After 37 years of dedication to ReSurge International and its mission to help those in need of reconstructive surgery around the world, Amy Laden retired two weeks ago as our director of international services.
Amy started with the organization, then Interplast, in 1976 as a social worker focused on helping patients through a very physically and emotionally trying experience.
During the time of Interplast's domestic program (wherein children from other countries would be brought here for surgery), Amy would obtain visas, organize transportation and recruit local host families for these children who often had traveled to California by themselves to receive treatment.
"I remember being overwhelmed by the trust their families had in us," said Amy.
She made sure that these children received the best care, in and out of the hospital. Understanding that there was more to a patient's recovery than the surgery, Amy was a constant advocate for their emotional well-being.
The organization has come a long way since then and Amy has played an instrumental role in our growth and transformation into what is today ReSurge International. As we've come to rely on our international partners more and more, Amy helped to build local capacity to increase year-round access and ensure that surgical skills are passed on from one generation to the next. She believed in empowering developing world surgeons and had immense respect for its power to create sustainable access to care for children.
"More than anyone else in the 44-year history of the organization, Amy Laden is the face of ReSurge to our patients, our international partners and those of us fortunate enough to have worked with her," said Susan Hayes, ReSurge president and CEO.
Amy's desire to help led her to be part of more than 50 ReSurge trips to 24 cities in 14 different countries, but her legacy will be her unwavering dedication to our patients.