Photos: Banner employee completes 30th humanitarian mission
Physician assistant returns from trip to change lives in Zambia

GILBERT, Ariz. (Oct. 3, 2019) – 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.

About Banner MD Anderson

Banner MD Anderson, located on the Banner Gateway campus, delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through the partnership of Banner Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation and surgical management of the cancer patient; an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care; access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies; state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of all types of cancer; oncology expertise in supportive care services. For more information, visit