The New York School of Regional Anesthesia (NYSORA), though primarily known for its educational outreach, has a long history and resume of generous philanthropic work, equally as far-reaching and noteworthy. According to NYSORA’s mission statement, the organization “aims to provide members of NYSORA with free-of-charge, far-reaching, educational resources that help them keep abreast of cutting edge technologies and advances in Regional Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Perioperative Medicine.” Over the 15 years of the organization’s existence, NYSORA has generously donated textbooks and medical equipment, provided scholarships and grants to conference attendees, and provided up-to-date educational experiences to developing countries and hospitals throughout the world.
Perhaps the most significant philanthropic effort sustained by NYSORA is the NYSORA Asia Symposium that has reached over 2,000 training anesthetists in six different countries throughout Asia. NYSORA Asia began in 2007 where the first symposium of its kind was hosted in Singapore, Malaysia. In the following years, the NYSORA Asia team traveled to Hong Kong in 2008, Kuala Lumpur in 2009, Bangkok in 2010, Bangalore in 2011, Ho Chi Minh City in 2012, Manila in 2013, Kathmandu in 2014, and Taipei in 2015. NYSORA Asia has brought together doctors, industry delegates and training anesthetists from across rural Asia through Educational Scholar Outreach Program (ESOP) grants and scholarships, allowing young doctors to take their new knowledge home and share it with their own hospital teams. The delegates from many developing countries are able to affordably attend these valuable medical conferences without having to travel to the United States or Europe in order to gain the latest medical knowledge. In addition to the medical program, NYSORA has donated medical supplies such as peripheral nerve stimulators, nerve block needles, epidural and spinal kits, laryngeal mass airways, instructional DVDs and textbooks to be handed out to delegates at NYSORA Asia Symposia. More than 2,000 delegates attended NYSORA Asia over the past nine years, however, the impact has gone far beyond those 2,000 delegates. The training, knowledge, and medical supplies from NYSORA Asia have been passed on and spread throughout rural Asia to small and local hospitals where they continue to benefit developing medicine.
Similar to the mission started with NYSORA Asia, the team has embraced the global philanthropic task of bringing modern medicine to the developing world. In 2014, NYSORA launched its first Latin American Symposium in Florianopolis, Brazil. This symposium granted locals access to a top-level program where they could gain the most recent medical knowledge in regional anesthesia and pain management and take this training to their hospitals throughout Brazil and Latin America. The success of the 1st NYSORA Latin American Symposium was followed by a second one in Cartagena, Colombia in 2015. NYSORA has similarly donated books and medical equipment as well as self-funded instructors and speakers to benefit regional doctors from across Latin America.
In 2015 another first was achieved by NYSORA as the team traveled the world for yet another symposium, this time in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the First Annual NYSORA Middle East. This symposium was much like the others with ESOP scholars, donated materials, and top-level speakers and instructors. NYSORA Middle East was attended by nearly 500 delegates from 40 different countries across the developing Middle East. Each delegate left the symposium with new medical knowledge and training as well as NYSORA Nerve Block posters, educational DVDs and other medical tools to share with their colleagues back home.
Continuing its philanthropic efforts throughout the developing world, NYSORA donated 500 books to anesthesiologists in Indonesia. The books were purchased by NYSORA and shipped from the USA in 2011 and distributed to anesthesia providers throughout Indonesia islands at various CME programs through 2013. The donated books were handed to all delegates in Manado, on October 19, 2011, at the Indonesian College and the Indonesian Society of Anesthesiologists and Intensive Therapy Meeting.
In 2015, Indonesia is once again the target of NYSORA’s giving. As a large hospital in Switzerland has a number of ultrasound monitors that are no longer being used, NYSORA stepped in to coordinate the donation and shipment of these monitors to Indonesia. The impact of these eight monitors will be far-reaching and priceless to the doctors and the community.
While the value and impact of the NYSORA symposia are evident, the organization’s philanthropy goes far beyond the annual medical conferences. NYSORA’s wide reach of giving reaches far across the globe, yet also reaches those close to home. In December 2013, members of the NYSORA team visited the Jacob Riis Citizen’s Center in Queens, New York to deliver holiday cheer. The team showed up with gifts, food and drinks, bingo, puzzles and books to had out to the residents. The time and energy spent in Queens are invaluable as NYSORA serves the local community and the global community in whatever way possible.
NYSORA’s spirit of giving goes far beyond a singular method, country, or continent. The organization’s desire to serve the growing medical community and the global community has been evident since the beginning, and will surely be felt long after its gone.