Who We Are

“Operation Walk Denver is the dream of a group of healthcare providers committed to providing free surgical care for those with debilitating arthritis in developing countries. Our missions have provided us with great personal satisfaction and the ability to give back to those in need.”
Dr. Douglas A. Dennis, Executive Director

The Operation Walk Denver team can consist of up to 45 healthcare volunteers from the Denver area who are united in their passion for helping people who are in desperate need of orthopedic care, both in our community and abroad. The mission trip volunteers include surgeons, physicians, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, medical technicians, and nurses. The complex operation is organized and managed by a leadership team made up of highly skilled medical professionals. This core group is actively involved in all aspects of each mission including logistics, medical team coordination, patient selection, surgical procedures, rehabilitation and the education of physicians in the host country.

Together, the Operation Walk Denver team brings wide-ranging knowledge and experience to help impoverished, disabled patients walk again. Team members also allow orthopedic colleagues from other cities to participate on trips, working side-by-side so they gain the experience necessary to perform healing missions of their own.



“The real essence of Operation Walk can not be conveyed on paper. It is a personal mission that is embedded in the hearts and souls of each team member. Having the opportunity to use the gifts and/or talents that God has given us to help another person is the ultimate sign of love and loyalty towards Him.”
James Boyle, Medical Coordinator

Operation Walk is a not-for-profit volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatments for patients in developing countries and in the United States. These patients suffer from debilitating bone and joint conditions, such as arthritis, and do not have access to medical care. Operation Walk also educates local orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and other health care professionals on the most advanced treatment of hip and knee joint diseases. Founded in 1994, Operation Walk teams have operated on hundreds of patients in Russia, Cuba, Nepal, China, the Philippines, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States.



Operation Walk was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1994 by world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Lawrence D. Dorr. During a teaching trip to Russia, Dr. Dorr realized that one of the best ways to teach physicians was to actually demonstrate surgeries exactly as they are performed at advanced medical facilities in the United States. Dr. Dorr then gathered a volunteer team of surgeons, internal medicine doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and physical therapists and conducted the first Operation Walk trip to Havana, Cuba.

Operation Walk Denver was started in 2003 after Dr. Douglas A. Dennis, also an internationally known orthopedic surgeon, traveled to Managua, Nicaragua with Dr. Dorr as part of his surgical team and was inspired to create an Operation Walk branch in Denver.

Initially Dr. Douglas Dennis and key Denver medical team members joined core teams from Los Angeles and Indianapolis in order to gain the experience that ultimately launched Operation Walk Denver’s first solo trip to Nicaragua in 2004. Since then, Operation Walk Denver teams of highly-trained healthcare professionals have traveled twice annually to countries such as Panama and Dominican Republic and have successfully helped hundreds of people regain the joy of walking.

Operation Walk Denver relies on the generosity of donors to fund trips each year. Without these donors, it would not be possible to do this amazing work and fulfill the vision of Dr. Dennis to continue changing people’s lives in developing countries.