Dr. Laurence Berkowitz of Aesthetx Joins Local Nonprofit Coastal Kids Home Care Board of Directors

You could say Dr. Laurence Berkowitz was born with a purpose. His father, born with a cleft lip, was denied surgery as an infant due to his own parents’ inability to pay the surgeon’s fee. Seared by this experience, the father soon saw promise in his own son, who, even as a young boy, showed the promising dexterity necessary for a career as a surgeon.

“What man can do with his hands, following the laws of nature,” became the mantra of the younger Berkowitz as he pursued a career as a plastic surgeon at the University of Michigan. There, he inaugurated the first combined general surgery/plastic surgery program under the direction of a great educator, the late William C. Grabb, and the most famous plastic surgeon of that time, the late Dr. Reed Dingman.

Dr. Berkowitz pursued plastic surgery with a passion and was especially engrossed in the challenging process of giving a child a chance at a normal life by repairing a cleft lip and palate. He traveled the world with the Interplast Organization, leading scores of trips to a dozen sites over two decades. He was then recruited to Stanford as a faculty member and was director of the Burn Unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Currently, Dr. Berkowitz is a founding partner of Aesthetx, a distinguished plastic surgery, dermatology, and aesthetic medicine practice located in Campbell, CA. But he didn’t stop there.

After having two grown biological children, Dr. Berkowitz decided to adopt five children who have each navigated their own physical and mental challenges–one of whom was originally denied by a prospective family due to his cleft lip and palate. Needless to say, Dr. Berkowitz is no stranger to children in need of extra medical attention.

Enter local Bay Area nonprofit Coastal Kids Home Care, California’s only pediatric home health agency, with a mission to “meet the unique needs of medically fragile children in the comfort of their home.” Founder and longtime pediatric nurse Margy Mayfield was driven by a similar mission: children deserve high-quality home health care, and this service could be offered with very low overhead.

“Coastal Kids Home Care fills the gap between what’s available and what’s not available to people,” Dr. Berkowitz explains. “Having lived through all that myself, I know what the expenses were and how little insurance can cover. I was extremely fortunate to have resources, but others are not so lucky. Coastal Kids’ mission really struck a chord with me.”

It was a perfect fit. Margy Mayfield made the official announcement: “Coastal Kids Home Care is thrilled to have Dr. Berkowitz join our Board of Directors. First, as the parent of children with unique medical and educational needs, he can understand how vital in-home care is for our pediatric patients and their families. And the fact that he is also a distinguished surgeon, with a strong background in helping children, offers another valuable perspective to our Board.”

With their first board meeting on the horizon, Dr. B looks forward to getting to know the other members while also providing a physician’s input. “I’m so impressed with Margy and her ability to recognize the need and make a successful impact. We both look for answers to what appears to be unsolvable. The prospect of working with Coastal Kids to help even one child get a little bit better handle on life is enormously fulfilling.”

Aesthetx 1:26 pm