Innovating surgical technology for children in need, and equipping the surgeons that care for them

Dr. Alberto Peña and Dr. Andrea Bischoff tried the FK Stimulator

"Dr. Frykman who is a pediatric surgeon here in the USA  has developed a very nice electrostimulator that we tested, and we loved it."  
-- Dr. Alberto Peña and Dr. Andrea Bischoff  - International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care at Children's Hospital Colorado


Global Pediatric STEP’s mission is to provide quality affordable surgical equipment and educational tools to pediatric surgeons around the world.
As a non-profit foundation, GP STEP is focused on helping children with difficult surgical conditions, such as Anorectal Malformation, that require complex surgical procedures. Through technological innovation and education, GP STEP works to develop affordable surgical tools required for these surgeries and then also to train the local surgeons on how to use the tools.

The vision is global in sharing medical advances across all continents, cultures, and economic strata. The goal is to make an immediate impact by providing tools and educational resources corrective surgeries for afflicted children. We seek to equip the local surgeons to perform the surgeries on their own.


GPSTEP now offers surgical training materials. 
Click Here to Access Videos.  
GP STEP - Our history. Our mission.
Global Pediatric Surgical Technology & Education Project began with the urgency for a device to operate on babies that desperately needed it...
Helping ARM is a GP STEP project dedicated to helping children afflicted with Anorectal Malformation (ARM). The help is especially focused on children in areas with few economic resources, and equipping surgeons with surgical technology and training to perform ARM corrective surgeries.
GP STEP Fellows Program
The GP STEP Fellows Program provides an opportunity for students and young professionals to actively participate in and support GP STEP’s work. For a period of 3-6 months, Fellows are paired with a GP STEP Mentor and pursue individually tailored projects for research, innovation, and/or technology implementation. Culminating in a final capstone project, Fellows get unique hands-on experience and also contribute to GP STEP's global mission.
Future Innovations
GP STEP is committed to developing technology that better enables pediatric surgeons around the world, and has  formed an innovation team consisting of surgeons, medical professionals, and engineers pursuing new technologies for addressing complex surgical diseases. Our innovation team depends on outside suggestions for pediatric surgery needs, and seeks to openly discuss ideas that would better equip pediatric surgeons. GP STEP welcomes all ideas and suggestions for new technology. 

Please tell us more about your idea or pressing need for pediatric surgical technology by emailing:


Research & Development
GP STEP works to develop surgical tools that can be affordably manufactured and easily deployed to different areas of the world. Prioritizing research and testing of these tools within the community of pediatric surgery, GP STEP seeks to create technological solutions without the capitalizing constraints of the medical technology industry.
Tech Deployment
Once innovative surgical tools have been tested and accepted for use by the pediatric surgery community, GP STEP coordinates to put them in the hands of local surgeons in needy parts of the world. Deployment involves coordinating the funding and manufacturing of the technology, management of distribution, engagement with local medical organizations, and sustainability follow-up.
Education & Training
GP STEP develops education programs involving side-by-side training in new surgical tools and methods, instructional videos, manuals, and train-the-trainer courses for local surgeons. Beyond the surgeons, GP STEP works to educate broader concerned communities on the specific needs and resources available for addressing surgical diseases around the world.


GP STEP was founded by two California-based physicians, Dr. Philip Frykman, a pediatric surgeon, and Dr. Keith Kimble, a pediatric anesthesiologist. Together, Dr. Frykman and Dr. Kimble had been participating in medical missions to China for over 4 years. Taking state-of-the-art surgical equipment with them, they performed dozens of corrective surgeries on orphan children with Anorectal Malformations (ARM). 

The pressing need to do more for these children with meager resources inspired them to develop better ways to leverage technology to equip the local surgeons caring for them. Teaming up with a technology innovator, they developed an inexpensive and simple surgical tool that could perform the crucial functions of the surgery. For a fraction of the cost of their accustomed equipment, the new surgical tool could be made available to the local surgeons in China. Tens of thousands of afflicted children in those communities, who would have either died or lived under severe physical constraints, could now have a chance of a robust and active life.

