Dr. Mojtaba Gashti, the Baltimore surgeon who brought a Haitian boy to the U.S. to remove an enormous tumor that might have otherwise killed him, has been named 2009 Public Citizen of the Year by the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Gashti, chief of vascular surgery at Union Memorial Hospital, was honored by the group for his humanitarian missions to Haiti, an annual medical pilgrimage he has made to the impoverished country since 1994.

In February, Gashti brought 13-year-old Osly St. Preux and his mother to Baltimore, put them up at his Ellicott City home and arranged for the boy's surgeries.

Most of the care was at Gashti's expense and made possible by the donation of time and skills by many doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Osly's story was featured in The Baltimore Sun in February.


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