Noordhoff Lecture Sat, Sep 28 3:00-3:30 p.m.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP, will receive the 2024 Noordhoff Humanitarian Award during Plastic Surgery The Meeting 2024 in San Diego. Dr. Nichter's lecture, Unanticipated Consequences, will focus on reflections on acts of kindness, unanticipated consequences and paying it forward through capacity building.

Prior to starting medical school (he was an honors graduate of Boston University School of Medicine), Dr. Nichter decided to backpack around the world, starting with a one-way ticket to Kenya. His travels were off the beaten path, leading him through parts of Africa, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and the former Yugoslavia. During this life-changing personal adventure, he experienced the inequities of health care in every developing country visited. Somehow, he wanted to be part of the solution, if even in a small way.

When he returned from his eye-opening travels, Dr. Nichter completed his plastic surgery residency along with several advanced plastic surgical fellowships at the University of Virginia and obtained a Master of Science degree in Surgery.

In 1987, he went on his first volunteer trip as a plastic surgeon to Honduras and subsequently went on mission trips every year with different non-profit organizations to help patients in underprivileged areas. Dr. Nichter quickly realized that empowering others locally to do the same work as the teams he worked with was critically important to make a dent in the increasing demand. For this reason, in 1999, he founded Plasticos Foundation (rebranded on its 20th anniversary as Mission Plasticos). Dr. Nichter remains the Medical Director and the guiding force of Mission Plasticos, whose aim is local medical resource development and capacity building. This goal is achieved through training and providing needed resources to continue life-changing work after the visiting surgical teams leave. Dr. Nichter and his teams have trained hundreds of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, who in turn have performed tens of thousands of surgeries. His metric of success is more focused on the number of trainees and the surgeries performed after the team leaves a country or region.

In addition to his over 110 surgical overseas mission trips, Dr. Nichter also realized that there is also a great need at home in the United States. To this end, a domestic pilot program, Reshaping Lives California was created to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery for California patients in need, at no cost. To date, several hundred patients have received life-changing care from board-certified volunteer surgeons through the Reshaping Lives California program and last year, the pilot expanded nationwide as Reshaping Lives America.

Dr. Nichter practices and believes that health is a human right. He focuses on innovative ways to make this a reality, not just at home, but in some of the poorest and most needy places on earth. He has accomplished this through volunteer service, mentoring and training diverse health care providers including direct health care services. He has also undertaken research and advocacy activities for those who are in most need. This has kept his lifelong learning in high gear by helping those less fortunate and training others to do the same.

Noordhoff Legacy

The Noordhoff Humanitarian Award was established to honor the legacy of Dr. Samuel Noordhoff and has been funded by the Department of Plastic Surgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

The endowment works to recognize plastic surgeons that lead a life dedicated to humanitarian outreach and use their skills to provide care for less fortunate patients. The endowment will fund an award that will be issued annually at Plastic Surgery The Meeting.

The remarkable story of Dr. Noordhoff's dedication to mission work and impact on Chang Gung Memorial Hospital can be read here.

Accreditation: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation: The ASPS designates this live activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.