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P.O. Box 220688
West Palm Beach, FL 33422-0688

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Biography of Dr. LaTorra

At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is service.

-- A quote from Dr. Albert J. LaTorra

Dr. Albert J. LaTorra, a Board Certified General Surgeon, founded Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, FL in 1975 and was both Chief of Surgery and a member of the hospital's Board of Governors. He also later founded Wellington Regional Medical Center, located in Wellington, FL. He practiced as a Board Certified General Surgeon for 30 years, running a team of four surgeons. Today Columbia Hospital has grown to become a 57 acre medical campus.

Now retired from active surgical practice, Dr. LaTorra continues his medical career as Director of Columbia Hospital's Wound Care Center - the first Wound Care Center in the United States. In addition, Dr. LaTorra is the Program Director of the General Surgery Five Year Training Program for a consortium of six hospitals, all located in Southeast Florida. As Program Director, Dr. LaTorra oversees the education of all new surgical residents as they train to become general surgeons.

A world traveler and humanitarian, Dr. LaTorra has gone to New Delhi, India to teach surgery at a 300 bed hospital and visited towns and villages in the Amazon jungle of South America. Additionally, over the last 25 years, he has made numerous medical missions to Haiti. Dr. LaTorra is the president of the LaTorra-Larsen Medical Foundation, Inc., which, through his vision, has supplied over five million dollars of medical equipment to Haiti.

On September 15, 2006, Dr. LaTorra received the Humanitarian Award from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at their annual meeting in New Orleans. That was only the sixth time - since the founding of the ACS - that this prestigious award has been presented.

Dr. LaTorra outside a dialysis unit in Haiti

Dr. LaTorra, far right, with hospital staff outside the dialysis unit of a Port-au-Prince, Haiti hospital

Feb. 2009