In late February 2019 Lions In Sight, in collaboration with Coy Hernandez and CEREDIL (Center for Recycling and Distribution of Lenses) held two-day eye clinics in both Creel and Guachochi located near Chihuahua, Mexico. Other groups assisting included members of the Texas Lions Eyeglass Center (TLEC) and instructors and students from the Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU) Schools of Optometry and Pharmacy. The team saw 710 patients in Creel and 1,180 in Guachochi. Several unique eye conditions were identified including Marfan's syndrome, keratoconus, and iris coloboma.
Glasses were provided by Mr. Hernandez and CEREDIL, which receives recycled glasses from TLEC.
Creel and Guachochi are located at approximately 7,700 feet in the Sierra Madre Mountains near Copper Canyon. The land is the home of the Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe, who were made famous by the book, “Born To Run,” and the subsequent movie. The Tarahumara are celebrated long distance runners and as a people have been able to maintain their culture and language.
Dr. Corina van de Pol led the team. She was assisted by Dr. John Demshar and Dr. Tania Mantua. Sonia Razo, lead optician, was supported by Maricela Robles and John Rohan. CEREDIL provided a team of opticians and technicians including Abril Armendariz, Abril Gonzalez, Beatriz Ramirez, Raul Ramirez, Enrique Nuñez, Elsita Nuñez, Javier Pizarro, Aranza Malagon, Jesus Diaz, Liliana Vargas, Maria Elena Guijarro, Socorrito, Luis Raul Ayala, Angeles Ayala, and the driver Miguel “Andretti” Cazares. Carolyn Keskitalo, TLEC CEO, and her son, Darryl Jones assisted with SPOT autorefractions and dispensing. First year students from the Marshall B. Ketchum School of Optometry were Young Min Chung, Jivan Hovespyan, Purvi Patel, Jenny Thai, Alicia Zhang, and Sandy Hanna.
The clinics included a team led by Dr. Genene Salman, a pharmacist, who performed blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood oxygen level testing. If a patient’s test results were not in the normal range, they were recommended for follow-up with a medical doctor. Dr. Salman was assisted by MBKU pharmacy students Gerges Marcos and Karen Peng.
The team was large, but worked together well and enjoyed having time together to see a bit of Copper Canyon.
Here is a local media article in Spanish about the clinic.