Vision Initiative

For many years, LDS Charities has had a Vision Initiative around the world working with universities, hospitals, clinics and doctors to improve vision.  This is done by bringing in vision care physicians (mostly ophthalmologists)  to work with universities, clinics and hospitals to teaching doctors and residents cataract and retinal surgery techniques, providing teaching and surgical microscopes and other equipment to universities, clinics and hospitals, and also conducting lectures and workshops with local doctors and residents on various topics and techniques relating to vision care.  This is a huge problem in Indonesia because diabetes is so prevalent as are the corresponding and related vision problems.

Dr. Dean Hainsworth, a retina specialist from the University of Missouri came to Indonesia to meet with some of our partners.  The first stop was in Manado, where Dr. H. first toured the clinic of Dr Mondavi, a physician originally trained several years ago by Dr. Jarstad, one of the other LDS vision specialists.

Dr. Devi, Dr. H and Will, Dr. H’s son.  It was the first time Will had watched his father perform surgery.

We then went to the local government hospital so Dr. H could observe a retina surgery case.  As it turns out, they wanted him to perform the surgery, so he did.  The local docs had arranged for him to have permission from the government to perform surgery as a visiting physician.

Dr. H reviewing the case pre-surgery with Dr. Belli, the local retina doc.  (He was wearing my shirt and my pants because his luggage did not arrive!)
We got to suit up and go in the ER to observe – yes, my mask is crooked
Residents and physicians observing Dr. H.  First time ever to see a doctor stick a needle in someone’s eye….yikes….
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Performing surgery
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Dr. H doing his thing!
The OR was packed with people watching

After surgery, we had to head back to Jakarta for our mission conference, and Dr. H and his son will spend a few more days in Manado combining more lectures and surgeries at Sam Ratulangi University and also some sightseeing around the area.  World-class diving (scuba and snorkeling) is available here, so Dr. H and his son will do some of that before heading to Jogja on Saturday, where we will meet up with them.

The next stop was in Yogyakarta at the University of Gajah Mada.  LDSC has donated several pieces of equipment to assist the University in their vision screening outreach to the poor children of Central Java.  The visit included tours of a large private eye clinic (Dr. Yap Eye Clinic) that allows the residents to train there,  tours of the medical school, lectures to residents, assisting in surgery – the whole nine yards!

Lia (Dept Sec’t) and Dr. Firman (Prof) in front of the medical school
A lecture to the residents
If they answered a tough question, he threw them a Snickers bar.  They loved it!
Who knew that the retina could be so exciting?!
Packed lecture hall
Dr. Tatu, Dr. H,  and Dr. Melita.  They are Opth Residents and were our hosts for most of the visit. They were absolutely delightful!  (Tatu also has a PhD in Biochemistry!)


Dr. H gave University of Missouri ties to Dr. Bayu (he helped set up the visit) and Dr. Firman, who today performed (with the help of Dr. H) the first fixated retinal lens surgery in Indonesia!
He was the VVIP!
Signing their books
At a small government clinic, Dr. H explaining what they are seeing on the screen
At the government clinic, this is the state-of-the-art vision screening technology

Then it is off to Jakarta and a tour of JEC (Jakarta Eye Center).  They have 3 clinics in Jakarta and they are the premier private care eye facility in Indonesia.  There really isn’t anything LDSC does here – they make plenty of their own money – but the physicians are friends of  Dr. Jarstad, who established many of the relationships here in Indonesia.  This was a courtesy tour.

Dr. H, Dr. —-(Director of the Mentang Branch), Will, Dr. Sandi, Dr. Ria.
Dr. H. with Dr. TD, one of the leading ophthalmologists in Indonesia.  TS is also a great friend of Dr. Jarstad
On the JEC tour
Wrapping up his visit with a lecture to residents at RSMC, the government hospital


waiting room at the government eye clinic
Another waiting room
Our friend Dr. Titi getting her eyes examined by Dr. H
Dr. H examining patients at the clinic  
At our dinner the last night – best food on the planet!

It was really great to have the Hainsworth’s here and to watch him share his knowledge, skill and talent with the Indonesian Dr’s and residents in Manado, Jogja and Jakarta.   They were SO appreciative of his trip and willingness to come and spend time with them.  We are grateful to the Church for sponsoring good Doctors like him to help increase the knowledge and skill here in Indonesia (and around the world) to help improve eye care and vision.


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