Conemaugh Surgery Resident Physician to share his skills with less fortunate in Costa Rica

November 3, 2015

Dr. Daniel Urias

Dr. Kamran Shayesteh

Dr. Daniel Urias, a second year surgical resident at Conemaugh Memorial is looking forward to an upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica. “I’m excited and looking forward to operating in a foreign country while representing our hospital and residency,” says Dr. Urias. “I wanted to do a humanitarian trip like this and I know it will provide very valuable experience with the opportunity to continue when I start my own practice.”

Dr. Urias will join Dr. Kamran Shayesteh, Conemaugh Physician Group – Plastic Surgery, who has traveled on mission trips with the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation to Kenya, Columbia and the Dominican Republic.   

“The Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation is a wonderful non-profit charity that provides medical assistance to children and families in developing countries,” says Dr. Shayesteh, who has traveled with the organization on numerous, ten-day mission trips.

“We travel as a team with pediatricians, nurses, anesthesiologists, internal medicine physicians and surgeons to help with numerous conditions and needs including reconstructive surgery for cleft lip/palate, hand surgery, burn surgery and other medical procedures.”

This is the first time a surgical resident from Conemaugh Memorial will accompany the team on the mission trip, but something Dr. Shayesteh hopes will become a permanent part of the residency training. “I get so much more out of this trip than I put in,” says Dr. Shayesteh. “It really renews your spirit and I think it is a valuable opportunity for our resident physicians to participate. It truly reminds us of why we chose to get into medicine in the first place.”  

Dr. Urias looks forward to the opportunity to practice physical exams and to rely on hands on skills not always needed in today’s world of sophisticated technology. “At Conemaugh Memorial we are fortunate to have excellent technology to help us determine the best course of action for a patient,” says Dr. Urias. “On this mission trip, we will not have that technology available to us, so we will rely on what we have learned and really focus on the importance of the physical examination of the patient.”

Conemaugh Health System’s General Surgery Residency Program is a five-year, fully accredited program. General Surgery residents perform up to 1,000 operations in state-of-the-art surgical suites at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Conemaugh Health System offers General Surgery residencies through the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

About the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation 

The Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation is made up of volunteers – both medical and administrative. The foundation was created to honor the legacy of Paul Chester, a young man who was killed in an accident at the age of 16. Paul was very involved in mission trips with his father Dr. Bill Chester.

About Conemaugh Health System

Conemaugh Health System, a member of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania, serving over a half-million patients each year through the Conemaugh Physician Group and Medical Staff, a network of hospitals, specialty clinics and patient focused programs. Conemaugh’s 4,500+ employees and 350+ physicians are committed to excellence and repeatedly earn state and national recognition for exceptional clinical outcomes.  Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, the system’s flagship hospital, provides sophisticated technology, the highest levels of trauma and neonatal intensive care and a committed history of training tomorrow’s physician, nurses and allied health providers. For more information on Conemaugh, visit us at or follow us on Facebook.