The team established GP STEP as a non-profit organization with the mission to make this new surgical device affordably available to surgeons around the globe. With overwhelming demand for the new technology, GP STEP's vision quickly expanded to incubating any technology innovations that could help address pediatric surgical diseases and the specific requests of surgical community. GP STEP now facilitates the resources, partnerships, and organizational structure for researching, developing, and deploying new technology for pediatric surgeons in underserved parts of the world.


Philip Frykman, MD, PhD, MBA
Dr. Philip K. Frykman is Associate Director of Pediatric Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Frykman specializes in minimally invasive surgery for infants and children, and specifically focuses on caring for children with congenital colorectal conditions.

A leader in the field of pediatric surgery, Dr. Frykman’s medical research has improved the diagnosis/surgical treatment for children with Hirschsprung disease and ARMs. Dr. Frykman was one of the principal inventors of the Frykman-Kimble Muscle Stimulator. Having participated in multiple surgical missions to China with Mending Kids, Dr. Frykman has a breadth of experience working in underserved corners of the world and a passion for creating sustainable treatment of complex pediatric surgical conditions.
Keith Kimble, MD
Dr. Keith Kimble is a specialist in administering anesthesia to infants and children.

With more than 30 years in pediatric anesthesiology, Dr. Kimble has a long trajectory providing critical care for uncommon pediatric diseases, and has extensive knowledge of the developments in surgical technology. Dr. Kimble was one of the principal inventors of the Frykman-Kimble Muscle Stimulator. Keenly interested in the developing world, Dr. Kimble has been traveling and participating in international medical missions for over 20 years. Dr. Kimble has a wealth of experience conducting medical procedures in places with dire need and few resources.
Joshua Train, PhD
Dr. Joshua Train, is an electrical engineer, specializing in network architectures and satellite systems in the aerospace defense sector.  

With extensive experience in project management, and technology innovation, Dr. Train is heavily involved in GP STEP’s technology development and deployment, including the FK Stimulator. Born and raised in South America, Dr. Train brings substantial knowledge on how to work and operate in underserved parts of the world.  
David Sheer
Mr. Sheer is a former corporate executive with over 40 years experience in business development, administration, and international markets. 

Prior to retiring, Mr. Sheer served as CEO for a major U.S. paper recycling company. He also served at a multi-national corporation that managed trade and growth in global markets. During his career he has also worked as a consultant for business finance and organization, specializing in small to mid-size enterprise. His experience in international business, organizational strategy, financial planning and corporate leadership, is a steady hand in driving GP STEP's development and growth. 


GP STEP operates with the help of Friends, Partners, and Supporters. Striving to be a global community of individuals working together to address pressing pediatric surgical need, GP STEP depends on the gifts of those involved. Whether it be time, work, financial donation, or just spreading the word of GP STEP’s mission, we welcome all involvement.

Current project needs:

Donate a Frykman Kimble Muscle StimulatorAt a cost of $800 per FK Stimulator, GP STEP is able to donate a device to a pediatric surgeon in an underserved area and equip a physician to perform life changing, correctives surgeries on her or his local patients. Please consider a tax-deductible, financial gift to help GP STEP cover the cost of a FK Stimulator donated to a local surgeon. 


Research & Development
GP STEP has developed the innovative Frykman-Kimble Muscle Stimulator (FK Stimulator) as an affordable surgical device that can be easily deployed to pediatric surgeons for conducting ARM correction surgeries. For a small fraction of the cost of other surgical devices, the FK Stimulator equips any pediatric surgeon trained in its use, to perform ARM correction surgeries that previously required expensive technology.
GPSTEP Tech Deployments
Tech Deployment
Through partnerships with international and local medical organizations, GP STEP conducts medical missions to put FK Stimulators in the hands of local pediatric surgeons in underserved parts of the world. Deployment involves coordinating the funding and manufacturing of the technology, management of distribution, engagement with local medical organizations, and sustainability follow-up.
Education & Training
GP STEP develops education programs for ARM correction surgery, involving side-by-side training in new surgical tools and methods, instructional videos, manuals, and train-the-trainer courses for local surgeons. Beyond the surgeons, GP STEP works to educate broader concerned communities on the specific needs and resources available for addressing surgical diseases around the world.


