The Medical Mission

Dr. Alfredo V. Casino

Dr. Alfredo Casino, a general surgeon from the Philippines, personifies one of the primary purposes of the Medical Mission Hall of Fame: to inspire qualified public health personnel to follow in the footsteps of their distinguished predecessors. 

Dr. Casino was born in the Philippines in a remote village of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur of Northern Luzon, in August, 1933.  The family moved to Tagum, Davao in southern Mindanao in 1950.  "Poppy", as he is known by his buddies, graduated from high school in 1951, completed his pre-med training in 1953 at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines (coincidentally, an institution organized by a medical missionary group) and received his doctorate in medicine in 1958. 

Poppy came stateside in 1959.  He completed his internship and surgical residency at the Gundersen Clinic and the La Crosse Lutheran Hospital in Wisconsin, then moved to Ohio in 1965 for his general and pediatric surgery residency at St. Thomas Hospital and Children's Hospital in Akron. He then practiced general surgery and gastrointestinal endoscopy at Barberton Citizens Hospital in Barberton, Ohio and Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital in Wadsworth, Ohio from 1965 to 1996.   

After participating in an early medical mission trip, Dr. Casino became familiar with the need for facial reconstruction of young people in his home country.  He retrained in cleft lip and cleft palate reconstruction at Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio and until 2011, returned annually to the Philippines to provide these surgeries to needy children. His 2014 mission there was his 18th year of travel to the Philippines as a reconstructive surgeon. 

Dr. Casino founded the American Foundation to Aid the Poor (AFAP) in 1986 to provide free surgeries to the poor in the Philippines. The organization now supports missionaries and missionary groups providing surgical care to the poor in underserved countries and provides safe drinking water in many rural communities.  AFAP also trains and supports Philippine-based surgeons so they can do post-operative follow-up and perform multi-stage procedures that can't be done effectively on short-term mission trips.
Dr. Casino has also participated numerous times in missions with medical and surgical groups such as Medical Ministry International (MMI), Society of Philippine Surgeons in America (SPSA), Philippine American Medical Society of Western Pennsylvania (PAMS) and the Bicol Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

For his significant contributions to the medical well-being of his fellow men, the Medical Mission Hall of Fame honors Dr. Casino.