SAN DIEGO DOCTORS JOIN "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW" TODAY

DOCS Surgeons Have Offered Hope to San Diego Woman Neurofibromatosis Patient Ana Rodarte

A local, San Diego-based non-profit surgical organization called Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS) was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Thursday, May 6, 2010. The show aired on CBS Channel 8 KFMB at 4:00 pm PST today.

Over the past five years, the DOCS team, in partnership with Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, performed seven major surgeries on Ana Rodarte, the young woman featured in today's Oprah segment, to treat facial deformities caused by the rare genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis-1. Ana's courageous journey has not only changed her appearance, but she is also better able to see, hear, breathe, speak, and eat. Most importantly, her self-confidence has grown, and rather than secluding herself at home as she used to, she is now attending school to become a Cosmetologist.

DOCS founders, Dr. Munish Batra and Dr. Michael Halls, envisioned creating an organization to provide surgical reconstruction and continuing care to people otherwise unable to obtain treatment for disfiguring medical conditions and severe injuries. DOCS pioneered the concept of a "staged multi-specialty team approach," which allows each surgeon to focus on what he knows best.

The DOCS surgical team is comprised of:
Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons
Munish Batra, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Michael Halls, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Alfonso Camberos, M.D., F.A.C.S
Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon Andrew Chang, M.D., D.D.S.
Board Certified Neurosurgeon Lokesh Tantuwaya, M.D.
Board Certified Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Don Kikkawa, M.D.
Board Certified Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist James Tasto, D.D.S.

The entire organization is extremely gratified that their efforts are being recognized on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "Ana's case not only shows how DOCS stays true to its mission, but illustrates how a medical condition which is so severe and so rare, can challenge surgeons and dentists to think beyond their education, training, and experience," states Dr. Andrew Chang.

As a non-profit organization, DOCS is primarily supported by its own member doctors and Board, charitable donors, and community partners, including local hospitals that provide discounted use of operating rooms and facilities. Nearly 100% of charitable donations are applied directly to surgical related patient care, which can often exceed $25,000 per case. The doctors donate their own services and are never compensated by DOCS.

DOCS hopes that any exposure received from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will raise enough funds to finance administrative and post-surgical ongoing care costs for current patients, and assist potential future patients.

To learn more about DOCS and other patients they have served, please see http://www.docscharity.com. ?

You can read more about Ana's case on the Scripps web site at http://www.scripps.org/ana-s-story__about-ana. or on the Los Angles Times web site at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ana5-2009apr05,0,3418012.story.

About Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla

Established in 1924 by Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla has been one of Southern California's premier medical centers for more than 85 years. Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla offers a wide range of clinical, surgical and specialty services including a Level II Trauma Center and 24-hour emergency services, intensive care, interventional cardiology and radiology, radiation oncology, cardiothoracic and orthopedic services, neurology, bariatric surgery and women's health services. The hospital is consistently recognized for quality patient care and was the first in San Diego to be designated a Magnet Hospital by the American Nursing Association for excellence in patient care. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.

About Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS)

Established in 2002, Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS) is a group of San Diego doctors committed to improving lives in our local community by donating surgical reconstruction and continuing care to people otherwise unable to obtain treatment for disfiguring medical conditions and severe injuries. Learn more at http://www.docscharity.com.

For interviews, please call Jeanna Zelin at 480.298.0928 or jeannazelin@mac.com or call Lisa Loeffler at 602-319-5982 or lisa@lightboxpr.com.

BIOS

Munish K. Batra, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Recognized for his honesty, compassion and excellent technical skills, Dr. Batra has built a prestigious cosmetic surgery practice based on his impeccable reputation. Dr. Batra earned his medical degree from Case Western University and completed his plastic surgery training at UCSD Medical Center, followed by an additional fellowship in advanced facial surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Batra is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He has worked with national authorities in the field of cosmetic breast surgery and body contouring. He has written articles and chapters in numerous publications, and has been featured in many plastic surgery related news segments at ABC News, in People Magazine and The L.A. Times.

