International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam


To assist our Vietnamese healthcare colleagues in enhancing the pediatric surgical capacity and increasing access to surgical care for all children of Vietnam.      
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All children of Vietnam will have equal access to quality surgical care.



Charity, Fairness, Accountability.




Upcoming Missions

MARCH 2024


Work Dates:


Saturday, 11 March 2023 - Friday, 17 March 2024


IPSAC Vietnam is happy to announce our return visit to Children's Hospital No.1, City Children Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Cantho Children’s Hospital in the Mekong Delta and Danang Women and Children Hospital the week of March 11, 2024 to continue joint clinical and academic programs in patient management and operative skill exchanges for pediatric surgery and colorectal surgery, pediatric urology, pediatric ENT/plastic surgery, and pediatric neurosurgery and interventional radiology programs.


MARCH 2023


Work Dates:

Monday, 6 March 2023 - Friday, 10 March 2023


Saturday, 11 March 2023 - Friday, 17 March 2023


Our organization is happy to announce the resumption of IPSAC clinical and academic activities at the Children Hospital 1, City Children Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City; at CanTho Children

Hospital and at Danang Women and Children Hospital for the week of March 11, 2023.

This will occur at the heel of our 2nd return to deliver the Pediatric Acute Surgical Support PASS course at the

University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, the week of March 6-10, 2023.

Our focus at the Children Hospitals is to continue to strengthen surgical and patient management skills at the bedside, in the operating room and in teaching conferences for Pediatric Surgery colorectal diseases, Pediatric Urology, and Pediatric Neurosurgery. We will make our first need and collaborative assessment for Pediatric Plastic Surgery at the Children

Hospital 1.



Host and Location:

Danang Women and Children Hospital - Danang, Vietnam



Monday, 25 February 2019 - Friday, 01 March 2019



PASS Training Program Collaboration


IPSAC-Vietnam is part of a multi institutional team of faculty collaborators from the University of Illinois, Children’s Hospital of Illinois/OSF St. Francis Medical Center, and Pham Ngoc Thach (PNT) University of Medicine, Childrens Hospital #1 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to deliver the PASS: Pediatric Acute Surgical Support course. This project is made possible by the US Government: Vietnam Education Foundation Faculty Scholar Grant and is led by Dr. Ai-Xuan L. Holterman of IPSAC.

The course teaches fundamentals in trauma and surgical emergency assessment, stabilization, management and transport of acutely ill infants and children. Between September 2016 and February 2017, the PASS course will be presented with 3 sessions on-site at PNT University. The curriculum is delivered using blended-learning approaches with didactic lectures, case studies, skill sessions, simulation techniques, and student debriefings. The goal is to increase the competency of health care providers from District Hospitals in Vietnam where advanced pediatric surgical specialty care is lacking, and to promote the development of an infrastructure of training and patient care for pediatric surgical emergencies.


IPSAC 2020-2022


Our on-the-ground activities came to a halt with the worldwide 2019-2021 travel lockdown. We anticipate resuming our clinical exchanges at all active collaborative sites in March of 2023. 


Our communications with and off-line support of our Vietnamese colleagues however have been maintained with biweekly teleconferences for mentoring sessions of the young faculty and for clinical case-based management to strengthen clinical knowledge and decision-making.


The Pediatric Acute Surgical Support PASS course, last delivered in November 2019 in 2 sessions at the City Children Hospital, garnered 31 new learners.  PASS also recruited 4 of the previous PASS learners to train as future local PASS instructors to advance PASS locally.


The PASS activities yielded 2 recent publications in peer-reviewed journals 


PASS- A course in Pediatric Acute Surgical Support to build pediatric surgical emergencies capacity in developing countries. Dinh T, Khairallah T, Deshpande G, Nguyen C, Krzyzaniak S, Barton G, Bohrensen S, Vu MT, and Holterman A. J Pediatr Surg. 2022, March.




Academic pediatric surgery capacity building in Vietnam through PASS, a Pediatric Acute Surgical Support course. Nguyen BU, Holterman A, Holterman M, and Dinh LT. Frontiers in Surgery-Pediatric Surgery. 2022, April 20.


