Saving Sight Across the Border // Mission Trip to Mexico Provides Care for 97 Patients

International // Oculofacial // Mar 13 2018

From March 1-4, 2018, Mark J. Lucarelli, MD, FACS, Richard K. Dortzbach Professor of Ophthalmic Facial Plastic Surgery, joined a team of volunteers serving on a medical mission trip to Cordoba, Mexico. The team included two cataract surgeons, two pediatric ophthalmologists, and two oculoplastic surgeons. Working closely with eight local health ministries within the Division of Infants and Families, the team provided surgical care for 97 patients from the Veracruz region of Mexico. Half of the patients lived within approximately 30 minutes of Cordoba. Twenty patients came from surrounding rural areas as far as 7-8 hours away.

58 patients were treated for pediatric ophthalmic and oculoplastic conditions such as strabismus, severely infected blocked tear ducts, and droopy eyelids. Another 39 patients underwent vision-restoring cataract surgery.

This medical mission was a wonderful experience for patients and providers alike. 27 volunteers from areas including Nashville, TN; Baton Rouge, LA; Alexandria, LA; Madison, WI; and the Centro Educativo Indigena in Cordoba, MX provided care to patients with ocular and periocular conditions. Many additional volunteers from CEI and the Cordoba local health ministry helped in support roles to make the mission trip possible.