor at CHLA
    Dr. Nguyen is interested in minimally invasive surgery, esophageal anomalies, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatobiliary disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and solid tumors. Dr. Nguyen trained at University of New Mexico for surgery, Creighton University of general surgery, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for his pediatric surgery fellowship.

  • Andre  Panossian

    Andre Panossian / Plastics

    MD, Tufts University
    Director, Facial Paralysis Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
    Co-director, Vascular Anomalies Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
    Dr. Panossian specializes in facial reanimation, brachial plexus injuries, congenital hand and vascular anomalies, burns, limb reconstruction, and cleft lip and palate surgery. He earned his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, did his general surgery and plastic surgery residencies at Keck School of Medicine of USC, and did his pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. In addition, Dr. Panossian pursued scientific research in the field of Tissue Engineering and has contributed to the development of current concepts used today in cartilage and bone engineering. Dr. Panossian now has his own private practice in Beverly Hills, where he treats patients with complex craniofacial and reconstructive problems including cleft lips and palates. He also mentors residents and medical students at the USC Division of Plastic Surgery and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

  • Rady Rahban

    Rady Rahban / Plastics

    MD, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
    Dr. Rahban has a thriving private cosmetic practice in Beverly Hills, but also focuses on reconstructive plastic surgery with trauma and cancer patients. Dr. Rahban earned his MD from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and did his plastic surgery and general surgery residencies at University of Southern California. Dr. Rahban travels to Latin America with charitable organizations annually, and performs cleft lip and palate surgeries for underprivileged patients in highly impoverished communities.

  • John Reinisch

    John F. Reinisch / Plastics

    Director of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group
    Dr. John F. Reinisch specializes in Plastic Surgery and is affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.

  • Henry Rice

    Henry Rice / General

    MD, Yale School of Medicine
    Chief of Division of Pediatric Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center
    The Consumers’ Research Council of America lists Dr. Rice in America’s Top Surgeons. Dr. Rice is a general pediatric surgeon focusing on surgeries in the chest and abdomen. His research interests include care for children with congenital hemolytic anemia and the how spleen surgery is used. He also runs a Guatemalan program that supports pediatric surgical needs, education and research. He graduated from Yale School of Medicine and was trained at University of Washington Medical Center and did his fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (New York). Dr. Rice is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons, and is also a member of several medical societies. He is board certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery.

  • Sherry Ross

    Sherry S. Ross / Urology

    Associate Professor of Urology
    Vice Chief, Pediatric Urology
    My passion for children and the surgical care of children inspired me to sign up for my first mission trip. Little did I know this would be a life changing decision. During this surgical mission sponsored by Mending Kids, I met a mother who traveled over 1200 miles to have her child evaluated for surgery. I was amazed that a women would travel by foot, truck and bus for many days, just for an evaluation of her child, without a promise for surgery. Her dedication to the health of her child who otherwise had little hope for surgery, made me realize the true impact that we, as mission surgeons, have on the lives of these children and families. As the plane left Guatemala City at the end of that first mission, I knew a piece of my heart was left behind. After returning to the states and contemplating our mission, it became quite clear that part of my role as a surgeon was to dedicate my time and skills as often as possible to care for children in need. Working with Mending Kids has allowed me to offer care to children with urological abnormalities who require specialty care. As a lead surgeon for Mending Kids, I am honored to use the skills I have learned to make a difference in the life of a child. With each mission, I come home thankful for the opportunity to help these children and eager to return again.

    Dr. Sherry S. Ross works at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and specializes in Pediatric Urology.

  • Godwin Sharau

    Godwin Sharau / Cardiac

    Dr. Godwin is Tanzania’s first pediatric heart surgeon. In 2011, Dr. Godwin led an Israel-based charity Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) medical mission to Tanzania, in which doctors operated on 12 Tanzanian children and screened 300 more children for heart disease. He has performed close to 1,000 cardiac surgeries at the hospital, and currently practices at Bugando Medical Center.

  • Cathy Shin

    Cathy Shin / General

    Assistant Professor of Surgery, USC Keck School of Medicine
    Attending Pediatric Surgeon, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
    I am here to make a difference. And, making a difference means so many things to so many people. Mending Kids is amazing and the mission trip to Haiti confirmed this. There are many organizations, but few make a difference. As a pediatric surgeon, I am here to make a difference and with Mending Kids, I know that I will!

  • Alfredo Trento

    Alfredo Trento / Cardiac

    MD, FACS
    Specializes in Cardiac Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Professor of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles
    Dr. Alfredo Trento's area of expertise include Cardiac Surgery and is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

  • Ayal Willner

    Ayal Willner / ENT

    MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    American Academy of Otolaryngolgoy-Head and Neck Surgery
    American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics
    Dr. Willner is board certified in Otolaryngology and received his specialty training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He graduated from Cornell University with his bachelor’s degree, and then went onto Albert Einstein College of Medicine for his medical degree. Dr. Willner was previously an assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics at George Washington University but is now in private practice in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Willner is a member of several medical organizations including The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Michael Womack

    Michael (Dooley) Womack / Cardiac

    Pediatric Cardiologist
    American Board of Pediatrics
    Foreign medical work that develops camaraderie and self-sufficiency within the local and regional programs is what really makes a lasting difference. This is a vision that Mending Kids shares with me and my colleagues. Their collaborative style builds relationships that endure. Having the logistical and practical support of Mending Kids for the missions has been a great help, allowing us to do the medical work that, in these trips, is always challenging, educational, and satisfying. I am so grateful to be able to be involved in these projects.

  • Evan Zahn

    Evan Zahn / Cardiac

    MD, New York Medical College
    Co-director, Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program in the Heart Institute and Department of Pediatrics
    Director, Pediatric Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai
    Dr. Zahn is interested in interventional procedures for complex congenital problems, stent implantation in infants and neonates, and complex interventions performed in the early post-operative period. He has participated in the design and development of several cardiac interventional devices. Dr. Zahn earned his MD at New York Medical College, did his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado Affiliated Hospitals, and did a pediatric cardiology clinical fellowship and an intentional cardiac catheterization fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Zahn is also a reviewer for the American Journal of Cardiology, Circulation, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Congenital Heart Disease and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

  • Obinna Adibe

    Obinna Adibe / General

    Obinna Adibe's biographical information is forthcoming.

  • Ma. Bernadette Azcueta

    Ma. Bernadette A. Azcueta / Cardiac

    Cardiology Department, Philippine Heart Center
    Dr. Ma. Bernadette A. Azcueta affiliates with the Philippine Heart Center and specializes in Adult Cardiology.

  • Vincent Duron

    Vincent Duron / General

    Vincent Duron's biographical information is forthcoming.

  • Stuart Hosie

    Stuart Hosie / General

    Stuart Hosie's biographical information is forthcoming.

  • Nina Yoshpe

    Nina Yoshpe / ENT

    Nina Yoshpe's biographical information is forthcoming.

  • Keith Kimble

    Keith Kimble / Anesthesiologist

    MD, University of Michigan Medical School
    Anesthesiology Specialist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Critical Care Specialist
    Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
    Dr. Keith J. Kimble is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and specializes in anesthesiology. He currently practices in West Hollywood.

  • Brian Kim

    Brian Kim / Anesthesiologist

    MD, Baylor College of Medicine
    Dr. Kim practices at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. He earned his MD at Baylor College of Medicine and did his residency in anesthesiology at Baylor as well. Dr. Kim is board certified in Anesthesiology in Texas and California.