Global Ophthalmology Initiatives

Ophthalmologists from the Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) Department of Ophthalmology have taken part in medical missions, research collaborations and educational programs throughout the world. We have continued to demonstrate our commitment to the international community working most recently in Tanzania, Qatar, Mexico, Thailand, Austria, the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Vietnam, and Kenya. Below are some highlights from our work

Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences (Weill Bugando) at the Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in Mwanza, Tanzania:

Photo: Drs. Robison V. Paul Chan, Grace Sun, Geoffrey Tabin, and Donald J. D’Amico in front of the Weill Bugando Medical Center (BMC) Drs. Robison V. Paul Chan, Grace Sun, Geoffrey Tabin, and Donald J. D’Amico in front of the Weill Bugando Medical Center (BMC).

BMC and Weill Bugando are located along the shores of Lake Victoria in Mwanza, the second most populated city of Tanzania. It serves nearly one-third of Tanzania’s 40 million people. The mission of collaboration between Weill Cornell Medical College and Weill Bugando is to strengthen eye care, medical education and training to expand and improve Tanzania’s health care force. Currently, Tanzania has 1 physician per 50,000 patients-- among the lowest ratio in the world. Bugando Medical Centre has one ophthalmologist.

In November 2008, Dr. R.V. Paul Chan and Dr. Grace Sun) were the first team of WMC ophthalmologists to visit Weill Bugando. Since then, a number of faculty and residents have spent time in Tanzania, giving lectures in basic ophthalmology coupled with practical clinical sessions to teach fundamental exam skills to evaluate ocular disease.

The Salzburg Medical Seminars in Salzburg, Austria:

Since 1993, the Salzburg Medical Seminars have been connecting physicians from leading American hospitals with physicians practicing in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the former Soviet Union and other countries in transition. Administered and funded by the American Austrian Foundation, the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research and other donors, these seminars foster the participants’ growth as teachers and health care leaders in their prospective countries by providing free, up-to-date information and training.

Most recently, the Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminar in Ophthalmology was held from April 7-13, 2013 in Salzburg, Austria and was co-directed by Dr. Gary J. Lelli, our Director of Oculoplastics.

Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, U.A.E.:

In January 2001, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) was established in Doha by Cornell University in partnership with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Our department has taken an active role in supporting medical education, providing health care and conducting cutting edge research in collaboration with the Doha campus. Our faculty gives live and video lectures to medical students and ophthalmology faculty in Qatar on a range ophthalmology related topics. WCMC-Q medical students rotate in our department in New York City during their clinical elective time.

With privileges at Hamad Hospital in Doha, Drs. Szilard Kiss and Donald J. D’Amico have worked closely with retina colleagues in Qatar both in the ophthalmology clinics as well as in the operating room. In partnership with WCMC-Q and Hamad Hospital, Dr. Kiss has fostered clinical and translational research collaborations with colleagues examining a range of ophthalmic disorders with a particular focus on the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

"For more information on the Global Ophthalmology Initiatives, please contact our office at 646-962-2053.

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