RANDOLPH, NJ- A Safe Surgery Seminar will be held Sunday, April 10 from 9:30 am to 1 pm at the Randolph Community Center located at 28 Calais Road in Randolph, NJ, as part of the "Until We Heal" campaign to raise awareness of the fact that billions of people worldwide lack access to basic surgical care, like operations to fix cleft palates. Seminar participants will

  • Explore the relationship between economic development and the availability of safe surgery and healthcare
  • Share ideas about how to create positive changes related to these global issues, and
  • Build effective partnerships with international students working toward a common goal.

Keynote speakers include mission doctors and representatives from the Peace Corps, the Yogi Divine Society and Operation Smile who will share their knowledge and experiences. This will be followed by a breakout session where NJ students will engage in roundtable discussions with students from England, the Philippines, Canada and India via Skype.

According to Patrick Santorella-Doyle, MCOPSMILE President and Co-Founder, this seminar will give students a better understanding of current social problems. "Listening to mission doctors tell their personal stories will help me comprehend the socioeconomic issues I’ve read about," said Santorella-Doyle.

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The goal of the roundtable discussions is to exchange ideas and gain insight into different cultures and beliefs.

"Most people make assumptions about others, why situations exist, and how the world works. These roundtable discussions are designed to encourage students to question their own assumptions and potentially adopt new ways of thinking," stated Santorella-Doyle. "We hope to overcome barriers and develop new perspectives through global collaboration," added Michael Yotka, who will lead one of the discussions.

The other roundtable discussions will be led by the MCOPSMILE officers: Patrick Santorella-Doyle, a senior at Randolph High School; Jessica Pirrello, a senior at Morris Knolls High School; Alyssa Lenac, a senior at Randolph High School; and Daud Shad, a junior at Mountain Lakes High School.

Walk-ins are welcome to attend the seminar and listen to the presentations, but students who want to participate in a discussion group need to sign up in advance. Space is limited to ensure appropriate numbers of students at each table. To be included in a roundtable discussion, send an email with your name, email address and phone number to MCOPSMILE@gmail.com  by April 7th.

"I love being part of MCOPSMILE," said Alyssa Lenac, "it feels great knowing MCOPSMILE sponsored surgeries for 58 children since I joined the club four years ago."

MCOPSMILE will announce their fundraising results for this school year at the conclusion of the seminar.

"We don't expect this seminar to solve the world’s problems," said Santorella-Doyle, "but bringing awareness to these issues and partnering with peers abroad is a good place to start."