Mission:BRAIN conducted our first mission in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico at the original Fray Antonio Alcalde Hospital Civil, founded in the late 1700s. The neurosurgery mission was organized by Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and Michael Lawton, and was attended by April Sabangan and Will Aarsheim. The local sponsor of the trip was Dr. Rodrigo Ramos-Zuñiga, Director of Neurosciences for the University of Guadalajara and the School of Medicine there.  The team operated on three patients, and the surgeries included an “awake craniotomy,” which enabled precise removal of a brain tumor with the patient awake and able to respond to requests and questions.

To date, we have conducted missions at Philippine General Hospital in Manila, sponsored by Dr. Gerardo (“Gap”) Legaspi,  at both Civil Hospitals of Guadalajara, Mexico and at Hospital Juárez in Mexico City, where our local host is Dr. Arturo Ayala of the Department of Neurological Surgery. We have also conducted an exploratory trip to Haiti to evaluate the future role for Mission:BRAIN there.


Mission:BRAIN performs surgeries for people who lack the  financial  resources  for treatment, but our role is much larger. By performing surgical procedures not typically attempted at local hospitals due to limited resources, world-renowned surgeons perform procedures that many resident physicians have heard of but have rarely seen. Our surgeons show that even complex procedures can be successfully performed with the limited resources available in these hospitals.

In return, Mission:BRAIN surgeons learn from the local surgeons about what can be accomplished without the resources generally considered an absolute necessity in the U.S.  Both teams see new techniques and treatments.  Such lessons learned during one mission are then utilized and shared with physicians during subsequent missions.


Our intermediate goal is to expand the number of sites where we operate each year and bring in additional teams of surgeons. Thanks to our generous donors, we have purchased four sets of neurosurgical instruments.  We will be able to handle four cases per day, with teams equipped with full sets of instruments.  In addition, we are exploring new sites each year.

Donate to Mission:BRAIN now. Help us build bridges with hospitals, physicians and patients around the world, as we work together to advance international neurosurgery.