Interplast South has provided cleft lip and palate surgeries to the underserved population of Honduras for over 30 years. One team of 14-19 U.S. medical professionals operates in San Pedro Sula, Honduras twice a year.
The Ruth Paz Foundation in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, has long been a resource and support for a team of plastic surgeons who have regularly made trips to San Pedro Sula to perform surgery on children in need of reconstructive surgery, primarily cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. The Foundation communicates with families of potential patients to announce the dates of Interplast South visits; provides local employees and volunteers to work with the medical team; makes local housing and meal arrangements. Since October 2011, the cleft surgeries have been performed in the new Ruth Paz Hospital for Burn Children and Pediatric Surgery.
The collaboration began in 1969 when Ruth Paz, the founder of the Foundation, worked with Dr. Donald Laub, a plastic surgeon at Stanford, and Dr. Luis Bueso in Honduras to arrange for teams to operate on children in San Pedro Sula. The early collaboration evolved into a relationship between Interplast, Inc. founded by Dr. Laub and Ruth Paz. The Ruth Paz Foundation was later recognized by the Honduras government in 1992.
In 1979, Interplast South, Inc. was formed as a separate, not-for-profit corporation. Interplast and Interplast South alternated making trips to San Pedro Sula for a number of years. In 2007 a transition began to move the administration of Interplast South, Inc. from Fort Lauderdale to Gainesville, Florida. That transition was completed in 2009.
Dr. Lentz is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who is subspecialized in Pediatrics. She currently practices at University of Florida within the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery where she is Co-director of the Craniofacial Clinic.
Dr. Seagle is a retired Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He has dedicated countless hours toward Interplast South, and the mastery of caring for patients with clefts.
Dr White is a board certified pediatric anesthesiologist. She is dedicated to cleft work in Honduras. She has been a board member and clinical anesthsiologist with Interplast South for many years.
Liz is a nurse anesthetist at UF Health. She first joined the team in February 2014. She now coordinates the trip in conjunction with Dr. Lentz.
Mrs. Seagle, a retired executive, put her organizational skills to work in 2007 to computerize records for Interplast South, from patient records to inventories of medical supplies. She created procedures to guide new and returning team members through preparations for the trip, meetings, record keeping and interaction with new colleagues in Honduras.