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National Nonprofit Fresh Start Surgical Gifts Expands South – Transforming Lives of Children with New Partnership in Texas - Charities for Children, Organizations to Help Children

National Nonprofit Fresh Start Surgical Gifts Expands South – Transforming Lives of Children with New Partnership in Texas

SAN ANTONIO, TX – December 8, 2022— In Texas, 20% of children live in poverty and 13% of children do not have health insurance. To broaden their footprint across the US and serve an ever-growing need for medical care for children who are underserved, national nonprofit Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is expanding south to San Antonio, Texas, to continue to provide children and families with free, life-changing medical care.  

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children, and teens with physical and cosmetic deformities by providing reconstructive surgery at absolutely no cost to patients or their families. World-renowned surgeons donate their time and expertise pro bono to offer them the medical care they need, and essentially, a fresh start in life.  

As the second biggest state in the US, Texas has a high population of children that need life-changing cosmetic surgery or medical treatments; however, cosmetic surgery is not always covered by insurance. For this reason, Fresh Start began to expand to Texas with the help of University Health to serve a growing need. With more than 30 locations throughout San Antonio, University Health is a hub of innovation and discovery, helping to create tomorrow’s best practices today, as the region’s only academic health system. 

“University Health is thrilled to begin this new partnership with the Fresh Start program,” said Dr. Ian Mitchell, University Health’s Chief of Pediatric Surgery. “Many children in South Texas who need surgery are underinsured and families may delay important procedures because of the economic burden, despite having some coverage. The Fresh Start program will help University Health provide these children the care they need while protecting their bright futures.” 

University Health is an award-winning hospital and has received the 2022 Beacon Award for Excellence. This award recognizes this healthcare system that has a dedicated nursing staff that fulfills its mission of improving the good health of the community through high-quality compassionate patient care, innovation, education and discovery by having key core values that align with Fresh Start’s vision of helping children in every community, giving them a new opportunity at life.   

“Expanding south to Texas with the help of University Health will allow Fresh Start to fulfill our mission of helping as many children as possible,” says Shari Brasher, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts’ Chief Executive Officer. “We are thankful to everyone that has been part of this expansion process. Together, we all have one goal: give every child a fresh start.”  

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, along with University Health, is committed to addressing the needs of children through its Surgery Weekend Program, which provides comprehensive care to children across the United States and around the world. Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has a strong history of treating many difficult cases that require a team of doctors with exceptional skills to perform surgery or related treatments, or many surgeries that grow with the child. 

With this new partnership, Fresh Start is now accepting applications for upcoming Surgery Weekends.   The partners plan to schedule up to 5 children at Surgery Weekend June 24 and 25 in 2023 to receive transformative surgery and related medical care at no cost to each patient and their family. 

Since 1991, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has helped 8,818 children and has expanded into multiple regions throughout the US, headquartered in San Diego, with locations in Chicago and now San Antonio. The organization has also partnered with Sanford Health, a healthcare system that is the only children’s hospital in South Dakota with one goal of making screenings, healthcare and treatments available and accessible for as many children as possible. Fresh Start accepts applications on an ongoing basis. Children may be cared for in San Antonio, San Diego or Chicago. 

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts remains committed to helping improve the lives of children and families across the US, partnering with organizations that share their mission and vision. For more information on Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, visit For media inquiries, contact Bianca Kasawdish at 


Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens who have physical and cosmetic deformities through their gift of reconstructive surgery. Providing reconstructive, plastic and neurosurgeries for children across the US, Fresh Start’s commitment to children extends far beyond medical care. The organization ensures their children will leave feeling more empowered than before. Every child receives the highest quality medical care, and the families never see a bill for the services provided. 100% of contributions go directly to medical programs. To learn more, visit  


University Health is the only locally owned health system in San Antonio. For more than 100 years, University Health has been here to heal, to improve health, to train the next generation of medical professionals and to ensure the people of San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas have access to primary and advanced specialty care close to home. Specialized services include the region’s only Level I trauma center for both adults and children, and maternal and neonatal intensive care centers designated at the highest levels by the State of Texas. As the region’s only academic health system, University Health is a hub of innovation and discovery, committed to delivering patient-centered, culturally competent, high quality and compassionate care, based on a strong foundation of outcomes‐based research and innovative teaching. Learn more at