Global Pediatric Surgical Technology and Education Project

 

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Global Pediatric STEP’s mission is to provide quality affordable surgical equipment and educational tools to pediatric surgeons around the world. 

As a non-profit foundation, GP STEP is focused on helping children with difficult surgical conditions, such as Anorectal Malformation, that require complex surgical procedures. Through technological innovation and education, GP STEP works to develop affordable surgical tools required for these surgeries and then also to train the local surgeons on how to use the tools.

The vision is global in sharing medical advances across all continents, cultures, and economic strata. The goal is to make an immediate impact by providing tools and educational resources corrective surgeries for afflicted children. We seek to equip the local surgeons to perform the surgeries on their own. 

3-FACETED APPROACH 

1.     Research & Development

GP STEP works to develop surgical tools that can be affordably manufactured and easily deployed to different areas of the world. Prioritizing research and testing of these tools within the community of pediatric surgery, GP STEP seeks to create technological solutions without the capitalizing constraints of the medical technology industry.

2.     Tech Deployment

Once innovative surgical tools have been tested and accepted for use by the pediatric surgery community, GP STEP coordinates to put them in the hands of local surgeons in needy parts of the world. Deployment involves coordinating the funding and manufacturing of the technology, management of distribution, engagement with local medical organizations, and sustainability follow-up.

3.     Education & Training

GP STEP develops education programs involving side-by-side training in new surgical tools and methods, instructional videos, manuals, and train-the-trainer courses for local surgeons. Beyond the surgeons, GP STEP works to educate broader concerned communities on the specific needs and resources available for addressing surgical diseases around the world.

HISTORY

GP STEP was founded by two California-based physicians, Dr. Philip Frykman, a pediatric surgeon, and Dr. Keith Kimble, a pediatric anesthesiologist. Together, Dr. Frykman and Dr. Kimble had been participating in medical missions to China for over 4 years. Taking state-of-the-art surgical equipment with them, they performed dozens of corrective surgeries on orphan children with Anorectal Malformations (ARM). 

The pressing need to do more for these children with meager resources inspired them to develop better ways to leverage technology to equip the local surgeons caring for them. Teaming up with a technology innovator, they developed an inexpensive and simple surgical tool that could perform the crucial functions of the surgery. For a fraction of the cost of their accustomed equipment, the new surgical tool could be made available to the local surgeons in China. Tens of thousands of afflicted children in those communities, who would have either died or lived under severe physical constraints, could now have a chance of a robust and active life.

The team established GP STEP as a non-profit organization with the mission to make this new surgical device affordably available to surgeons around the globe. With overwhelming demand for the new technology, GP STEP's vision quickly expanded to incubating any technology innovations that could help address pediatric surgical diseases and the specific requests of surgical community. GP STEP now facilitates the resources, partnerships, and organizational structure for researching, developing, and deploying new technology for pediatric surgeons in underserved parts of the world.