FK Probe & Muscle Stimulator
About Anorectal Malformation (ARM)
ARM Project Budget 
The Frykman-Kimble Muscle Stimulator is an essential tool for pediatric surgeons in performing corrective operations for anorectal malformation (ARM). Its principal use is to locate and define muscle groups during ARM corrective surgery. Shaped as a probe, the “FK” Stimulator conducts stimulating electrical pulses to identify delicate muscle groups and so enables the surgeon to accurately place the rectal segment within the sphincter complex, giving the child the best chance of achieving future bowel continence. The FK Stimulator performs a crucial function for the ARM corrective surgery, without which a surgeon cannot perform the optimal operation for the young patient.

Innovation - The FK Stimulator’s key innovation is in providing an inexpensive improvement to the Peña Muscle Stimulator, a machine used for decades to perform ARM corrective surgery. The FK Stimulator repurposes a simpler nerve stimulator typically used by anesthesiologists, connected to an easy to use and easy to disinfect contact probe. The results of using the FK Stimulator are equivalent to using the Peña Muscle Stimulator, but at a tiny fraction of the cost, with exponentially greater ease to disinfect and quickly reuse, and much more convenient to transport.

Design Process - A true advance in technological design, the FK stimulator was developed by innovative minds in urgent need. Dr. Phil Frykman and Dr. Keith Kimble had been conducting a series of ARM corrective surgeries while on a medical mission in orphanages in China. The expensive and oversized muscle stimulator Dr. Frykman and Dr. Kimble had brought with them required a long time to disinfect and get ready for each successive surgery. Feeling the need to conduct as many operations as possible on a short medical mission, the doctors adapted some wiring to a nerve stimulator and discovered that it could also perform all the critical functions. Building on the fortuitous and innovative discovery, the doctors returned home to work on the initial prototype of the FK Stimulator.

Tested in multiples scenarios and surgeries, the FK Stimulator is a simple and inexpensively priced device that makes it much easier to equip pediatric surgeons world-wide, to perform ARM corrective surgeries. The FK Stimulator is a technological advance that can directly save the lives of afflicted children and keep local surgeons prepared to continue helping children with ARM.

Surgical Innovation Advisory Board

Prof. Maria Marcela Bailez
Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Hospital de Pediatría Garrahan
Buenos Aires, Argentina
President, International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG)
Dr. Marilyn West Butler
Professor of Pediatric Surgery
Oregon Health & Science University Dornbecher Children's Hospital
Portland, Oregon -- USA
Founder of Global Pediatric Surgery Network
Dr. Keith Georgeson
CEO, Providence Sacred Heart Children's Hospital
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital
Spokane, Washington -- USA
Past President of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA)
Founding Member and Past President, International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG)
Dr. Jean-Martin Laberge
Professor of Pediatric Surgery
Montreal Children's Hospital
Montreal, Canada
Past President of Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (CAPS)
Dr. Donald Meier
Clinical Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Emeritus
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
El Paso, Texas -- USA
Dr. Risto Rintala
Professor of Pediatric Surgery
Chief of Pediatric Surgery

Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
Prof. Paul KH Tam
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Chairman of Pediatric Surgery
Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China
Prof. Atsuyuki Yamataka
Professor and Head
Pediatric General and Urogenital Surgery
Juntendo University School of Medicine
Tokyo, Japan
Past President, International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG)
President, Asian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (AAPS)


GP STEP operates as a community of friends, partners, and supporters, all working together to innovatively solve limitations in the medical field and sustainably have a direct impact on children with surgical diseases.

Friends of GP STEP are the individuals giving of themselves to help grow the outreach and network of the organization, to build up its operational capacity, and to extend the organization’s helping hand to new fields and global regions.

of GP STEP are critical to our work as our teammates with complementary missions, helping us accomplish our mission.

Supporters of GP STEP come from all walks of life and support the organization in various way. They may donate time traveling as a surgeon on a medical mission, invest time researching the effect of new surgical devices, or simply donate a small cash gift every month. GP STEP’s community only operates through the dedication and commitment to the mission and vision of everyone involved.

To help and partner with GP STEP please contact us

To support and make a tax-deductible donation to GP STEP please click on "Donate" for easy credit card donations. We also accept credit card payments by phone and checks can be mailed to our address in Irvine, California.

GP STEP Partners



3972 Barranca Pkwy
Suite J293
Irvine, CA 92606 

Tel. +1 310.427.1453

For inquiries or to reach us, please email: