CURE’s First Medical Director Given Lifetime Achievement Award
Reflecting on the hours-long surgery he’d just performed to restore mobility to the arms of a young girl named Jocy, CURE surgeon Dr. Tim Mead said, “Surgery is where I live, and it’s what I am. It’s part of the way I worship—just doing what God called me to do.”
His words are reflective not just of one surgery, but of his 25 years of service with CURE as a medical director, surgeon, trainer, and mentor. In that time, he’s impacted thousands of lives and launched programs that have trained and mentored hundreds of surgeons.
It’s why he’s the recipient of CURE International’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.
Responding to God’s Call
Dr. Tim was running a successful orthopedic practice in western Michigan in the late 1990s when he responded to the invitation from CURE International’s founders, Dr. Scott and Mrs. Sally Harrison, to become the first Medical Director for the organization’s flagship hospital, CURE Kenya. It meant moving his family—including four children—from Michigan to Kenya.
While Dr. Tim got to work leading CURE’s first hospital, his wife, Jana, found ways to come alongside and minister to hospital staff and patients. As a family, the Meads brought their desire to love Jesus into every area of their lives by serving His people—whether in the hospital, in the community, or in the mission school their children attended.
“God did not call me as a surgeon alone,” Tim said. “He called us to serve as a family.”
Training and Mentoring Africa’s Next Generation of Surgeons
In 1998, as Dr. Tim was assuming his role as Medical Director at CURE Kenya, the country lacked an orthopedic training program and had only a handful of orthopedic surgeons to serve a population of 30 million. It quickly became clear that the best way to keep pace with the number of children needing surgeries for conditions like clubfoot, bowed legs, and knock knees would be to invest in training the next generation—local surgeons who can perform surgeries and train and mentor others.
Dr. Tim began to identify and train these local surgeons—sending them to neighboring countries to become specialized in orthopedic surgery. Eventually, he was instrumental in establishing a formal residency and fellowship training program in orthopedic surgery at CURE Kenya. Now, the hospital is a regional hub for training and is accredited by the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA). To date, that program has graduated more than 100 surgeons. Each of those 100 surgeons can do roughly 500 surgeries a year—meaning Dr. Tim has multiplied his impact into 50,000 surgeries each year.
More than training surgeons, the program has given rise to orthopedic training centers across the country. The program trains surgeons who not only serve within CURE’s network of hospitals but also take their medical expertise to villages and communities across the continent.
Peter Kyalo, Chief Program Officer for CURE International, summed it up this way: “Looking at Kenya, you can almost say Dr. Mead is the father of orthopedics. We call him ‘muzee,’ which means old man—someone full of wisdom.”
Of the 24 orthopedic surgeons across CURE’s network, 40 percent have been trained by Dr. Tim or graduated from the program he helped pioneer.
“Training is key to my heart,” Dr. Tim said. “Training multiplies, and the impact on a country is much greater.”
Celebrating a Legacy of Impact
Dr. Mead served as Medical Director for CURE Kenya until 2011 before moving to the same role at Tebow CURE Hospital of the Philippines (CURE Philippines). He then served as Senior Orthopedic Consultant, mentoring and supporting physicians across CURE’s hospital network. Though Dr. Tim officially retired from CURE in 2018, he remains on CURE’s Medical Advisory Board.
Reflecting on Dr. Tim’s legacy of impactful service with CURE, President and CEO, Justin Narducci, said, “Because of Dr. Tim’s commitment to follow God and do very hard things for very special people, so many lives have been changed, families blessed, and communities transformed. We may never know the impact this side of heaven.”
We are grateful to God for how he uses faithful servants like Dr. Tim to accomplish His purposes in the lives of thousands of children with CURE.
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