“LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” MATTHEW 22:39
Is the beautiful verse that Dr. Craig Hobar lives by. He has this monogrammed on his scrubs to remind all of us.
My husband (Dr. Grant Gilliland) has had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Hobar for the last 28 years. Dr. Hobar is not only a friend to my husband, but also a mentor. Grant has traveled on 17 mission trips with Dr. Hobar.
Grant would say Ephesians 4:2 - “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing one another in love”- would best describe Dr. Hobar. Dr. Grant Gilliland said, "For the last 5 years my family has witnessed the tremendous impact of hope, love, and new beginnings that these surgically teams have given to so many people. Dr. Hobar’s passion, has changed the lives of thousands of patients, but also the lives of hundreds of doctors, nurses, and volunteers that have served on the LEAP teams."
Dr. Craig Hobar is a board certified plastic surgeon. After graduating from the University of Miami School of Medicine, Dr. Hobar completed 8 years of postgraduate surgical training, 7 years at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and one year at NYU in New York City. Dr. Hobar returned to Dallas in 1990 to begin his practice. Since then, he has been practicing plastic surgery at the highest professional level. He started his career in academic plastic surgery at the prestigious University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he won awards for his scientific research and became a well-known contributor through papers, textbook chapters, and national and international presentations. He is the Founder and the Medical Director of the LEAP Global Mission.
BIRTH OF LEAP
Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP) was not created, but was a gift when it was started 24 years ago. God opened the door with a volunteer trip that Dr. Hobar and his wife took to the Dominican Republic. They were both very moved by the lack of medical support and knew something must be done to help. The following year, he returned to the Dominican Republic with a group volunteers from the United States. This was supposed to be a single trip, but there was such a tremendous amount of commitment and passion from the volunteers, that this single mission trip developed a life of its own. They recognized the overwhelming need for care for the Dominican people and multiple trips would be needed.
From that single medical mission trip, the LEAP Global Mission was born and has grown each year. LEAP started with yearly trips to the Dominican Republic and then added on other countries. Over the next 24 years volunteer doctors and nurses performed elective surgeries focusing on cleft lip and palate, ocular plastics, and other surgical specialties.
LEAP GLOBAL MISSION
Since 1991, LEAP Global Mission has focused on providing specialized surgical services to those in need around the world. They are not trying to cover every country in the world; they are trying to identify countries that really need LEAP services and establish long-standing relationships.
Their areas of service include: the Mission Program, the Landmark Program, and the International Disaster Relief Program. Those they serve receive the highest level of care possible regardless of religious affiliation or cultural differences.
Children with facial abnormalities like cleft palate are often shunned by their communities with no hope for a productive future. They have no access to quality medical care in their own countries and no resources to pay for the surgical procedures that are required to correct their deformities. LEAP provides free surgical services to restore their features and empower them to return to their communities as welcomed, participating members. LEAP is committed to developing long-term relationships with their patients, the communities, and other partners involved in their missions.
By returning to the same countries every year, LEAP members are able to build trust, offer ongoing education and continue caring for those who need long-term medical services.
LEAP got its start with a single mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 1991 and maintains an annual presence there.
LEAP has been providing reconstructive surgical services in Belize since the early 1990’s. While the main focus in Belize remains children born with facial deformities, LEAP has diversified to meet the needs of a country that has no plastic surgeons of its own by providing surgical care in eye, hand, burn reconstruction, and ocular prosthesis. LEAP also helped to start an indigenous limb prosthetic program, and recently added a dental team was added to the team to offer preventative and restorative care.
LEAP’s work with Haiti started in 2010 when Dr. Hobar responded on day four of the devastating Haitian earthquake. Accompanied by Drs. Ale and Ian Mitchell, they worked around the clock to amputate gangrenous limbs and repairing facial injuries of earthquake victims pulled from the rubble in Port-Au-Prince. A six-month commitment of sending rotating surgical teams followed. Subsequently, because of the high need for surgical care, LEAP developed a close relationship with Hopital Espoir (Hope Hospital) and travels biannually to Haiti to provide plastic, ENT, urology, and general surgery care. In 2014, LEAP funded and built a pediatric ward to meet the needs of this geographic region.
In 2003, LEAP made their first trip to Damoh, a very remote and impoverished part of India untouched by development and modernization. On this visit, the team was nearly overwhelmed by the immense need for surgery with approximately 650 patients awaiting repair of their cleft lip and palate deformities.
Demonstration of perseverance – On Dr. Hobar first trip to India, he preformed 11 cliff palette surgeries in one day and 47 in five days. God was truly orchestrating his time.
Since then, LEAP has traveled there annually in partnership with Central India Christian Mission for plastic and general surgery care as well as orthodontic care.
After a severe cholera outbreak swept through the nation, killing tens of thousands in 2009, LEAP made its first mission trip to Zimbabwe. Through a partnership with Celebration Health (a Christian Mission organization associated with the largest church in Zimbabwe) and the University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Surgery, LEAP performed almost 50 surgeries on its first trip. In addition, the inaugural trip included formal lectures and surgical teaching of local surgeons, laying the foundation for an ongoing education program for medical students, young physicians, and nurses. In 2014, given the country’s significant surgical needs, LEAP funded a third operating room at their partner pediatric hospital.
LEAP offers hope to children who have no options for care in their home countries. The Landmark Program, in partnership with Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, makes it possible for children with the most complex surgical needs, who live in underserved areas of the world, to travel to the United States to receive high quality medical and surgical care.
Many of the children served by LEAP have such severe craniofacial abnormalities that they were abandoned as infants or sent to palliative care facilities. LEAP often takes care of or greatly reduces their travel and surgical costs. They also coordinate host families who will offer these children a loving and safe environment while they heal. LEAP provides long-term care to those brought to the United States for treatment.
It is amazing to see the lives transformed by this program. Click here to read individual stories.
INTERNATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF
LEAP is committed to serving those impacted by natural disasters or war.
LEAP Global Mission has partnered with the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) to form ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams©, a global resource that can quickly deploy highly skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons to areas hit by natural and/or man-made disasters.
The International Disaster Relief Program consists of dedicated surgeons and medical professionals who volunteer to travel to disaster zones to provide plastic and reconstructive surgeries to the wounded.
EVENTS: This year has been full of extraordinary miracles and blessings that LEAP can’t wait to share with you on the evening of Thursday, October 1. Please join them along with our fabulous Event Chairs, Brenda and Bob Barkley. Click here for more informations.
DONATE: LEAP is grateful to have your support as they to serve others by providing the love of Christ through free surgical care to children in need. Compassion, love, and healing abide in all things they do and share with others in their global communities. Click here to donate.