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A Good and Wise Investment

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians and Madera County Board of Supervisors donate $25,000 to Children’s plastic surgery


Dr. Peter Witt, medical director of plastic surgery at Children's Hospital Central California, along with Dr. Mimi Chao and Dr. Angela Chukchansi logoRodriguez, also plastic surgeons at Children's, recently received an invitation to an event none of them wanted to miss. The three surgeons were blessed to accept a gift of $25,000 given by Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino to the plastic surgery department at Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Chao and Dr. Rodriguez attended the occasion and expressed their gratitude for the kind contribution. However, Dr. Witt was traveling and could not be there. Eager to share his thoughts and thanks, he wrote a beautiful letter to be read in his absence. In it, he emphasized the common thread he and his colleagues share.

Dr. WittThe thing that “drives us” is our passion for children with congenital “differences”: those kids who, for no fault of their own, were born with complex deformities such as cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, hand problems – like being born without a thumb – and vascular anomalies, which are incredibly common in babies. Managing these problems from a physician standpoint requires a lot of training and commitment. We are all honored to be able to take care of these children, and we do so as if they were our own. You have helped us immeasurably to “press on” in this important endeavor.

Dr. Witt’s letter identified his fellow plastic surgeons as the “highest qualified and respected,” and also commended our nursing staff at Children's Hospital.

These nurses are committed to ensuring that affected babies feed and thrive properly, that outcomes for aesthetics, clear speech and hearing, straight teeth, and minimal psychosocial stigmatization are achieved consistently. Your gift to enable our vision will help maintain our nurses’ commitment to these children.

Obviously, I’m bragging about how great we are. In point of fact, we do have a great plastic surgery program, and I’m extremely proud of it. And this bravado is inserted only to reassure you and make you feel confident that you have made a good and wise investment, one that will reflect back positively upon you, and one that will make you proud.

Dr. Witt concluded his letter by detailing how he planned to invest the money Chukchansi so generously gave. He mentioned three specific areas:

  1. Develop a craniofacial database and imaging system
  2. Create a small outpatient surgery suite for minor operations
  3. Provide baby bottles with nipples designed to help babies with cleft palate survive and grow

Dr. Witt made a point of explaining the value of the new database he plans to develop with the donated funds.

Our specialty is incredibly visual, so having photographic documentation of outcomes is absolutely critical to prove to the world that what we are doing is valuable, and at the highest level of quality.

Children's Hospital Central California depends on the contributions of our generous supporters. Gifts like the $25,000 given by Chukchansi to our plastic surgery department help improve the quality of life for the children of the San Joaquin Valley. Dr. Witt speaks for all of us at Children’s Hospital with his letter of thanks, and we concur with the heartfelt way he closed it.

This is a most joyous occasion for me.