PORTLAND – The efforts of Dr. Samuel Broaddus to improve surgical care in Haiti are being recognized by the American College of Surgeons.

Broaddus, a urologist who works with Portland-based Konbit Sante, is the recipient of the college’s annual Surgical Volunteerism Award for international outreach. He will be honored Tuesday at a dinner in Washington, D.C. With 77,000 members, the college is the world’s largest surgeons organization.

Broaddus, 59, said Thursday that he was glad for the chance to draw attention to the needs of Haiti, a country where he began volunteering in 1995.

“This is a way that the story of Haiti can be told. It’s a forum for telling the story of Haitians and Haiti that they can’t tell themselves on the international stage. I’m happy to play that role,” said Broaddus, a senior partner at Maine Medical Partners Urology.

Broaddus is the volunteer surgical team leader and a board member of Konbit Sante, which works with Haitian partners to improve the public health-care system in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city.

The aim, he said, is to improve the capacity of Haitians to care for Haitians. It’s work that often revolves around infrastructure needs and always involves long-term relationships with Haitian counterparts.

Broaddus’ work with Konbit Sante can involve any aspect of improving surgical care. He sometimes gives urology presentations to Dr. Jean Geto Dube and his residents at Justinian Hospital. He may also work toward that goal by searching for more affordable sources of anesthesia for the hospital or arranging rotations at Maine Medical Center for Haitian colleagues.

In 2008, Broaddus co-wrote a surgical needs assessment for Justinian Hospital. The review was the first of its kind in the area and is seen as a model that can be applied elsewhere.

Nate Nickerson, Konbit Sante’s executive director, said the nonprofit depends on high-level volunteerism that doesn’t end when a brief mission comes to a close.

Broaddus has been a core member in terms of leadership and the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-the-work component, Nickerson said.

“That level of commitment is unusual. I think Sam exemplifies that,” he said.

Broaddus’ international work began early in his career. His notion of bringing his skills to places that don’t have urologists solidified when he was a surgery resident.

Broaddus developed his own program to serve as a volunteer urologist in five countries — Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand and St. Lucia.

He taught prostate surgery to general surgeons, who were doing open surgery decades after their American counterparts had widely adopted endoscopic surgery. Broaddus also provided fiber-optic equipment to each location.

He has volunteered in Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Kenya. His experience in Haiti during the 1990s, when he made four trips a year to Deschapelles, helped him connect to Konbit Sante.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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