Ver Steeg caring for typhoon victims

A surgeon from Fort Dodge is in the Philippines, treating people who were injured in Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath.

Dr. Kyle Ver Steeg, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, left the United States on Sunday and will be in the Philippines until next week, according to his wife, Gretchen Ver Steeg.

”He and the team headed into the jungle to set up a MASH unit,” she said.

She said the medical team has its main base in the city of Tacloban.

The surgeon went to the storm-ravaged nation as a volunteer with a relief organization called Team Rubicon, which utilizes the skills of veterans in disaster relief missions.

Although he’s not a veteran, Kyle Ver Steeg was contacted by Team Rubicon on Nov. 13.

”They called that Wednesday morning to see if he could go because they definitely needed a plastic surgeon,” Gretchen Ver Steeg said. ”By Wednesday evening he was committed to going.”

He traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 15 to join other Team Rubicon volunteers heading to the Philippines.

”They had a few days worth of paperwork and briefings and I think some training also,” Gretchen Ver Steeg said.

She said her husband and other doctors left Los Angeles Sunday night on a plane chartered by Team Rubicon. She said the plane went to Taiwan and then Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Two other surgeons are filling in for Kyle Ver Steeg in Fort Dodge while he’s overseas.

The trip to the Philippines is not the first foreign relief mission for him. He went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. He spent a week in Haiti, treating patients at a temporary medical office set up in a Catholic school. However, his service in Haiti was not connected with Team Rubicon.