The Paul Chester Children's Hope Foundation (PCCHF) is a registered 501c3 charity that provides medical assistance to children and families in developing countries, giving them a chance to live productive lives through well-conceived medical interventions. We perform reconstructive surgery (i.e. club foot and cleft palate repair, burn scar revision, ear tubes, eye surgery, etc.) and work to arrest preventable, curable diseases (e.g. trachoma, glaucoma).
The Foundation provides highly specialized medical assistance to individuals and families in developing countries where such services are unavailable due to logistics or economic circumstances. The Foundation harnesses the expertise of medical professionals and local agencies to identify opportunities for maximum social impact, and then funds and completes the medical or surgical interventions deemed most viable.
The PCCHF core base is made up of volunteers - both medical and administrative, which vary from 50-200 in any given year. On the organizational side, the small group is made up of 5-7 dedicated individuals who meet regularly to discuss, plan and pilot missions. Our medical volunteers coordinate, and execute the missions with the assistance of logistics volunteers and in-country counterparts who have requested our assistance.
A typical mission takes place over ten days with a team of medical professionals and organizers in collaboration with officials from the host country. The number of surgeries performed is directly linked to funding, number of volunteers and the capacity of the local hospital.
For example, a 2003 mission to Ecuador resulted in 110 successful surgeries, with a team of 20 foreign medical volunteers. Safe passage for supplies and staff was provided by the Consul General and the First Lady of Ecuador. The medical procedures provided largely addressed disfiguring conditions that have a tremendously negative impact on the livelihood of the afflicted individual.
my big brother’s legacy. Paul was a gentile spirit; he was kind, thoughtful, and very protective of me. He gave of himself one hundred percent, and the family of doctors, nurses, students, and donors at PCCHF has done the same.
I truly believe that every life has an impact.
At Paul’s wake, over 2,000 people lined up around several blocks to pay respects. On PCCHF missions I see in person how one hour of surgery, one week of seeing patients, and even one small toy given to a child can make their lives just a little bit better. And what are we here for if not that?
Oksana Pidhoreckyj - Executive Director
Oksana Pidhoreckyj is a fashion expert and has worked in all realms of media, from broadcasting & live events, to print design & photography, and has even appeared in several commercials. After being introduced to PCCHF in 2005, Oksana’s first trip was on a medical mission to Quito, Ecuador. With a passion for creating visuals of those in need in order to create awareness, she joined PCCHF on a mission to Kenya in 2007 to document the indigent tribal lifestyle of the local community of Laikipia. Not only is it her versatility that plays such a key role when the PCCHF team ventures into new terrain that makes her such a valuable member of our team, but it is also her cheerful & hospitable nature that helps everyone involved feel like part of the family.
Patrick Heaphy - President
An entrepreneur in the marketing & advertising industry and co-founder of WhoDIK.com, Patrick Heaphy brings that expertise to further the awareness of PCCHF’s humanitarian efforts. His involvement with PCCHF began while filming the foundation’s first mission to Quito, Ecuador in 2005. Witnessing the incredible impact that the work of the volunteer nurses and doctors had on the lives of children and their families, he felt a shared responsibility to see their work continue. Today, he is active in the day-to-day operations of PCCHF and continues to be vital part of sharing the experiences and accomplishments of the foundation with supporters around the globe through multimedia. A life long New Yorker, Patrick now resides in West Nyack with his wife and two daughters.
The Foundation was co-founded by Dr. Bill Chester and Roxolana Kuzmak in 2004 to honor the memory of Paul Chester, whose tragic death at age 16 cut short a life determined to help those less fortunate. Paul's last days were spent in preparation to accompany his father, Dr. Bill Chester, on a medical mission. The Paul Chester Children's Hope Foundation was established to honor the spirit and passion of this remarkable young man, and to sustain the vital work that Paul had hoped to accomplish in his life.
During its founding stage, The Paul Chester Children's Hope Foundation was sponsored by the Pan American Medical Society (PAMS). PAMS was established over 70 years ago as a scientific, humanitarian, and educational institution in Washington, DC, has recently begun an active program of overseas medical missions serving the countries of South and Central America. Missions to South and Central America will continue to be run as a joint effort between the two organizations. Dr. Bill Chester is the President-elect for 2005 of PAMS.