Loyola World Mission Symposium

The first Annual Foreign Ophthalmology Mission day was held on May 12, 2004. At that time, James E. McDonald, MD, and Richard Gieser, MD, were honored as recipients of the Outstanding Humanitarian Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

In 2008 the Foreign Ophthalmology Missions Day conference was combined with the Loyola Ophthalmology Resident Alumni Day and inaugurated the Richard G. Gieser, MD World Service Lecture.

Beginning in 2015 the conference has been hosted independently as the Annual Loyola World Mission Symposium.

First Annual Foreign Ophthalmology Mission Day
Keynote Speakers:

February 15, 2023

Hunter Cherwek, MD

Vice President, Clinical Services, Orbis International


November 12, 2021

John H. Kempen, MD, MPH, PhD, MHS

Director of Epidemiology for Ophthalmology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

November 20, 2020

David F. Chang, MD

American Academy of Ophthalmology

2019 Humanitarian of the Year 


Jorge P. Parada, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA

Infectious Disease Professor, Medical Director/Committee Chair, Infection Control



November 1, 2019

Loyola Ophthalmology's Global Health Symposium

Stephen Beaty, MD

West Georgia Eye Care

Columbus, GA


Jorge P. Parada, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA

Loyola Medical Center Division of Infectious Diseases


Kregg Hood, PhD

Convoy of Hope

Springfield, MO

August 10, 2018

Stephen T. Petty, MD

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology

University of Colorado

Anschutz Medical Center


Brent Hayek, MD

Emory Medical CEnter

Loyola Alumnus


August 12, 2017

Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD

John A. Moran Eye Center

Salt Lake City, UT


Graham Woodward, MD

Healing Hands Medical Mission

St. Charles, IL


Jorge P. Parada, MD, MPH

Loyola Medical Center Division of Infectious Diseases

Maywood, IL

August 21, 2016 

Loyola Ophthalmology's Global Health Symposium

Jeffrey Rutgard, MD, MS

iSight Missions

San Diego, CA


John Clements, MD

Oregon Health & Science Univ.,

Portland, OR

Loyola Alumnus


For more information on this year's event please contact Constance Banks.

Richard G. Gieser, MD, World Service Lecture

Dr. Gieser received his medical degree from Baylor University in Houston, Texas. He completed his residency at the Illinois University Eye and Ear Infirmary and a fellowship in retinal and vitreous surgery at Cornell- New York Hospital.

Dr. Gieser was born in China where his father was a missionary doctor. Following his father’s example, Dr Gieser has made annual trips to underserved communities around the world to help those with visual loss. Moreover he has volunteered over many years as a “missionary teacher” in numerous medical schools abroad. He has brought his expertise as a retina physician and his Christian spiritual message to medical schools in China, India, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Romania, Nigeria, Uganda, Siberia, and Afghanistan.

As a member of the Department of Ophthalmology for 30 years (1978-2008) Richard Gieser, MD, provided significant leadership and support for the department’s tradition for active engagement in ophthalmic care to the world community.

(Pictured:May Khadem, MD, Richard Gieser, MD, Eileen Gable, OD and David Yoo, MD)

Dr Gieser’s commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication for world service serve as an example to all physicians and non-physicians alike. His energy and passion for lifelong learning have served to inspire faculty and residents.

The Richard Gieser World Service Lecture will serve as a tribute to his dedication to those in need of eye care and throughout the world as well as to his commitment to resident education in the Department of Ophthalmology.


DateName, Title & AffiliationPresentation(s) 
6/13/14 Timothy J. Kietzman, MD
Wheaton Eye Clinic
Wheaton, IL
“Gilgit Eye Hospital: Bringing Honor to Shamed“
6/14/13 Steven O. Anderson, MD
Clinical Instructor,
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
“… The World’s Eye Care …“
6/15/12 Robert Alan Rice, MD, FACS
Medical Director
San Antonio, TX
“Life Journeys, My Evolving Mission Experience”
6/17/11 Linda Lawrence, MD
Private Practice
Salina, KS
“The Changing Pattern of Childhood Blindness at Home and Abroad.”  
6/18/2010 Geoffrey Tabin, MD
Director of the International Ophthalmology Division
Moran Eye Center
The University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

"Impossible Dreams: Eradicating World Blindness"
6/19/2009 Devin Harrison, MD
“2008 American Academy of Ophthalmology Outstanding Humanitarian Award Recipient”
Ophthalmology Columbia River Eye Center
Richland, WA

“Medical Missions in Nigeria and Small Incision Cataract Surgery”
6/13/2008 May Khadem, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

“The Global Challenge of Blindness”