Fresno podiatrist Dr. Thomas Kaschak has been selected by Kaiser Permanente to receive the 2011 David Lawrence Community Service Award, the medical group said in a release. Kaschak travels to Vietnam every year to perform surgeries on patients suffering from birth defects and other problems. Kaschak has performed these charitable surgeries since 1998 and is one of 15 Kaiser Permanente employees across the country to receive the award, which recognizes employees and physicians who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts to improve the quality of health in the United States and abroad.
Kaschak, along with other surgeons, medical assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists typically perform about 30 surgical procedures each time they visit the Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center in Vietnam. Some of those treated have injuries they have carried from the time of the Vietnam War, while others have had recent encounters with land mines.