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Sacred Heart Press Release


Dr. Rovito to Receive World Surgical Foundation Award

A Lehigh Valley physician will be recognized for his long-term volunteer efforts in providing charitable surgical health care to poor and underserved patients around the world.

Peter F. Rovito, MD, a surgeon and attending physician at Allentown’s Sacred Heart Hospital, will be honored at the World Surgical Foundation’s (WSF) 20th Anniversary Gala on September 17,2017 at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg.

Dr. Rovito will receive WSF’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the foundation’s mission of performing surgeries for the indigent in developing countries.  Since 2008, Dr. Rovito has participated in 12 missions in the Philippines, Ethiopia, India and Honduras, operating on as many as 40 patients during each mission.  In November, he will travel to Calabar, Nigeria, to serve on his 13th mission.

Largely as a result of his mission work, Dr. Rovito was selected as the Lehigh Business Journal’s Physician of the Year in 2015.

“Participating in a surgical mission is one of the most gratifying experiences a physician can have,” said Dr. Rovito.  “I'm grateful to the World Surgical Foundation for providing opportunities for surgeons like myself to being our skills to people who really need them, in places where our efforts are genuinely appreciated.  Helping a patient is the best feeling in the world - but helping a patient when you know that if you don't no one else will, is that much more moving,” he said.

“When I got home from my first mission to Romblon in the Philippines, I remember telling my family that I would be doing this again, as often as possible,” Rovito said. “It's exhausting and rejuvenating all at the same time, and it's meant so much to me that I've brought surgical residents, my office manager, physician colleagues and my own son along on missions, so they could appreciate the experience, too.  I plan to go on many more missions with WSF, and I'm grateful to the Alvears (the founders of WSF) for all they do to provide health care in places where it's really needed,” he concluded.

Dr. Rovito, a graduate of the Temple University Medical School, is board certified by the American College of Surgeons.  He has served as a clinical professor of surgery at the Penn State College of Medicine at Hershey, and has published and presented on numerous types and aspects of surgical procedures.

“Peter Rovito is a vital member of our mission team,” said Domingo T. Alvear, MD, who with his wife Dr. Veneranda Alvear established the World Surgical Foundation in 1997.  “Dr. Rovito’s skill, dedication and endurance have benefited countless individuals, enhancing their lives through the numerous successful surgeries he has performed.”

The World Surgical Foundation has conducted 37 surgical missions, performing more than 6,500 surgical procedures on patients in the Philippines, Honduras, India, Thailand, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, and soon, Nigeria.  Additionally, and importantly, WSF focuses on training local medical providers at each location in new techniques and complex surgeries so that the benefits of the missions can be sustained.

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