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Rebranding: Mission Plasticos – Treat. Train. Transform.

The nonprofit organization best known for free reconstructive plastic surgeries to patients in under-resourced nations throughout the world is now known as Mission Plasticos.  The rebranding, announced at the recent Celebration of Global Friendships masquerade ball, comes as the organization celebrates its 20th anniversary of pioneering excellence.

While the former name, Plasticos Foundation, sometimes yielded confusion as to the organization’s purpose, the new name and tagline perfectly describes the nonprofit: Mission PlasticosTreat. Train. Transform. The word Plasticos comes from the Greek word Plastikos, meaning “to shape or to form.” Pacific Communications, headed by Craig Sullivan, a member of the Mission Plasticos Business Advisory Council, handled the rebranding assignment at no charge.

Under the guidance of founder and Medical Director, Dr. Larry Nichter, Mission Plasticos was the first nonprofit organization to focus its global efforts on training doctors in host countries while volunteer medical teams performed critical plastic surgeries on patients in need. Patients most commonly suffer from serious burns, congenital deformities and the need for breast reconstruction following breast cancer. Argentina, Armenia, India, Mexico, Nepal, and Vietnam are just a few of the countries served by Mission Plasticos volunteers.

Dr. Phillipe Schaison, chairman of the Mission Plasticos board of directors, further explains the rationale for the rebranding: “Our work is renowned throughout the world as our volunteer medical teams bring hope to so many people, both adults and children, whose lives are changed forever. And those communities are changed as well, as we train local doctors to continue the work we do on our missions to those countries. They do follow-up on the patients we treat and can treat new patients as the need arises.”

“However, the word Plasticos by itself was not well understood. It was not immediately obvious by our name that we provide no-charge reconstructive plastic surgeries and training. By adding the word Mission to our name, and creating a tagline that encapsulates what we do, we look forward to more clarity as we grow into our third decade of work,” Schaison added.

A volunteer medical team from Mission Plasticos recently returned from an eight-day trip to Saenz Pena, Argentina, where 100 patients from the Chaco rainforest were screened and nearly half were able to receive surgeries from the team. Simultaneously, local doctors received training. Another volunteer team is headed to Bolivia in November, followed by a mission to Nepal in January of 2020.

In addition to the 20 years of global humanitarian work, Mission Plasticos three years ago launched a domestic program, Reshaping Lives California, to provide reconstructive surgical care to uninsured, low-income patients in Southern California. As occurs globally, the medical teams are volunteers who spend their free time, usually on a Saturday, treating patients who otherwise would remain in need. Many patients are breast cancer survivors without insurance or funds to receive reconstructive plastic surgeries following their cancer surgeries. Other surgeries include burn scar contractures, carpel tunnel, microtia and hernia repair.

In addition to the volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, Mission Plasticos has received generous support from pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, both in-kind donations and funding. Susan Williamson, Executive Director of Mission Plasticos, said, “We owe so much to our volunteers who travel overseas to transform lives, but we also could not do the work we do without the philanthropic investment of corporations such as AIVITA Biomedical, Allergan, Galatea, Mentor, OneTrac, Revance, Sientra, Zadro Products and many more.”

“We welcome corporate support for our work overseas and at home and we also are seeking additional surgery centers in Southern California where our Saturday surgery days can be held. Our organization continues to grow every year and with even more support, we can serve so many more patients – around the world and right here in our backyard,” Williamson added.

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