Dr. William "Billy" Andrews in the Lynchburg office has been selected for the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation's Salute to Service Award for Outstanding Service to the International Community for his work with Kids First Orthopaedics. The Salute to Service Award recognizes the outstanding efforts by a physician, medical student or resident that have substantially improved patient care, both locally and abroad. Dr. Andrews is one of three founders of Kids First, along with two other Duke University-trained orthopedic surgeons who saw a need for pediatric orthopedic outreach in Central and South America.
The program launched in 1991 and has led to a total of 18 trips. Since 2005, Kids First has been visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico annually, with several pre and post-operative visits also taking place. Kids First is an organization whose sole focus is the treatment, mostly surgical, (correction of club feet, dislocated hips, cerebral palsy, infections, fractures, etc.) in developing nations of under-served third world children with orthopedic problems. Kids First has provided surgical treatments to children in areas throughout South and Central America in areas where no medical providers are available to offer such services. Kids First is a turn-key operation, having accumulated all the surgical equipment and staff necessary to perform any procedure in any area in the world, without needing assistance from local personnel or use of their equipment. As well, they teach local health care providers in newer orthopaedic techniques, have established long-term platforms for exchange of ideas, and have even brought local providers back to US institutions for mini-fellowships. All services are offered free of charge.
Dr. Andrews describes his experience with Kids First by saying, "For me, this work has been a wonderful chapter in my life. Our group has worked together for almost 25 years. We are good friends who have regular reunions, doing work we enjoy in other countries. We have become a family that works very efficiently together and has had helped several thousand children in the process. The love that we feel from the children and their families is an indescribable gift we all cherish. Words don't adequately describe the emotions we feel."
Dr. Andrews will be presented with the award on October 20, 2018 at The Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA as part of the MSVF's Physician's Gala.