Surgeon with Longstanding TMC Ties Heads to Afghanistan

Dr. Michael Lavor said he was surprised to find out in January that he soon would be serving his country by going to another one.

“Honored,” was his immediate subsequent reaction after discovering he would be would be headed to Afghanistan, as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, to care for the troops there.

“It’s an experience that will be very rewarding for me,” said Dr. Lavor, who said many Tucsonans don’t realize there’s a significant naval presence in Tucson.

Dr. Lavor, who served in the Navy for 12 years as a Navy Corpsman, went back into the Reserve two years ago. “I just felt it was important to give something back,” he said, adding he enjoys the teaching and training opportunities that come with being in the rotation. As an officer in charge of the medical unit locally, he helps ensure that hundreds of local military members in the Navy and Marines stay healthy and ready for mobilization.

His first stop later this month will be to Camp Pendleton, then to Fort Dix for training. Although some of that training will help prepare him for the war wounds he can expect to see, from traumatic brain injuries to amputations, Dr. Lavor has had extensive experience in trauma surgery, serving in the past as a member of the trauma team at Tucson Medical Center, where he was also chairman of the Department of Surgery.

He will remain in Afghanistan September through April.

The mobilization, his first, comes after Dr. Lavor’s efforts to help get TMC’s new Wound Care Center up and running, which helps manage chronic and non-healing wounds caused by diabetes, circulatory problems and other conditions.

The advanced wound care center at the El Dorado facility, which opened March 5, houses two new hyperbaric chambers and five treatment rooms in the 4,700 square-foot facility.

Dr. Lavor applauded his family’s support, particularly his wife’s. “At our stage in life, we were looking more toward retirement than at a mobilization, so it’s a sacrifice for her and for the family.”

Commander Ross Orvik, the Commanding Officer at the Navy Operational Support Center in Tucson, said it’s an honor to see Dr. Lavor head out to assist the troops.

As a veteran and an experienced surgeon, Commander Orvik noted Dr. Lavor “brings a lifetime of experience from the battlefield and the operating room.  There will be soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and even Afghan civilians who will owe their lives to Mike and his shipmates.  We wish him the best for a safe deployment and a speedy return!”


  1. Carolyn Pope says:

    God Bless you Dr Lavor and keep you safe. Thank you so much for your service!!! Carolyn P (mom of a soldier)

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