Global Community

"It's the best thing that I do."

The Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) takes great pride in partnering with a number of humanitarian organizations here at home and worldwide to deliver much-needed medical care to underserved populations. We recognize the importance of our role as a global leader in anesthesiology and encourage our faculty to participate in programs that help provide access to lifesaving procedures for communities in need as part of our overall mission.

Here are just a few of their stories.

Global Community Outreach Locations


  • Richard K. Raker, MD

    • Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC

    Dr. Raker has been a team member of several nonprofit organizations and has provided anesthesia care for children and adults with cleft lips and palates, congenital and traumatic facial deformities, burns, and congenital hand abnormalities in Africa, South East Asia, Haiti, Central and South America, and the Middle East.

  • William Seth Schechter, MD

    • Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC

    Dr. Schechter has been actively involved with Heart Care International, a 501-3c charity originally founded by faculty here at CUMC. He has conducted recurrent short-term medical missions to Central and South America and the Caribbean. Partnering closely with local medical personnel, families, and nongovernmental organizations, Heart Care International participants provide high-quality, compassionate care while training host-country professionals to better function independently and expertly.

    "We form a long-lasting commitment to our host country, patients, and families. Countries where we have participated include Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Chiapas, Mexico. We continue to search for other needy areas where we may be of some help. A number of our residents, fellows, and attendings have participated in these missions through the years and found them to be both professionally and personally rewarding, easily summed up by the comment, 'It's the best thing that I do.'"

    In addition to patient care and teaching, the organization participates in a variety of projects and clinical research relevant to providing care in a resource-poor setting.

    Profile Headshot
  • ​​​​​​​Young Soon Kim, CRNA

    Young Soon Kim has been volunteering for international medical missions with multiple organizations since 1992, providing anesthesia care to children with congenital heart defects, cleft lips/palates, burns, orthopedic problems, hypospadias, and traumatic injuries.

    “It has been a tremendous experience to help needy kids and adults as well. I learn a lot from my patients, their families, their countries, and the local professionals.