Heartbeat Vietnam Tumor Surgeries

Helping children and young adults with disabling tumors
Tumor Surgeries

VinaCapital Foundation Health Care Capacity Team has a new project to help children and young adults receive life saving surgery to remove tumors from their faces and bodies.

VinaCapital Foundation, CEO Robin Austin worked with Dr. McKay McKinnon, an acclaimed plastic surgeon in Chicago, Illinois to mount a training mission to Vietnam to teach local surgeons how to approach these difficult tumor surgeries.

During the two week training visit Dr. McKinnon operated and taught surgeons at Vinmec, Viet Duc Hospitals in Hanoi, and at Children’s II, Cho Ray and FV Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. 
Dr. McKinnon

VCF raised the funds for the trip to Vietnam and Dr. and Mrs. McKinnon donated their valuable time away from a busy practice for two weeks. The VCF capacity team set up broadcasts in all hospitals and invited local surgeons to observe the operations and learn from Dr. McKinnon. In addition, Viet Duc Hospital set up a clinic with over 40 patients with tumors. Dr. McKinnon taught the local surgeons during the clinic how to approach the tumors and how to assure they do not return.

In a press conference at FV Hospital at the end of his visit, Dr. McKinnon stated, “There is no question there are Vietnamese surgeons who can do these surgeries now. When you approach these really difficult cases, the first thing you need is courage, because the surgeries can be very difficult and take many hours. I think the surgeons we taught this week can now approach these cases now with the confidence to succeed.”

Robin Austin commented: “We have already seen the effects of this program, as surgeons at Children’s II and FV Hospitals have already admitted additional cases with similar lesions that they will now attack surgically on their own. It is really gratifying to see our work to build capacity bear results this quickly. Dr. McKinnon is committed to return and continue the effort and re-operate on many of the cases that require more than one surgery because of their complexity.”

VCF is happy to be helping these people who had been told there was no possibility that they could get surgery in Vietnam, and had lived their lives with this terrible burden.  The removal of the tumor in many cases will enable the patients to live a much better, and more productive life.

Tumor patient.Dang Thanh Binh

Impact 2013

  • 10 cases received operations and 1 case received a second operation.
  • 40 surgeons in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi worked with Dr. McKinnon or observed the surgeries through the surgical broadcasts.
  • Over 40 future cases were examined at Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi with step by step instructions on how to approach the surgeries to remove the tumors.


None of this wonderful work could happen without the generous donors with a heart for these children that made this tumor mission possible.

Corporate & NGO Donors

  • Detech Foundation in Hanoi
  • Vinmec Hospital in Hanoi
  • Movenpick Hotel in Hanoi
  • Vovicare in Sydney Australia
  • Children’s First in Melbourne Australia
  • FV Hospital in Phu My Hung, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Children’s Number II, in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Dai Phuoc Lotus Real Estate Development in Dong Nai

Individual Donors

  • Tran My Ha
  • Mike Gammel
  • Le Minh Phuc
  • Phan Thi Lan
  • Tran Van Cuong
  • Nguyen Thi Hanh Le
  • Tran Thanh Hai
  • Linh Phuong Bui

Dr. McKinnon and his wife donated two weeks of their time and talent to help these young people and teach doctors in Vietnam how to help other patients.  It is impossible to convey how we all feel about their dedication to helping others.