Our Mission

In many areas of the world, people don’t have access to the same care that we have in the United States. Having a life-changing operation in these places is simply not an option. Many countries have poor healthcare, and even in countries that provide healthcare to their citizens, physicians don’t have access to training to provide specialty care like joint replacements. Implants are often not available, medical providers don’t have training and therefore these people are left to live a life of pain and disability.

This lack of access to joint replacement has a trickle-down effect much greater than just dealing with the pain of disabling arthritis.

0+
Mission Trips
0+
Volunteers
0+
Total Joint Replacements

Volunteer For Our Next Mission!

The joy that walking again can bring is priceless.

In May 2020 the Operation Walk Carolinas team will embark on a mission to provide specialty hip and knee surgeries to people in Honduras who desperately need them. In countries where people have little or no access to certain kinds of medical care, it can mean life with painful arthritis, in a wheelchair, or in a bed. In many cases, the inability to walk means families can’t make a living.

Joint replacement surgeries allow patients to go back to work, help provide for their families, and have a richer quality of life. They can enable a grandmother to spend quality time with her grandchildren, a father to put a roof over his family’s head, or a mother to stand and hold her child.

In Honduras we will work alongside local medical staff for a common goal: to help restore the basic function of walking to those who cannot.

OPWALK VOLUNTEERS

Stacy Twigg

Stacy Twigg

I've been a PA in Orthopedics for nearly 20 years and spent the majority of my time in Chicago. I am honored to have my first mission trip be with Operation walk. I look forward to helping be part of a team that restores mobility, hope and a new future for the people we care for in Honduras.

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill

“I have worked for Stryker Orthopedics for the past 10 years (first in Sydney, Australia and now in North Carolina) and I love what I do. I really enjoy playing a supporting role in these procedures that give patients their lives back. I was blessed to join the 2019 OpWalk Carolina Trip to Panama and see first hand the wonderful work being done. This is an amazing team of people, providing care for an amazing group of deserving patients. I am so grateful to Stryker for supporting these trips and beyond grateful to Dr. Springer and his team for the chance to join them.

Coreen Gililland

Coreen Gililland

Non-medical Volunteer

I grew up in a wonderfully diverse part of central California and have worked in various dual immersion elementary school settings over the years. I now teach Spanish to young learners at a great private school in Salt Lake City and am a mom to three awesome girls. When my husband did his fellowship at OrthoCarolina, we were fortunate enough to establish close friendships with the amazing doctors that trained him there, as well as with their lovely families. I am grateful for this opportunity to go and serve some of the Honduran people and look forward to getting a closer glimpse of the transformative power of orthopedic surgery through the work of this outstanding OpWalk Carolinas team.

Bryan Springer

Bryan Springer

CEO & Founder

Bryan Springer, MD is the medical director and co-founder of Operation Walk Carolinas. He is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center in Charlotte, NC specializing in adult reconstruction (joint replacement) of the Hip and Knee. He currently serves as the Fellowship Director at the Hip and Knee Center. He is actively involved in research, education and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, The Hip Society, The Knee Society and is President of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society. Dr. Springer has been involved in Operation Walk for 2 years. He accompanied Operation Walk Denver on 2 mission trips to Panama. It was during those trips that he realized how important it was to provide access to joint replacements to patients who would otherwise have no access to this life changing operation. “Our team is committed to providing this care to the less fortunate in third world countries. I am excited to have such a talented team participate in this mission.”

Paul Coleman

Paul Coleman

Physician Assistant

To give back when one has been given so much is a hallmark of gratitude, in my estimation. I have so much to be grateful for in the life that I live. For this reason it has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have participated in five Operation Walk mission trips to date - two with Operation Walk Denver, and three with Operation Walk Carolinas.

Kristi Sylvester

Kristi Sylvester

RN

Kristi Sylvester has been an RN with Carolinas healthcare system for 10 years. She graduated with her bachelors degree from the University of Akron and moved to Charlotte soon after. She has been in the operating room 9 years and absolutely loves what she does. This is going to be her first trip with Op Walk and she is very excited to be apart of the team. She looks forward to all that will come from this experience and the knowledge she will contribute but also gain as well. When not at work she loves playing with her sweet pitbull Jax.

Erin Devine

Erin Devine

Anesthetist

Darlene Edge

Darlene Edge

Surgical Technician

Kristen Oster

Kristen Oster

RN

As a nurse I strive to provide care to those in need and wanted to share that passion on a global level. I feel it was necessary to become more involved in providing care to the global community in addition to my local community in Denver, Colorado.

