Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a Carlsbad-based nonprofit organization, has partnered with the Plastic Surgery Foundation to expand its reach nationally through the creation of the Fresh Start Caring for Kids Foundation located in Chicago. The initial site expansion has taken place at the University of Chicago Medical Center: Comer Children’s Hospital.

During Surgery Weekends, Fresh Start provides free-of-cost reconstructive surgeries and other related healthcare services for children with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease. Fresh Start patients will receive services in Chicago during three Surgery Weekends throughout the year.

“The expansion plans for Fresh Start nationwide, starting with Chicago, will allow our organization to treat more children worldwide and across the United States,” said Shari Brasher, CEO and Executive Director of Fresh Start. “Our goal with this partnership is to increase our local patient base and have our new branches accept more international as well as national cases within their own communities.”

Fresh Start covers transportation costs to assist patients to and from their appointments as well as the cost of lodging and food during the Surgery Weekends.

Fresh Start’s expansion and overhead is covered by the Fresh Start Surgical Gifts Foundation which allows 100 percent of every donation to directly fund the medical program.

Since Fresh Start’s inception in 1991, over 6,500 children have received no-cost medical care valued at over $26,000,000 and Fresh Start’s volunteer base has grown to over 500.