Fresh Start Surgical Gifts of Carlsbad partners with Texas health system


University Health in San Antonio, Texas, has partnered with Carlsbad-based nonprofit Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. (Courtesy photo)

North Coast Current

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts of Carlsbad is expanding to San Antonio, Texas, in partnership with University Health, Fresh Start announced in December.

The nonprofit works to provide no-cost reconstructive surgery to disadvantaged children and teenagers with deformities. Surgeons donate their expertise.

University Health is an academic health system with 30 locations throughout San Antonio.

“Expanding south to Texas with the help of University Health will allow Fresh Start to fulfill our mission of helping as many children as possible,” Shari Brasher, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts’ chief executive officer, said in a news release. “We are thankful to everyone that has been part of this expansion process. Together, we all have one goal: give every child a fresh start.”

In the news release announcing the expansion, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts noted that 20% of children in Texas live in poverty, and 13% of children do not have health insurance. The kind of surgeries provided by Fresh Start are not always covered by insurance.

“University Health is thrilled to begin this new partnership with the Fresh Start program,” Dr. Ian Mitchell, University Health’s chief of pediatric surgery, said in the news release. “Many children in South Texas who need surgery are underinsured and families may delay important procedures because of the economic burden, despite having some coverage. The Fresh Start program will help University Health provide these children the care they need while protecting their bright futures.”

In addition to San Antonio, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has partnerships in Chicago.