Local surgeon lives his dream to care for the community he calls home
After dedicating twenty plus years of his life to education and medical training, Vipul R. Dev, M.D. made two commitments to himself; he would give back financially to the community he and his family call home, and he would give back through service to those in need. Dr. Dev has accomplished both, and Kern County is a better community for it.
While much of his training has been at some of the most prestigious of universities across the U.S. and beyond, Dr. Dev spent six years in surgical internship and residency at Kern Medical Center as a general surgeon and a trauma surgeon. “The whole time I was training at KMC, the people were so awesome, the patients were awesome,” Dr. Dev says. “The KMC patient population was great. There is a big population in our community that has no insurance, so I knew that this was where I wanted to give back.”
Giving back through service
Dr. Dev now specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and is the Medical Director of the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. In building a successful private practice, Dr. Dev is able to donate approximately $250,000 in free service to those in need each year. “I’ve found that philanthropy via service is infectious,” Dev explains. “When I can do something at no cost to someone in need, the anesthesiologist wants to get involved, then the hospital wants to get involved, and now we’re getting the whole unit together in our community, and that’s what makes me happy. It’s pretty amazing—that’s what is special about our community.”
A fund for students studying medicine
But Dr. Dev’s passion for helping people has not stopped with the free services he donates to those in need. His long-term dream is to help bright, well-rounded students gain entry to four-year universities when that goal is unattainable due to family circumstances. Dev considered creating a private foundation to help students like these, but after reviewing the time, expense and the ongoing administrative requirements that would be involved, his attorney, Michael Abril, encouraged him to consider setting up a fund through the Kern Community Foundation. “After reviewing the information about Kern Community Foundation, it took me less than a day to decide this was right, this is what I wanted to do.” He established the Dev Charitable Fund to support underprivileged families and students, and is planning a scholarship fund as well.
“My goal is to open the door with my colleagues and start talking about this. I believe if anyone should be giving back, it should be physicians. Why shouldn’t it start with the medical community? By giving, it allows your business to grow.”
Kern Community Foundation is home for a growing number of Kern County philanthropists. Established over a decade ago, the Foundation supports community members to practice smarter giving to achieve better results from their philanthropy.
“We as physicians can’t forget how we got through residency; whether it was here or some other community,” explains Dr. Dev. “It was this community that allowed me and a lot of other local physicians to train and learn how to operate. My goal is to get these guys to realize what a difference we can make in the community, and we should all be able to give back each year. What a difference that would make.”
Dr. Dev encourages others to explore the many possibilities offered by the Kern Community Foundation. The organization holds individual, family and corporate funds valued at approximately $14 million, and offers a variety of giving options including scholarships and nonprofit endowments. The Foundation also accepts a wide range of assets, such as: cash, appreciated securities, real estate, life insurance, IRAs, partnership interests and bequests.
Are you inspired by Dr. Dev? Contact us for help in finding your own way to give back.