Educational Surgical Missions

Educational Surgical Missions (ESMs) are conducted in partnership with local medical organizations to train local doctors on updated surgical techniques to benefit their patient population. They are comprehensive, collaborative, and education-based for program enhancement and patient care.

Educational Surgical Mission 2022: Manila, Cebu, & Davao

June 4 – 11, 2022
* Philippine General Hospital, Manila (June 4 – 8)
* Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu (June 8-10)
* Southern Philippine Medical Center, Davao (June 11)

Educational Surgical Mission 2020: Advancement in Neurosurgery  *CANCELED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC*

June 18-24, 2020
* Neurosurgical Exchange, Philippine General Hospital, Manila (June 18-20)
To register, click here.

* Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu (June 22-24)

Educational Surgical Mission 2018: Updates in Care of the Neurosurgical Patient

June 16, 18-20, 2018
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu

Presented by NOF, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), and the Academy of Filipino Neurosurgeons (AFN), this Updates in Care of the Neurosurgical Patient seminar featured experts in the vascular, spine, and pediatric neurosurgery and neurocritical care and discussed the latest advances in their fields and demonstrated cutting edge techniques.

A Letter from Marlys Healy, Medical Director, Children’s Shelter of Cebu

My husband and I have the privilege of working with orphaned, abandoned, and neglected children in the Philippines at Children’s Shelter of Cebu. Our ministry has been here for the past 39 years. Our facilities are located in Banawa, Cebu City, where we care for 80 to 90 children at a time until they are adopted or returned to families. Many of our children have health issues before they come to us, so we work closely with many physicians here in Cebu. We have a four-year-old boy who has had many health issues. He has been under our care since he was two months old. He has had hydrocephalus for the past few years, but it recently started causing serious complications. 

Our doctor in Cebu, Dr. Mark Gigataras, informed us that there was a team of highly skilled doctors here with a team from Florida, so he asked us to meet with them on June 18 at Vincene Sotto Medical Center. Thankfully, Dr. Philipp Aldana knew what the boy was suffering from and advised that he have surgery as soon as possible, as the need was urgent. We were thankful that Dr. Aldana was able to fit us in with his extremely busy schedule, and on June 19, he performed an intricate procedure to treat the hydrocephalus. 

Something extraordinary happened when two of our nurses, the child and I, walked into the conference room where Dr. Aldana and Dr. Karen Lidsky, met with us and examined the boy. There was an indescribable peace that came over us, and even the little boy was calm when Dr. Aldana examined him. They were approachable, kind, and filled with compassion. Our own doctor here is the same way, so we felt as if we were in the presence of exceptionally kind and caring individuals, on a mission to reach out to help less fortunate children in dire need of care.

The child is recovering well, and under close observation with the neurosurgeon here in Cebu.  He will need additional surgeries in the months and years to come. 

It was a humbling experience to stand by and watch Dr. Aldana and his team when they were here to perform life-saving surgeries, what an amazing blessing and privilege to meet that group of extremely gifted people that poured themselves into the lives of many needy children in the Philippines.  We were extremely blessed to have them here with us in Cebu City.

Hydrocephalus pediatric patient with Dr. Lidsky


Educational Surgical Mission 2016: Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy + Choroid Plexus Coagulation

July 2016
Cebu, Philippines
In partnership with Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center


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Educational Surgical Mission, 2014:
Philippine Advanced Neuroendoscopy Symposium

June 19 – 21, 2014
Manila, Philippines
In partnership with the Institute for Neurosciences St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City and neurosurgeons from the State University of New York at Buffalo

Educational Surgical Mission, 2012:
Seminar on Neuroendoscopy for the Treatment of Hydrocephalus

December 17 – 18, 2012
Dagupan City, Pangasinan
In partnership with The Academy of Filipino Neurosurgeons, Inc., North Luzon Chapter, and Region 1 Medical Center

Educational Surgical Mission 2010: Seminar on Neuroendoscopy for the Treatment of Hydrocephalus

July 15 -16, 2010
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
In partnership with Cebu Doctor’s University College of Medicine and the Department of Neurosurgery, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and the Cebu Brain and Spine Foundation