Outside the OR: My Community Involvement

As a plastic surgeon in a vibrant community like San Francisco, it’s important to me both personally and professionally to stay engaged with both the local and global communities by working with trusted charity organizations — some related to plastic surgery, some not.

Presently, I am a member of the board of directors for the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF). REAF raises money for HIV and AIDS-related services throughout the Bay Area, and one of the ways we do it is through high-end fundraising events, which are both enjoyable and financially successful.

Just this year, I merged a fundraiser for REAF with the grand opening of my renovated office, and we raised $35,000 for REAF.

Dr. Chow opens his San Francisco plastic surgery practice for a charity event with REAF.

Other recent events that I’ve attended or helped organize include the Celebrity Chefs Dinner fundraiser for the Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California, a nonprofit organization that assists people of all ages who have hearing loss or other issues with communication. I’m active with both my local church and St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, as well.

On the international level, I work with both Operation Hope and Operation Sunrise, 2 wonderful organizations offering medical services to children in developing nations. Performing complimentary cleft palate surgeries on these children stands out as one of the most rewarding things I’ve done with my career.

One of the reasons I love plastic surgery is because it enables me to enrich people’s lives through my professional work and my “extracurricular” work with charities. Do you have a favorite charitable organization that you’d like to share? Tell me about it in the comments.

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