We anticipate resumption of the PASS course August 17-25 at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy- Simulation facility in Ho Chi Minh City. Many Vietnamese PASS faculty will be joining the international faculty for these sessions. 



Work dates:

Monday, 16 March 2020 - Friday, 20 March 2020


Work Sites:

1) Children's Hospital #1 - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

2) City Children's Hospital - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

3) Danang Women and Children's Hospital - Danang, Vietnam

4) Can Tho Children's Hospital - Can Tho, Vietnam


Recommended Arrival in Vietnam by:

Saturday, 14 March 2020


<Read more>

PASS Training Program

in the News:

Children’s Hospital of Illinois Physician Selected for U.S. Faculty Scholars Program in Vietnam


9/28/2016 OSF News


A Children’s Hospital of Illinois surgeon is one of six U.S. professors selected to teach at Vietnamese universities during the 2016-2017 academic year as part of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) U.S. Faculty Scholar Program.


Dr. Ai-Xuan Holterman, pediatric surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Illinois and Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, along with a team of Children’s Hospital clinician-educators, is collaborating with Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine faculty in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to pilot the Pediatric Acute Surgical Support (PASS) curriculum. (Dr. Girish Deshpande, Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak and clinical education nurse scholars Toufic Khairallah, APN and Ginger Barton, RN are the other members of the team).


The curriculum blends lectures with case analyses, procedural skills training and simulated clinical scenarios. The focus of Dr. Holterman’s project is preparing health care personnel from facilities with limited resources to deliver a standardized initial assessment and management approach to pediatric surgical emergencies. The goal is to enhance the surgical capacity of district hospitals and improve pediatric care in Vietnam.


This program is pertinent to the care of patients in central Illinois, with important applications to rural communities lacking in pediatric surgical expertise. This effort is conceived as an institutional action project submitted for Dr. Holterman’s 2016 Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) class. ELAM is a core program of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Established in 1995, it is a highly selective program dedicated to senior women faculty preparing for leadership roles at academic health science institutions.


The Vietnam Education Foundation is a U.S. government agency in its fourteenth year of operation. The mission of VEF is to strengthen U.S. - Vietnam bilateral relationship through educational exchanges in the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) fields. The VEF carries out its mission by providing opportunities for Vietnamese nationals to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies in these fields in the United States, and for American citizens to teach in the same fields of study in Vietnam. More information on VEF can be found at

Latest News

PAPS Fellow Announcement. This year, IPSAC is delighted to sponsor Dr. Thanh Dinh  . . .      <read more>

More About IPSAC

. . . a 501 (c) (3) philanthropic organization of volunteer clinicians and support personnel.    <read more>

IPSAC-VN is pleased to sponsor Children’s Surgery International, a 501c3 NGO based in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a primary focus is in providing clinical services in cleft lip and palate repair and pediatric urology to the underserved children. This sponsorship will extend one of IPSAC-VN mission to increase the children of Vietnam access to surgical care. The partnership is made possible through IPSAC-VN 2005-2007 Memorandum of Understanding with the Thanh Hoa Children’s Hospital at the province of Thanh Hoa where CSI will deliver biyearly service visits to Thanh Hoa with IPSAC support.


IPSAC New Program Development

For the children of Central Vietnam: The Pectus

Excavatum Service at the Da Nang Women and Children Hospital

Pectus excavatum is a condition in which a child’s sternum is depressed into the chest cavity. Severe pectus excavatum can interfere with the function of the heart and lungs,

potentially causing long term disability from decreased lung volume, limited exercise tolerance and ultimately heart failure. Surgical correction of pectus excavatum is a highly successful procedure that involves the placement of a stainless steel bar (Nuss

bar) under the sternum to correct the chest wall defect. Treatment for this condition is not currently available In Central Vietnam.

Da Nang Women and Children Hospital will develop a Pectus program with IPSAC help in educating and training a team to care for children with this deformity so they can live life to the fullest.

Your donations to IPSAC will support the acquisition of the necessary surgical

equipment and stainless steel Pectus bars.

501C CERTIFIED:  The organizations described in 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to under the general heading of "charitable organizations."