This week, we wanted to share the story of Surevest client, Don Headley, MD, a former surgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Dr. Headley recently retired to the much cooler mountains of Montana (congrats Don!). Over the past twenty plus years, Dr. Headley has found a unique and rewarding way to give back to those in need by using his skills as an Ear Nose Throat Specialist to perform surgeries free of cost in third world countries. Don and his wife Chris plan to expand on these philanthropic endeavors now that they are both retired.
Late in his career, Don heard from fellow surgeons in Phoenix about the need for someone of his talent, bedside manner, and medical experience. Don volunteered to help the Arizona Dominican Medical Friends, a non-profit surgical group which completes several week-long missions to the Dominican Republic each year. The doctors provide much needed medical care to the indigenous population that cannot afford surgeries at the local hospitals. Don felt compelled to put his surgical training to good use, and jumped at the opportunity.
Since joining the Arizona Dominican Medical Friends and similar non-profits such as Healing the Children, Don has participated in more than 20 missions to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Haiti, and has successfully completed hundreds of pro bono surgeries around the world! In addition, Don continues as a clinical consultant for Avery Biomedical Products, in which he has taught professionals in several countries on how to perform numerous ENT surgeries, as well as how to implant an Avery device that allows ventilator dependent patients to breath without the assistance of a ventilator. He regularly gives presentations at conferences around the world, and has taught as an Associate Professor of medicine and surgery at Creighton University School of Medicine.
When asked about his contribution to those in need, Don was very humble, saying that, “I am a lucky guy who was dealt good cards, and I was fortunate to have access to the educational opportunities that we often take for granted in the United States. I am honored to help those that never had the same opportunities that I did. ” Don gives the majority of credit to his wife, who has supported him and encouraged him to follow his passion of helping others since day one.
Don describes the mission trips as “life-changing and extremely humbling,” and encourages others to get involved with these organizations. They are in need of volunteers to help with documentation, translation, and talking with families, as well as financial donations. The mission trips are often self-funded by the participating surgeons and support staff.
If you are interested in getting involved and have any questions, you can contact Don at email@example.com or contact the organizations directly, at the contact information below.
The Arizona Dominican Medical Friends Healing the Children
16601 N. 40th St. Suite 204. healingthechildren.org
PHOENIX, Arizona 85032 Kristin Mathews 480-502-9587
-Peter Bos, Intern, Surevest Private Wealth