The Department of Ophthalmology has a long history of community Service from the local to the international level. The foreign mission programs providing care to the impoverished world community began in 1961. At that time, the former Chairman of the Department, James E. McDonald, MD, and two other ophthalmologists, Arthur Light, MD and Thomas Stamm, MD traveled to Haiti where they decided to establish Foreign Ophthalmology Care from the US (FOCUS). Since that time, hundreds of mission trips have been made and our department continues this tradition today. (see Foreign Missions)
On the local Level, Tracy Williams, OD, has volunteered his time in eye screening programs for many years.
Peter Russo, OD, developed a vision care program within a volunteer clinic serving the working poor of DuPage County, where he provides free eye exams and low cost spectacles to the working poor. Dr. Russo initiated the program in September 2002 and remains the sole eye care provider for this service. He also is a volunteer for vision screening at the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eye (SOLCIOE) on an annual basis.
John Clements, MD, and Gabriel Jacob, MD, have volunteered at the West Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) at United Church of Christ in Oak Park. We performed screening eye exams for glaucoma and other ocular diseases. Follow up care was organized through the shelter. West Suburban PADS is an agency that provides a continuum of services for persons that are experiencing homelessness. In 1992, Tri-Village P.A.D.S. began to mobilize direct public support to provide basic emergency assistance for men, women and families who have become homeless. Today, West Suburban PADS offers a full range of programs from emergency food and shelter, to a day-time Support Center, to providing specialized supportive services, and various levels of housing.
Amy Lin, MD, and advisor of Stritch School of Medicine Ophthalmology Club, has volunteered with Loyola residents and medical students at eye screenings all around Chicago. The screenings are a part of Chicago Students for Sight, a collaborative group of chicago medical students that serves to set up and staff eye screenings at local health fairs around the city. The eye screenings are made possible through the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus, who supplies the equipment necessary for the general vision and glaucoma screenings. The events, organized through Stritch School of Medicine's Ophthalmology Club and Dr. Mildred Olivier of Midwest Glaucoma Center, give students hands-on opportunities to learn about the field of ophthalmology. The Loyola doctors and medical students are also able to interact with each other and various other Chicago medical school students at the health fairs.