Dr. Batra is one of approximately 15 surgeons nationwide who have advanced training in post-Gastric-Bypass Reconstructive surgery, known here as GBRX, a unique method employed by Dr. Batra that has achieved results that have satisfied hundreds of patients by contouring their bodies after massive weight loss.

Dr. Batra feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to help build one of the leading plastic surgery practices in the nation, Coastal Plastic Surgeons, which he founded in 2001. Since that time it has become recognized as one of the premier cosmetic surgery practices in Southern California with locations in San Diego, Del Mar, Temecula and San Juan Capistrano, Orange County. His practice continues to flourish from referrals of his patients as well as many doctors in the community.

Dr. Batra proudly served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and he routinely travels overseas to third world countries to do reconstructive surgeries. In the aftemath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami he traveled to India and assisted. His charitable organization DOCS http://www.docscharity.com/ continues to help the helping the less fortunate of Southern California correcting genetic defects and concealing scars, making their lives better and giving back to the community.

Michael Halls, M.D., F.R.C.S., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Michael Halls is one of the most highly trained and experienced Plastic Surgeons in San Diego, and has maintained a flourishing private practice there since 1987. He has extensive training and expertise in specialized reconstructive and microvascular techniques. Dr. Halls has seen the obvious need to apply reconstructive attitudes and techniques toward the changes brought about not only by the surgical treatment of disease processes, but also for aesthetic procedures to treat the changes commonly seen after pregnancy, weight loss, and aging.

Dr. Michael Halls is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in both Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery. He is a member of many international, national, and regional medical and plastic surgery societies. In addition Dr. Halls is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Halls completed his undergraduate studies and medical school training at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Training in Plastics, Burn, Microvascular, and Hand Surgery followed in Toronto and London in Ontario, Canada and Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital.

A number of options are available to restore a natural breast shape following mastectomy. Dr. Michael Halls has extensive experience and expertise in breast reconstruction, including utilizing tissue from other body areas as well as implant surgery. During your consultation Dr. Halls will discuss options specific to your circumstances.

Dr. Michael Halls' charitable organization DOCS http://www.docscharity.com/ continues to help the helping the less fortunate of Southern California correcting genetic defects and concealing scars, making their lives better and giving back to the community.

FACT SHEET

Committed to improving lives in their local Southern California community by

donating surgical reconstruction and continuing care to people otherwise unable to obtain treatment for disfiguring medical conditions and severe injuries, DOCS (Doctors Offering Charitable Services) was founded by Dr. Munish K. Batra and Dr. Michael Halls in March of 2002.

DOCS is a 501(c)3 founded by a team of talented surgeons to assist with the healthcare burden of the population in need within the Greater San Diego area and neighboring communities.

The original DOCS founders were Dr. Batra, Dr. Halls, Dr. Camberos, Dr. Lokesh, Dr. Tantuwaya, Dr. Don Kikkawa, Dr. James Tasto.

DOCS doctors spend time traveling abroad to perform surgeries in third world countries, but the organization's main focus is serving the incredible need that exists here within San Diego and surrounding southern California communities.

DOCS ADDRESS

12264 El Camino Real, Suite 101
Del Mar, CA 92130

To learn more about DOCS, contact Executive Director Lori Varaich at 858-847-0800 or visit: http://www.docscharity.com.

Q&A

Q: What is Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS)?

A: Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing charitable services to patients in need of reconstructive surgical care. It is comprised of a talented and dynamic team of renowned surgeons, each trained in his own sub-specialty and has pioneered the concept of a "staged multi-specialty team approach." This allows each surgeon to focus on what he knows best.

Q: Who started DOCS?

A: DOCS was started in March of 2002 by Dr. Munish Batra, and Dr. Michael Halls, two plastic surgeons in San Diego, California. DOCS now consists of seven (7) highly specialized San Diego surgeons, each with their own specialty. Their office is located in San Diego, CA.

Q: Who are the surgeons on the DOCS team?

A: The DOCS surgical team is comprised of:

Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons:

Munish Batra, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Michael Halls, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Alfonso Camberos, M.D., F.A.C.S

* Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Andrew Chang, M.D., D.D.S.
* Board Certified Neurosurgeon Lokesh Tantuwaya, M.D.
* Board Certified Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Don Kikkawa, M.D.
* Board Certified Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist James Tasto, D.D.S.

