INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline Village resident Wend Schaefer was recently presented with the prestigious Rotary International “Service Above Self Award.”
As Rotary’s highest honor for individual Rotarians, this award recognizes Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary. Each year, only about 150 Rotarians out of 1.2 million members worldwide receive this award.
Schaefer, a retired orthopedic surgeon, has been a Rotarian since 1997. In 2000, he relocated from Sheboygan, Wisc., to Incline Village. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline, and served as its president in 2010-11. He has also served as Club Chair for International Service, and Rotary District 5190 International Service Chair from 2008 to 2010.
The award was presented at the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline’s weekly meeting on April 4 by Past Rotary International Vice President Jerry Hall and Rotary District 5190 Governor Woody Willbanks.
During the presentation, Hall recounted Schaefer’s leadership and service on various international humanitarian projects, including:
Obtaining matching grants to treat bone infections at St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya resulting in treatment of over 150 bone infections.
Purchase and delivery of skin grafting equipment in Kenya.
Purchase and delivery of an incubator for St. Mary’s Hospital in Kenya.
Arranged and delivered two shipping containers to Anga, Tanzania with medical equipment valued at over $200,000.
Initiated and implemented a training program at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, for orthopedic surgeons.
Arranged and delivered electric power tools, power saws and drills, valued at over $100,000, for use in knee replacement surgery in Uganda.
Facilitated the Rift Valley Eyecare Program in Kenya, including establishing remote outreach clinics, the purchase of an all-wheel-drive vehicle to transport patients to the clinics, and the purchase and delivery of operating microscopes, and other specialized equipment to assist in cataract surgery and related eyecare. The project serves 6,000 patients per year, and has provided cataract surgery for more than 200 patients per year.
Initiated and implemented a program to train nurses and physicians assistants in eye care technology in the Rift Valley in Kenya. To date, 20 trainees have graduated from this program, and are providing eye care in Kenya.
In addition to other project activities, Schaefer has made at least one trip per year in each of the last 13 years to perform orthopedic surgery at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Hall concluded his remarks by stating, “Wend Schaefer is clearly a Rotarian deserving of Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.”