About Kids First
Kids First is the creation of three Duke University-trained orthopedic surgeons who saw a need for pediatric orthopedic outreach in Central and South America. A launch in 1991 has led to a total of 18 trips with many of the same members still taking part since the inaugural departure. Since 2005, Kids First has been visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with several pre and post-operative visits also taking place.
While the make up of the team varies somewhat from trip to trip, the typical structure is three orthopedic surgeons, one orthopedic resident, a five member anesthesia team consisting of anesthesiologists and nurse anethetists, fourteen nurses, and one hand therapist. Occasionally a team member misses a single trip, but the group has remained largely intact, has grown quite close over the past 26 years, and works very efficiently.
Virtually all of the supplies are donated by US hospitals and medical companies then transported to the site country. Mexico has been especially convenient as the supplies are able to be driven across the border, rather than transported by air. Shipping equipment to other countries was significantly more expensive. Please see the How to Help page to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of children!
The community of San Miguel, along with the hospital and local government have played a huge part in making the trips a success. A willingness to work with Kids First, and a coordinated planning effort by everyone involved is ensuring that patients are receiving the proper care and follow-ups throughout the year.
A 25-member team typically made up of three orthopedic surgeons, one orthopedic resident, a five member anesthesia team consisting of anesthesiologists and nurse anethetists, fourteen nurses, and one hand therapist volunteer their time each year.
Joseph Tobias, MD
Dr. Tobias is the team's lead anesthesiologist. He trained at the Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital. Dr. Tobias is currently Chief of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Gregory Mencio, MD
Dr. Mencio is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and Director of Pediatric Orthopedics at Vanderbilt University’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.