Q: What kind of patients does DOCS treat?

A: Patients treated by DOCS have disfiguring medical conditions that may result from genetic disorders or severe injuries. Many of these patients either cannot afford or access such specialized care, or their insurance benefits may not cover this type of medical care.

A: DOCS patients have included infants, teenagers, young adults, and the elderly population. Many of the adult patients have recovered from their procedures and reentered into society by going to school, working or volunteering their time.

A: Examples of patients:

1. Ana Rodarte as featured on Oprah was born with neurofibromatosis (also called NF-1) which is a rare genetic disorder that causes large but otherwise benign thick tumors to grow in various places on the body. Underlying anaotmical structures are affected as well. By the time Ana had reached DOCS, she was unable to see from her left eye, had difficulty breathing, eating, communicating, and sleeping owing to the size of the tumor spreading across her face. After nearly 4 years and 7 major surgical procedures that would not be covered by insurance, Ana had improved each of those impairments that were threatening her health.

2. 41-year-old single mother who suffered from fibrous dysplasia, a disease that caused bony tumors to protrude from her face and skull, resulting in severe craniofacial deformity. As all fibrous dysplasia tumors are incurable and will always return if not completely removed, the affected bones (skull and bones around the eye) were replaced with metal implants. After surgery, this patient was once again able to participate in community life, went back to school and is able to spend more time with her children.

3. 23-year-old soldier was involved in crash at Camp Pendleton Marine base. Initially the patient had severe spine trauma, leaving him paralyzed. He also suffered extreme craniofacial trauma that resulted in deformities of the face and skull. Due to the complexity and extent of the patient's injuries, multiple reconstructive surgeries were needed throughout the course of a year. The patient is now working as a systems engineer and is able to walk again.

4. 27-year-old woman was shot in the face and shoulder with a shotgun by her "boyfriend." The patient underwent complete jaw and facial nerve reconstruction provided by DOCS surgeons. The appearance is near normal in the reconstructed area and facial nerve function has been restored sufficiently to give a symmetric smile.

Q: Who started DOCS?

A: DOCS was started in March of 2002 by Dr. Munish Batra, and Dr. Michael Halls, two plastic and reconstructive surgeons in San Diego, California. DOCS now consists of seven (7) highly specialized San Diego surgeons, each with their own specialty. Their office is located in San Diego, CA.

Q: How is DOCS funded?

A: The doctors themselves and the Board members pay out of pocket in the majority of cases, charitable donations are the second source, and local hospitals and surgical centers discount their hard costs as well. Over 95% of money in the organization is dedicated to patient care, a very high ratio among charities.

Q: How will my donation be spent?

A: Generally, donations are spent on hard costs at hospitals and surgical centers, a price below which they cannot provide due to tax or other reasons. Anesthesia and continuing care costs are the other large expenses covered by donations. A small fraction, which is less than 5% of the operating expense, is spent on public relations and fundraising itself.

IMPORTANT: The treating DOCS doctors are NEVER compensated by the charity, all of their effort, time, and skill is a charitable donation in itself.

Q: Can I choose what PROGRAM or PATIENT I'd like my donation to go to?

A: While DOCS doesn't organize its efforts into "programs," DOCS provides ongoing care to a number of patients. The funds provided by donation are distributed on an as-needed basis. For donations of less than $600, we apply the amount to the general fund for those patients' care. For larger donations we can arrange a special application of funds to particular uses. We can take your donation information now and have the Executive Director contact you to be sure your wishes are considered.

Q: Can I choose what COUNTRY I'd like my donation to go to?

A: DOCS doesn't typically operate outside the United States, conducting most of its surgery in Southern California local region. For donations of less than $600, we apply the amount to the general fund for local patient care. For larger donations we can arrange a special application of funds to particular uses. We can take your donation information now and have the Executive Director contact you to be sure your wishes are considered.

Q: I am an individual seeking financial/medical assistance? Whom would I contact to see if I am eligible?

A: Please visit the website at http://www.docscharity.com and use the contact form to reach the organization.