The Butterfly Foundation was incorporated February 3, 2003, through the dedication of television personality Geraldine Moulton and spinal surgeon Dr. Andrew Moulton. They combined their resources to promote teaching diagnosis and treatment of complex spinal deformity.
The first mission from March 5 through the 9, 2003, was led by Dr. Andrew Moulton, Baron Lonner, Thomas Errico, and Jeffrey Spivak.
These American doctors and their surgical teams worked with the surgeons of Gautier Hospital in Santo Domingo and guest surgeons from other Latin American countries to perform challenging corrections of scoliosis. The treatments were a great success.
In the evenings after surgeries, conferences sponsored by the Society for Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery were held for the orthopedic and neurological communities of the Dominican Republic. The presentations and professional exchanges covered etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, surgical techniques and recent advances in spinal deformity and traumatic spinal deformity and traumatic spinal injury treatment.
Medtronic/Sofamor/Danek was a vital supporter of the initiation of the Foundation. They generously volunteered state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise, particularly with the assistance of Spinal Associates Sid Silverman, Seth Wax, and Robert Pearl. In addition, Paula Gisler was vital in laying the roots of the Foundation.
With tireless grace, Dr. William Jana (the Director of Health and Hospitals System for the Dominican Republic) paved the way through a complex political environment. Dr. Cruz Bournigal (Chairman of Orthopedic at Hospital Gautier) directed the care of the patients and integrated the US surgical team and his medical staff.
The mission served as the model for future missions that are now carried out at three-month intervals.