Department of Surgery Spreads Holiday Cheer

Published January 24, 2019

The Department of Surgery took part in a national initiative to give back to the less fortunate during the 2018 holiday season.

#surgerygives is a grassroots movement that involves fundraising, volunteering and participating in local charity events to provide support within local communities.

WNY Effort Inspired By Boston Food Bank Event

Nargis Hossain, PhD, the department’s administrator, was inspired by the idea after participating in a food bank event during the 2018 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Boston last October.

#surgerygives was first promoted by the Association of Academic Surgical Administrators, of which Hossain is a board member.

“I walked away from that experience appreciating how very fortunate my peers and I are to have good jobs, a good education, clothes, food and to be able to go home each night to our families with a roof over our heads,” Hossain says.

“I wanted to bring #surgerygives to Buffalo, being the ‘City of Good Neighbors,’ and I knew we as a department had an ability to make a difference.”

Plan to Continue Volunteering and Outreach

To kick off the initiative, department members decided to sponsor five families and help fulfill some of their wish lists for the holidays by donating to the Family-to-Family program at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy on Walden Avenue in Buffalo.

The department collected almost $3,000 and was able to provide a full-service Christmas for five families that included a full holiday dinner meal and gifts.

Steven D. Schwaitzberg, MD, professor and chair of surgery, says he is proud that his department was able to help and provide comfort for those in times of need.

“The whole process was inspiring from start to finish, between planning, shopping, wrapping and organizing. It was impressive to see our staff take the time out of their busy workday to assist in this program,” he says. “It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives and not think of others.”