Following the Footsteps of Operation Walk

Operation Walk Boston began in 2007 with a simple goal: to help patients with arthritis and joint disease in the Dominican Republic get back on their feet through knee and hip replacement surgeries.

Six years later, Operation Walk has performed surgeries on more than 200 patients—enabling them to walk, run and even dance in this island nation—thanks to the team of BWHers who volunteer to travel there each year to perform joint replacement surgeries.

“Our goal is to adapt what we do to the way patient care is practiced in the D.R., and translate our standards of care to its culture and way of practice,” said BWH’s Roya Ghazinouri, PT, DPT, MS, chief operating officer for Operation Walk. “This results in a sustainable improvement in the care of patients following joint replacement.”

Collaboration is one of the missions of the Operation Walk team, which provides free joint replacement and rehabilitation services to individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford or receive such care. The team also educates local health care providers in delivery of these surgical procedures and post-operative rehabilitation, as well as nurses in safe sterilization techniques and operating room flow management.

For each trip to the D.R., approximately 10,000 pounds of cargo are shipped, with most patient care supplies and various surgical and operating room devices donated by BWH. BWH Pharmacy also works closely with the team, sending a pharmacist each year and supplying all of the medication needed for the missions.

View an Operation Walk timeline below, or follow Operation Walk’s journey online at

This year’s Operation Walk team and patients gather for a group photo in Santo Domingo.