Lynne Ray

Lynne Ray

Physical Therapy

Thomas Hamelin

Thomas Hamelin

Anesthetist

For my entire career I have been interested in surgical missions which stems from appreciation for the true abundance and privilege we have as Americans. My experience within surgical missions has been humbling and rewarding from the genuine appreciation of those in need.

Mary Figueroa

Mary Figueroa

Central Processing Technician

I am a single mom of 5 children ages 14 to 22 and I have one grandchild. It's easy for me to get wrapped up in day To day life and not pay attention to what's important. Opwalk Carolinas has allowed me to open my eyes to what is to be appreciated in life. I've learned to humble myself and pass those values on to my children.

Maria Lopez

Maria Lopez

Central Processing Technician

My name is Maria and I work in Sterile Processing. I've been in my field for 15 years and love what I do and know how important my role is for every patient. I love learning new things, to grow in knowledge and be efficient in every area. I like to teach other the importance of expanding their understand in the role they play for patients and how critical a small mistake can make.

Katelyn Powell

Katelyn Powell

Anesthetist

My name is Katie Powell, I live and work in Wilmington, NC. I am originally from West Virginia, but have made a home I love on the coast! I have a 5 year old dog named Cali who loves attention, walks, and playtime. I am a Nurse Anesthetist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and I love every minute of my job. I went on my first medical mission trip 5 years ago as a Registered Nurse and that experienced changed my perspective on living and made me fall in love with mission work.

Scott Bivens

Scott Bivens

Non medical volunteer

I am the local Depuy representative in Charlotte. I was lucky enough to attend my first Mission trip with Op Walk Carolinas two years ago in Honduras.

Mary Beth Grimes

Mary Beth Grimes

Physical Therapy

Mary Beth has over twenty years of experience in the field of physical therapy. She has worked in hospital and inpatient rehab settings, attaining skill sets in neurology, advanced wound care, medical/surgical, and orthopedics. The past seventeen years she has worked at Atrium-Mercy, predominately rehabilitating joint replacement patients and established the preoperative joint replacement class at that facility.

Carlie Turman

Carlie Turman

Physical Therapy

My name is Carlie Turman and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I have experience working in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in home care. Having worked across different settings and demographics, I have a widened perspective on how access to medical resources can greatly shape one's quality of life.

Summerson Springer

Summerson Springer

Non medical volunteer

I was raised in a small town in West Virginia. I watched family members, friends and other citizens in my community help others daily. As a young child, I learned the joy of helping others without expecting anything in return.

Joseph Glynn

Joseph Glynn

Non medical volunteer

This project has become very near and dear to me. After having a total hip done by Dr. Beaver in December of 2018 I was lucky enough to go on the 4/19 Panama trip.

Candace Burgess

Candace Burgess

Anesthetist

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister and Anesthetist. I enjoy caring for others and have based my entire profession around my compassion towards those in need. Over the years I’ve searched for a medical mission group to join that would fulfill my need to help those less fortunate then myself in underdeveloped countries.

Javier Muniz

Javier Muniz

M.D.

I became involved with Operation Walk In 2018. My first trip was to Honduras. I had no idea what was is store for me. What I experienced was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I discovered the amazing reward of giving your absolute all and not expecting anything in return

Gary Hancock

Gary Hancock

Non medical volunteer

I have spent the past 32 years working in the Charlotte are as a sales representative for Depuy Synthes Recon. I have had the good fortune of working with many talented surgeons, RN's and surgical techs and I have played a small part in changing the quality of life for many of their patients. I enjoy hiking, golf and being with my family. Especially my two granddaughters that live in Charlotte.

Suzanne Matheny

Suzanne Matheny

RN

Suzanne Matheny, originally from McCormick,SC, received her nursing degree from Carolinas College of Health Sciences in Charlotte,NC. She has been a Registered Nurse Clinical Lead working at the OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center for 9 years.

Morgan Antanavige

Morgan Antanavige

RN

I have worked at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital since September 2018. While working for this organization I have had the opportunity to see the success of copious amount of orthopedic surgeries and the impact it has on individual's overall well-being.

Kathy Raisbeck Crump

Kathy Raisbeck Crump

Physician Assistant

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky where I earned my Bachelors Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

Gabrielle Carelock

Gabrielle Carelock

RN

I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and love every inch of my city. I have been a RN for 4 years solely working with orthopedic patients. I currently work at the Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital where I enjoy caring for patients postoperatively. In my free time I love spending time with my family, listening to music, and studying to receive my Master's degree in nursing.

