Almost 30 years ago, an American teenager was enjoying the hard work and challenges of serving on international mission trips in developing countries around the world. She was passionate about helping others who struggled with limited resources but wasn’t sure how she would incorporate this into her life. During one mission trip to Africa, she read the biography of Dr. Paul Brand, a pioneering missionary surgeon in India who treated leprosy patients with severe deformities to their hands. It was as if a light bulb went off that summer, setting her on a path with a single-minded focus.
She went on to college, medical school, residency, and then began a pediatric plastic surgery practice in Mesa, Arizona, east of Phoenix. During this time, she looked for long-term positions overseas where she could serve children in need but only found short-term opportunities. She was planning one of these trips when a friend told her about CURE International – a conversation that would profoundly impact Dr. Meredith Workman’s life.
By God’s providence, CURE was looking to expand its reconstructive surgical capacity across its hospital network by establishing reconstructive plastic surgical programs at its seven pediatric orthopedic hospitals around the world. This expansion would allow children suffering from treatable conditions such as burns, cleft lip and palate to receive healing and comprehensive care.
What immediately impressed Dr. Workman about CURE was the quality and quantity of surgical work the organization offers to children worldwide. Despite the challenging locations of the hospitals in Africa and Southeast Asia, CURE delivers world-class medical care and thoughtful spiritual ministry to its patients. Dr. Workman reached out to discuss available opportunities and received an invitation to serve at CURE Zambia permanently.
In January, Dr. Workman, her husband David, and their four children, ages 6, 8, 12, and 14, will move from their home in Chandler, Arizona, to Lusaka, Zambia.
“All of God’s children are equal whether they are born in Lusaka or Los Angeles,” says Dr. Workman. “As a mother, the expectation level I have for surgical care is this: would it be ‘good enough’ for my child? As a surgeon, I am called to make sure the answer to that question is always ‘yes.’”
“Every day, children come to our hospitals seeking treatment for chronic burn contractures, cleft lip, and palate. They are truly vulnerable children who need the highest quality of surgical care to regain their function, dignity, and confidence,” says Dr. Rick Gardner, Chief Medical Officer for CURE International. “Dr. Workman’s remarkable expertise and commitment will change many lives of children at CURE Zambia. Across our network, we are deepening our commitment to providing plastic surgical expertise for these children. Dr. Workman is at the forefront of these efforts.”
Dr. Workman welcomes prayers for her, her family, and the hundreds of patients she will see in the years to come at CURE Zambia.