The Nepal Spine Foundation improves access and care for Nepali Spine patients through its deep collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Nepal Spine Foundation fosters knowledge exchange between Nepali and international neurosurgeons through education, research and training for residents and faculty, elevating post-graduate neurosurgery education in Nepal.
The Nepal Spine Foundation international team travels at least annually to Kathmandu to run workshops and other teaching activities that help significantly improve patient care. We also work with TUTH on a monthly basis via virtual conferences to train Nepalese surgeons and residents on the most advanced spine techniques.
The Status of Healthcare in Nepal
Nepal has been gaining momentum in the areas of health care for the last two decades. However, there is significant room for improvement in several areas especially Neurosurgery. The availability of neurosurgical services is still limited to urban areas. In addition, specialty concepts such as spine surgery are relatively new. The Nepal Spine Foundation promotes the education and training of neurosurgery residents and faculty at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital to provide state-of-the-art care for all Nepalis.
Debilitating Spinal Disorders
The Nepal Spine Foundation collaborates with the Department of Neurosurgery at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in Kathmandu, Nepal, to provide access and care for indigent Nepali patients with spinal trauma, tumors, congenital deformities, infections and acquired degenerative conditions. We help treat spine patients to improve function so Nepalis can get back to their work and families.
Sustaining Health Care
The Nepal Spine Foundation travels yearly to Kathmandu to provide direct patient care, but our efforts do not stop in the interim. We work closely with TUTH on a monthly basis using Zoom virtual conferences to train Nepalese spine surgeons on the most advanced spine techniques, so they can better care for their patients throughout the year.
Founding of Nepal Spine Foundation
The Nepal Spine Foundation was founded by Dr. Richard Wohns. Dr. Wohns is a board certified neurosurgeon in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Yale Medical School and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Washington. He is a recognized leader in neurosurgery and pioneered outpatient spine surgery. He also has been at the forefront of high altitude medicine and is the former Vice President of the International Society of Mountain Medicine. Dr. Wohns has been both a physician and a climber during expeditions on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest. He served as the Medical Director during the 1984 Ultima Thule Everest Expedition during which time he performed high altitude brain research on Mount Everest. He also performed the first high altitude emergency appendectomy on a porter during an expedition to K2, the second highest mountain in the world. During the summer of 2013, Dr. Wohns returned to Nepal to teach minimally invasive spine surgery techniques to the staff at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in Kathmandu. He also performed pro bono surgery with medical implants and instruments graciously donated by leading medical device companies. His enduring commitment to the country, its people, and to the field of neurosurgery has compelled him to return to continue lecturing and leading spine surgery workshops in Kathmandu, where he is now Visiting Professor of Neurological Surgery at TUTH. TUTH is the Nepali equivalent of a 501(c)(3) hospital in the United States.