Carina Doyle

Carina Doyle

Physician Assistant

I graduated from Northeastern University’s Physician Assistant program in August 2016 and have been working alongside Dr. Michael Baratz in total joint arthroplasty ever since.

Karen D. Mitchell

Karen D. Mitchell

Karen has been an RN over 35 years, and in the OR over 30 years, at Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital since 1991.

Shannon Duncan

Shannon Duncan

Surgical Technician

I am a surgical technologist with 14 years experience in orthopaedic procedures. I have been with the OpWalk Carolinas team since its inaugural trip to Cuba, and couldn't be more proud to be part of such an amazing group of people!

Amy Whisnant Gavaza

Amy Whisnant Gavaza

MSN, RN-BC, CNOR

Amy Whisnant is the Director for Perioperative Services for Carolinas Health System representing: Carolinas Medical Center Mercy. Amy has 20+ years of perioperative clinical and management experience spanning from positions in the operating room, surgical services, PACU, Business Management, Ambulatory Surgery Director of Nursing and most recently Perioperative Director for Carolinas Medical Center Mercy.

Sean McCaffrey

Sean McCaffrey

Anesthetist

Laura Shepherd

Laura Shepherd

RN

Laura Shepherd has been an RN for 8 years. She previously worked at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital and has been at CMC-Mercy for the past 4 years. Laura graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

Katrina Carta

Katrina Carta

RN

My name is Katrina Carta and I have been an RN with Novant health system for 2 years. I have been an orthopedic floor nurse for over 8 years now, I graduated with my bachelors degree from SUNY Brockport in western NY. I lived in NY my whole life until I moved to Charlotte a little over two years ago.

Jen Suckow

Jen Suckow

Physician Assistant

Isabelle King

Isabelle King

Physical Therapist

Chris Petrie

Chris Petrie

Stryker Orthopaedics

Chris Petrie works with Crosslink/Stryker Orthopaedics in Charlotte, NC. He, along with a number of his Operation Walk Carolinas teammates have had the opportunity to join the Operation Walk Denver team on two recent missions to Panama. In his nearly 19 years in the Orthopaedic device industry he can tell you these trips have been the most rewarding experiences in his professional career. As a team member he is responsible for securing the implants and instruments utilized in the hip and knee replacement procedures. “Cuba….here we come!”

Inspirational Stories

Two billion people across the globe have no access to medical care. They make up 35% of the world’s population but only 3.5% of surgeries take place in their countries. Many patients in lesser-developed countries have no access to fund costly operations. Oftentimes there are few trained surgeons and/or access to implants and other medical devices. OpWalk Carolinas is changing that.

2019-09-16T04:33:17-04:00

Jose Walks Again

José lives in Panama and until recently, had been living with pain and immobility from hip dysplasia for most of his life. As the pain had gotten progressively worse, he […]

2019-01-31T14:18:21-05:00

Ernesto

Training a Future Generation: A Cuban Medical Resident’s Knack for Orthopedics

Ernesto is 28 years old and like many other Cubans has never really been outside his country. There […]

2019-12-20T09:25:14-05:00

Superman Takes Off

Everyone around Luis was walking.

For his entire life, something that came so easily to other people had been one of the most difficult things he had to manage, and a […]

THE COST

It typically costs $150,000+ to get our team of 20+ to another country with the right equipment and supplies for one trip. Here is how your generous funds may be used for our mission. Any donation small or large is appreciated.

  • $5,000 Supplies critical medical equipment for the Operation Walk Team
  • $2,500 Fully supports one joint replacement for a patient
  • $1,000 Fully supports travel for a volunteer medical team member
  • $500 Covers the cost of Physical Therapy for five patients
  • $250 Covers all diagnostic tests (X-rays, etc.) for a patient having surgery
  • $100 Covers one night in the hospital
  • $50 Provides a walker for a patient after joint replacement
  • $25 Covers transportation for the patient to and from the hospital

SUPPORT OPWALK

These trips are 100% voluntary and the entire mission is based on fundraising. Choose a team member to receive your generous gift or donate where it is needed most. Any donation small or large is appreciated and we thank you in advance for your contribution.

SUPPORT OPWALK

These trips are 100% voluntary and the entire mission is based on fundraising. Choose a team member to receive your generous gift or donate where it is needed most. Any donation small or large is appreciated and we thank you in advance for your contribution.

PARTNERS