For over 49 years, OAA’s mission has been to provide the community with superior quality care through teamwork, passion, and a patient-first mentality. This past Saturday, OAA’s Hand Surgeons continued this mission as they came together to volunteer with the Surgical Center of Allentown, Anesthesiologists from Northeastern Anesthesia Physicians, PC., and Hand Therapists from the Institute for Hand & Upper Extremity Rehabilitation to serve Veterans and uninsured residents of the Lehigh Valley and surrounding community.

This was a domestic hand surgery mission under the Touching Hands Project, which is a global charitable project of the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand. The mission is to provide free care to those who suffer from a serious hand injury or deformity who otherwise do not have access to affordable care, specialized treatment and rehabilitation care options.

Under the guidance of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and partnership with our colleagues in care, OAA Hand Surgeons were able to perform 23 surgeries for members of the community who needed help.

Peter Stern, a past president of the ASSH said in 2001 that “Volunteerism is the essence of clinical medicine—you truly make a difference in people’s lives.” Yesterday, we saw that in action in Allentown and you could feel the energy in the day through joyful smiles, endless expressions of gratitude, an overwhelming effort of “let me help you with that”, all cumulating in hugs and tears of joy!! The day was filled with the gratification of making a positive change in all of our lives, the patients and our own!

We could not be prouder of all the volunteers and would like to acknowledge the herculean efforts put forward to make this event happen!  From the two days of screening evaluations and surgery scheduling from 40 plus team members of OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, through the surgery day services provided by  AMSURG and The Surgery Center of Allentown, NorthEastern Anesthesia Physicians, PC, Mocha Mikes Coffee Shop, ABM Valet Service, Arthrex Medical, Dr. Serena Chyung who cooked a wonderful breakfast for the staff and delicious baked good for the families of our patients and for the after surgical rehabilitation provided by The Institute for Hand & Upper Extremity and of course to Scott Kozin, MD and the Touching Hands Project who provide the framework for such charitable and inspirational work!

We are so proud to have been able to help our brave Veterans and uninsured residents of the Lehigh Valley. OAA Orthopaedic Specialists has expert physicians in all areas of musculoskeletal care and it is the pleasure of our Hand and Upper Extremity division to be a part of this today.  As Dr. Lawrence Weiss said, “Our patients at OAA are cared for like our own family and as their care team we are determined to help them in any way that we can.”

Thank you again to everyone for your help to make this a successful mission and we can never say this enough-thank you to our brave Veterans for your service to our country.

Jay Talsania, MD
Patrick McDaid, MD
Richard Battista, MD
Lawrence Weiss, MD