2015 HERO AWARD
2007 HEALTH AWARD
Founder, Asociación PIEL
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Ricardo Bennun is the founder of Asociación PIEL, a healthcare facility for children in a poor district of Buenos Aires. Passing up a prestigious position at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Ricardo Bennun opted to provide free surgery to correct cleft lips and palates to the poor children in his native Argentina.
In 1995, in the midst of the collapse of Argentina’s economy, Dr. Bennun created Asociación PIEL to provide hope for children born with devastating birth defects. He enlisted the help of the entire community to make this happen. “We bought an old house in one of the poorest locations outside Buenos Aires,” Dr. Bennun said. “We asked families to help us remodel it and fellow surgeons to provide free surgery for the first year of operation.” Since 1995, more than 2,000 patients suffering congenital malformations, tumors and other facial deformities have been treated, rehabilitated and socially reintegrated free of charge.
Recognition at the 2007 World of Children Awards Ceremony helped Dr. Bennun make the necessary connections to establish the first-ever Post Graduate Training Program in Craniofacial and Pediatric Reconstructive Surgery in Buenos Aires. This new program ensures that there is a new generation of doctors to care for these children when Dr. Bennun is no longer able to. With the funding received from World of Children for the 2015 Hero Award, Dr. Bennun will provide life-altering surgery to 500 more children and open an office of speech and audiology therapy.