Carolinas HealthCare System

Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Helps RESTORE Central America

Joseph R. Hsu, MD

Joseph R. Hsu, MD
Carolinas Medical Center

Joseph R. Hsu, MD, orthopedic trauma surgeon at Carolinas Medical Center, is helping bring hospitals in Central America sustainable surgical capabilities through the organization RESTORE (Reconstructive Surgery and Transmission of Operative Resources). Dr. Hsu founded, and is director of, RESTORE, which aims to enhance the resource-limited hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, through a combination of education and volunteer efforts.

RESTORE began in 2011 as part of philanthropic “medical readiness missions” that were carried out by the United States Army at Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Dr. Hsu’s inspiration for developing RESTORE stemmed from his experiences helping injured civilians during his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 and during mission trips to Hospital Escuela, which is a trauma center that has approximately 15,000 trauma admissions each year.

“It is important that hospitals in Central America are equipped with the resources and expertise necessary to treat the high number of injuries, and chronic conditions resulting from these injuries, that they witness on a regular basis,” said Dr. Hsu. “I am hopeful that our efforts with RESTORE will make an impactful difference in the treatment and long-term recovery of these patients, but more importantly, in expanding the surgical capabilities of the local surgeons and hospital.”

Dr. Hsu and one of his former U.S. Army Foot and Ankle partners, Kevin L. Kirk, DO, trained Mirna Ochoa, MD, a local surgeon in Tegucigalpa, on limb reconstruction techniques utilizing sustainable and renewable resources.  Dr. Ochoa is now able to conduct patient follow-up and sustainment as well as subsequent surgeries. Additionally, a family practice physician in Tegucigalpa is responsible for coordinating each mission and overall sustainment operations.

Over the past two years, with support from Carolinas HealthCare System’s International Medical Outreach Program, RESTORE has evolved to include a focus on limb reconstruction work, which is one of Dr. Hsu’s areas of surgical expertise. He received training for reconstruction techniques in Italy and Russia utilizing the “Ilizarov Method” of bone regeneration, to lengthen or reshape bone and soft tissue.

Dr. Hsu’s plans for RESTORE over the next two years include increasing surgeon-led missions to two or three times per year. Within the next five years, the goal of RESTORE is to provide fellowship opportunities for surgeons from Central America to train in the United States on advanced, sustainable surgical techniques.

Learn more about RESTORE.

The RESTORE team with Director Joseph R. Hsu, MD, second to the right.
RESTORE procedure
The RESTORE team, including Mirna Ochoa, MD, who received training from Joseph Hsu, MD, performs a limb reconstruction surgery
in Central America.