Oceanside Rotary honors hometown surgeon Sarbak for humanitarianism
The Rotary Club of Vero Beach Oceanside presented hometown surgeon, John Sarbak, MD, with the Paul Harris Fellow award on behalf of Sandra Lilo, DDS, RotoCleft volunteer and member of Seminole Lakes Rotary Club, at their Sept. 13 meeting.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognizes individuals who make substantial contributions to Rotary and its foundation. Dr. Sarbak received the award for his annual work with RotoCleft, which is currently a part of and operated by the Rotary Club of Seminole Lake Foundation.
RotoCleft organizes and funds a yearly surgical mission to provide free corrective surgery for children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate deformities in the Quechuan Indian population in Peru; the area has a very high incidence of cleft palate deformities. This condition is associated with hearing loss, speech difficulty, ear infections, food intake and dental problems. A team of approximately 25 surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses, non-medical volunteers and bi-lingual facilitators perform up to 35 surgical procedures in a three-day period. The team donates five days and the expense of the trip.
Dr. Lilo stated, “Dr. Sarbak joined the RotoCleft team in 1999 as a resident and is an anchor for the team and patients. He gives his time and pays his own expenses so these kids can have a chance at life. His generosity and talent are a key reason we have been so successful in providing care to this underserved population.”