The PSF President's Message

Kevin C. Chung, MD
Kevin C. Chung, MD

I am grateful to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) members who put their trust in me to lead The Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) over the next year. Since its formation in 1948, The PSF has been a catalyst for innovation and growth in plastic surgery, answering the previously unanswerable questions in our specialty, while improving patient safety and the quality of care worldwide. During my presidential year, I will foster and promote novel, creative research ideas so that board-certified plastic surgeons may continue to bring advanced techniques and procedures to the forefront to better serve our patients.

Our specialty is defined as function and form, which encompasses all surgical disciplines devoted to ameliorating physical and emotional sequella of deficiencies in human forms. The PSF research goal is to support and develop meritorious projects relating to plastic surgery. During our last fiscal year, The PSF invested over $800,000 toward the development of plastic surgery research. PSF funded research touches all aspects of reconstruction and aesthetic surgery.

Many landmark studies on breast reconstruction, microvascular surgery, wound healing, outcomes research, nerve reconstruction, and facial aesthetics define The PSF as the engine of innovation that is critical for our specialty. Just a few of the research programs in our current portfolio include: basic and clinical studies on fat grafting outcomes, research and registries, vascularity of fat grafts, and wound healing research as related to aging. The PSF is a facilitator of evidence-based medicine, building multi-center networks to research important clinical areas in plastic surgery. The Foundation’s work in developing national registries ensures that plastic surgeons have the data to answer questions, track outcomes, and improve treatments.

In addition to our work funding and developing research, The PSF is active in campaigns that support public education and awareness of breast reconstruction and children in need of reconstructive surgery. The PSF’s Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Fund enables The PSF to raise awareness about reconstruction options for women diagnosed with breast cancer as well as provide access to reconstructive procedures. The PSF also extends its efforts to children in need of reconstructive surgery due to birth anomalies, disease and injury in the United States through our Caring for Kids campaign. This campaign will fund research into deformities, and provide financial assistance and access to skilled board-certified plastic surgeons for children in need of reconstructive care.

Interests of The PSF are not only domestic but also serve the developing world. Through our partnerships with a number of volunteer organizations, The PSF has positioned itself as a champion for those that are disadvantaged and without the means for reconstructive procedures. Over the past three decades, our efforts have helped provide charity support for over 150,000 children and adults needing reconstructive procedures for facial deformities and various types of traumatic conditions world-wide. Furthermore, our support of the International Scholar program enables plastic surgeons from abroad to spend valuable time with institutions in the United States to learn about reconstructive plastic surgery. This year we are supporting eight international scholars from countries from various regions of the world, ranging from Vietnam to Nigeria. We hope that these scholars will stimulate the growth of plastic surgery in their home countries.

An important personal mission, as I assume the presidency, is to listen to our members for their advice on the future of The PSF. The Foundation belongs to all of us and it is your conduit to promote our specialty and assure its vibrant contribution to your practices and to your patients. My personal hope is that the entire community of board-certified plastic surgeons will continue to support The PSF. Every dollar donated is used to facilitate the achievement of The PSF mission. Please join me in supporting The PSF’s commitment to ensuring a bright future for our specialty.