About ISHI

About ISHI

The International Surgical Health Initiative is a humanitarian non-profit organization that provides free surgical care to underserved communities, worldwide, regardless of race, religion, politics, geography or financial considerations.
ISHI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization in the US (IRS Charity # 27-0202313) and a federally registered charity in Canada (Reg. # 849367115RR000). It is entirely organized, managed and operated by volunteers, who want to give back to the less fortunate people in need of surgical care.


ISHI is dedicated to assist underserved communities by:
1) Improving the health of people by providing needed surgical care.
2) Remaining highly efficient with the funds it raises. Over 93% of donations are directly spent on missions.
3) Introducing developed country health professionals to patients in developing countries.
4) Training volunteers and local health staff to provide first class surgical care with severely limited surgical facilities and resources.


Surgical diseases have been overlooked in the international effort to improve global heath. About 11% of diseases around the world require surgery for cure, yet very few resources are allocated to this end. We know that surgery can be performed safely and at a low cost in underserved communities. Relieving surgical disease has a huge impact on the patients who need it, their families, and the community as a whole. We have experienced this first hand, and aspire to provide more free surgery to underserved communities.



1) We believe that we are fortunate and have been given many opportunities in life.
2) We believe in a moral obligation to give back to others, who are less fortunate.
3) We hope that our actions will result in a positive impact on everyone we serve.


ISHI is managed and operated by volunteers who are passionate about what they are doing. All suggested missions to an underserved areas are reviewed. Surgical missions meeting ISHI criteria are selected. A team Leader then recruits volunteers (between 10-22) with various professional qualifications, and ensures that all supplies and materials needed for that mission are collected or purchased. Volunteers use their vacation time, and pay for their own airfare. Volunteers attend pre-mission orientation sessions, and are required to get appropriately vaccinated for their destination. The ISHI team provides both elective and emergency surgery to 50-100 patients per mission, and depending on the mission, location, team size, operates for 1-2 weeks at a time.