HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – UPMC Pinnacle staff members are using their own vacation time to help patients overseas.
A group of four will be volunteering at the Tahir Heart Institute in Pakistan. They fly out Friday.
They plan on doing about 10 surgeries and providing support to staff and patients.
UPMC Pinnacle’s chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Dr. Mubashir Mumtaz, was born in Pakistan. He spends weeks organizing the trip to help patients who sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles to see a doctor.
“There’s a lot of need,” said Mumtaz. “There’s a lot of poverty. There’s a lack of health care. There’s a lack of specialists in that country. It’s always good to give back to the community in whatever way you could.”
Mumtaz has been volunteering in Pakistan for years and asked his staff to come along for the first time last year.
“Just the whole experience of getting to utilize our expertise that we use here in America over there and just seeing the families that we help just kind of touched me,” said Anthony Stebbins, a surgical tech coordinator who went on the trip last year and is going again this year.
The staff will be there for about a week and is already planning another trip back for early next year.