Dr. Craig Humphreys takes Kenai Spine to Kenya to provide free spine surgery for those in need.
Throughout Dr. Humphreys’ career, he has looked for ways to give back to patients and the communities in which he has served. Over the years, Dr. Humphreys has also found great personal satisfaction providing free spine care, knowledge, and expertise to patients suffering from back and neck pain in countries like India, Lucia, Lithuania, and China. He has also had a long track record of supporting many local events that benefit the underprivileged. In fact, Kenai Spine is working with 12 separate charitable organizations in the Soldotna community by donating time and money in support of their programs.
In 2012, Dr. Humphreys and his family traveled to Kenya on a medical mission trip with the World Medical Mission organization, where they each volunteered to provide health care to a much-needed area of the country. World Medical Mission was established in 1977 to assist general surgeons who wanted to volunteer for short-term mission trips in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Oceania, and the Middle East.
Dr. Humphreys and his family enjoyed their trip so much that they returned in January of 2014 with the hopes of finding a local hospital with which he could partner to provide spine care for the benefit of the underprivileged in Kenya, East Africa. As in 2012, Dr. Humphreys was able to utilize his 20 years of experience as an orthopedic spine surgeon to assist local doctors to treat patients suffering from orthopedic-related pathologies, while his family volunteered many hours of service working in the pediatric ward of the hospital providing comfort and relief to the many children admitted there.
While in Kenya, Dr. Humphreys also visited hospitals known for providing quality healthcare to the underserved in Kenya, and was able to identify a hospital just outside of Nairobi with which he can partner to build a quality spine program designed to educate local orthopedic residents and young surgeons, and ultimately provide affordable spinal health care to those suffering from neck and back pain.
Upon return home from Kenya, Dr. Humphreys and the team at Kenai Spine organized a committee whose job it will be to plan and execute a return trip to that hospital in Kenya where spine patients can receive advanced spinal health care. The Kenai Spine team plans to head back to Africa in January 2015.
“A project of this magnitude requires significant planning and participation by many people and organizations who are willing to donate their time, expertise, medical instrumentation and equipment for the benefit of the underprivileged in Kenya”, explains Craig Wilcox, executive director of Kenai Spine. Wilcox continues, “This is something Dr. Humphreys feels strongly about. He believes that he should give back to not only the Alaska community where he grew up, but also play some role in helping those in the poorest areas of Africa who suffer from spine problems, and who would never otherwise benefit from the pain relief provided by spine surgery. We are fortunate to be able to assemble a team that is capable and willing to carry out Dr. Humphreys’ vision.”