Dr. Vance Moss, healing patients from Afghanistan to New York
Hailing from Philadelphia—the “City of Brotherly Love”—surgeon and Penn State alumnus Vance Moss ’94, along with his twin, Vince Moss ‘ 94, embodies the motto of his home city.
Former altar boys and boy scouts, the Moss brothers received chemistry sets and test tubes instead of Legos and other toys as gifts growing up. To no surprise, they went on to receive degrees from the Penn State University Eberly College of Science. After graduating from Penn State, the brothers felt they had to use their degrees for the greater good. They pitched a mission to the State Department and the Department of Defense to travel to Afghanistan in 2006 and offer free medical care to civilians. Unfortunately, their mission was denied, due to the potential dangers the pair would encounter overseas. But the heroic pair would not take “no” for an answer. The Moss brothers went to Afghanistan with their own security team, medical supplies and chartered airplane.
They traveled all over the country to places which Americans had never been, gaining the trust of Afghan civilians along the way. They performed dangerous operations in caves and mud shacks – sometimes with no electricity or running water. They returned again in 2007 to focus on offering extensive medical treatment to women and children, often the last people to receive care in typically patriarchal-focused societies.
The Moss brothers also have each served three war-time tours in the Middle East, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On their last deployment in Iraq in 2008, they offered medical treatment to Iraqi civilians in their spare time.
Today, the devoted humanitarians are practicing doctors in New York and New Jersey. They were honored at the 16th Annual Trumpet Awards, which were created "to herald the accomplishments of Black Americans who have succeeded against immense odds.” Men’s Health dubbed the Moss Brothers as “The Healers” in 2008, and included the pair on its list of “20 Heroes of Health and Fitness” alongside Barack Obama, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.
The Moss brothers continue to serve and help people through their medical practices, speaking engagements and ongoing humanitarian work. They hope to inspire and serve as role models to youth around the world, and continue to donate all proceeds from their speaking engagements to their scholarship fund, The Vince and Vance Moss Penn State University Trustee Scholarship.