In 1982, Dr. & Mrs. Mel P. Simon organized the first medical mission to the Philippines which took place in the Province of Quezon in northern Luzon. Philippines. The group was first invited by Past President Ferdnand E. Marcos of the Philippines for a brief audience at the Malacanang Palace, the "Presidential White House". President Marcos extolled and realized the need of such mission initiatives and invited to do more for the poor people by those of us who are more fortunate.
Inspired by those words, Dr. and Mrs. Simon took the initiative to form a separate group of surgeons in the U.S. who have especial interest to the poor people in the Philippines in 1985 as purely surgical mission being a surgeon and a urologist. And as the Executive Secretary of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America and later as President, he convinced this surgical organization to support and fund this surgical humanitarian effort on a yearly basis. Thus the Surgical Mission to the Philippines was born and later became the Medical Mission to the Philippines. Then, Dr. Simon recommend to the Board of the SPSA to support another program, the "Rotating Fellowship" of selected young surgeons who are finishing their residency in the Philippines to come to the United States for Fellowship in various prestigious training centers in the United States for six months. Several young Philippine surgeons benefited immensely.
In 1998, Dr. Simon was elected as the first Filipino-American to become Governor of Rotary International District 6690, USA and changed the name of "Medical Mission to the Philippines" to "Operation We Care". Thus OWC was born out of the need to expand the role of this surgical initiative to include other medical specialties like the Internists, Cardiologists and Dental surgeons in addition to sponsoring the construction of various needed fresh drinking water deep wells, support of feeding and nutrition programs as well as donation of much needed items, equipments, textbooks, construction of new community infirmary, and above all, sponsoring medical and surgical symposiums to share and exchange medical knowledge to medical colleagues and students.