Orthopaedic surgery faculty member named co-chair of Operation Smile Burns Program

Photo of Michael Johnson

As co-chair, Michael Johnson, M.D., will work to grow the Operation Smile Burns Program, which treats patients affected both functionally and psychologically by burn deformities.

Michael Johnson, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, was chosen as co-chair of the Operation Smile Burns Program. In this role, Johnson will work to grow the program and contribute time, effort and his expertise in plastic surgery and burn care to bring much-needed attention to individuals in developing, underserved areas of the world who suffer from correctable burn-related deformities.

Board certified in plastic surgery, Johnson is the plastic surgery residency program director at Wright State, where he also sees patients at Wright State Physicians in a large clinical practice. He earned his M.D. at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and completed a general surgery residency at Wright State and a plastic surgery residency at Southern Illinois University. He sees patients at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Johnson will work closely with co-chair Peter Rumbolo, M.D., associate director of the Burn Center at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Operation Smile Burns Mission team consists of approximately 30 credentialed medical professionals with burn experience, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric intensivists and nurses, along with physical and occupational therapists.

“As a community-based medical school, we encourage faculty members to practice medicine in ways that benefit underserved population,” said Richard Laughlin, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at Wright State. “Dr. Johnson is an exemplary member of our surgery team, and we are so pleased that burn patients in the developing world, through Operation Smile, will benefit from the skill and expertise Dr. Johnson developed here in Dayton.”

Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s smiles, forever changing their lives. Operation Smile provides reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, through a mobilized force of medical professionals in more than 60 countries. Since 1982, Operation Smile has performed more than 2 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries.

In 2010, Operation Smile launched the Burns Division to expand care to patients with severe burns. The Burns Division conducts medical missions exclusively to treat patients affected both functionally and psychologically by burn deformities. Operation Smile conducted an inaugural burn mission in Mumbai, India, in January 2010, where medical volunteers from six countries performed 69 procedures for 38 patients, giving them back their hope, mobility and new lives.

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