Tara Burns, a physician assistant at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, recently returned from her 30th humanitarian mission to a developing country. She helped provide life-changing medical treatment to people in Zambia through Surgicorps International, a nonprofit group that offers free surgical care to those in need.

Burns has been helping Surgicorps improve lives for 15 years, traveling twice each year to countries such as Guatemala, Vietnam and Zambia. She mainly assists with plastic surgery, including treatment for severe burns, cleft lips and palates. Each trip takes about two weeks, during which time Burns travels with a 50-pound backpack full of medical supplies.

She was joined on the Zambia trip by Melissa Shelby, a nurse practitioner at Banner MD Anderson who experienced her first mission.

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