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Editorial: Charity Begins At Home

During a recent Toys for Tots appearance, Garden City’s Long Island Plastic Surgical Group was honored by Marines and Legislator Norma Gonsalves for the organization’s missions of mercy to Third World countries to provide free medical care to children in need of surgical assistance. Dr. Rachel Ruotolo, who has visited Vietnam to operate on children with cleft lip and palate issues, received a citation for the work done by her and her partners. But one fact that she pointed out was that while most awareness having to do with palate issues normally has to do with patients in underdeveloped countries, it’s still a very real issue in the United States. Ruotolo estimates that she sees roughly 60 patients a year, predominantly from Long Island, who are in need of corrective surgery. Hers was a subtle reminder that while there is a huge need for these humanitarian excursions, oftentimes charity begins at home.

- Dave Gil de Rubio