East Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity
made the news!
1987 to Santa
Rosa de Copan, Honduras.
The NEVOSH clinic was held in a
school once again this year. This year we were fortunate to have use of a
beautiful new 2 story school with a central courtyard and breezy location.
NEVOSH 2007 volunteer healthcare clinic was run by the experienced and unflappable doctors Joe England MD
and Carl Sakovits OD. Their preparation and guidance throughout the
entire year included meticulous attention to every facet of this populous
trip. Their work forms the very backbone of what we do. Without
their dedication to seeing a job well done, none of what we accomplished in
January 2007 would have been possible.
are vitally important stages of a patient's visit to the NEVOSH clinic. The
registration team had a vertically bisected concrete half dome as a backdrop for
their station. This feature of the outdoor stage they were working on
provided a nice visual atmosphere, but offered little protection from the sun.
These volunteers tanned while they interviewed patients to get an overall
medical history and specific concerns. The Ginsberg sisters, Sarah and
Melissa, put their time
in for registration and screening, but also demonstrated their precocious nature by
to pick in the dispensary.
Optical Screening (Visual
Acuity) was handled with level of patience and care that kept the throngs
of people often waiting in the room mesmerized with respect for Peter King.
He really has what it takes to keep things in line and rolling along
productively, which can sometimes be difficult. Persephone Brown worked in screening this year with Peter
King, but also handled
registration interviews and precise picking in the dispensary. A triple threat!
2007 With 13 optometrists
seeing patients for the four days, we were well staffed with skilled
practitioners of eye exam. Once again the
roster of ODs is filled out
with veterans who make the return trip in January as predictably as a bird in
The optometrists on the trip this year included a
preponderance of NEVOSH veterans, including Larry Ginsberg OD, Carl Sakovits OD,
Ken Cottrell OD, Ben Peters OD, Ken Warburton OD, Jamesina Chim OD, Rocco
Robilotto OD, Lara Alami OD, Hernando Alfonso OD, Jackson Lau OD, and Jane Bucci
OD. Super world traveler and southern gentleman Ken Cottrell OD brought
Donnie Akers OD, who fit right in from the first day. Harry Hart OD was in
attendance at the inaugural mission in 1987 and returned this year with VOSH spirit to share.
students came from SUNY
NYC's NEVOSH club, which has been an absolutely integral part of the clinics
that NEVOSH has assembled. The students in attendance were able to see
first hand good examples of pathologies that are more rare in the US, a
learning benefit of treating so many people in a tropical latitude.
The acceptance to travel with SUNY VOSH is an honor in itself, and the
students this year came with open eyes and a team spirit that served them
well. Congratulations to
Zabala, Attefa Sultani, Alice Phan and Amanda Fronhofer for
being selected to receive the sponsored trip.
Optical Dispensary was staffed by veterans and once again was a constant hub
of activity and humanity. Prescriptions are matched to the OD's spec
from the library of donated glasses. For many years this library has
been assembled, sorted and resorted in the States by the legendary Larry Ulm
and meticulous Marty fair. Together with Darlene Boch, Marlee Ort and
a cadre of caring individuals, Larry and Marty make it happen every year.
Jen Atwood Burney made the trip again this year with her Husband Steve, and
their child got some pre-natal training on lens power and spherical
equivalents. The dispensary plans to implement a nifty computerized
inventory and pick program for 2008. Nancy Hart worked the dispensary
in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, and continues to add mission patches to
her NEVOSH shirt which now shows evidence of 11 NEVOSH trips.
Medical Clinic was located in two classrooms on the first floor of the
School. With veteran VOSH medical staffers at every turn, the Monimbo
residents who came in to the clinic received the very best in care.
Returning veterans included Joe England MD, Rocco Andreozzi MD, Bruce Fisher
MD, Geoffrey Burns MD, Sue Seidler NP,
Shirley Arnold PA, Ann Mason CNM. We look forward to bringing you more
from the participants in the Medical Clinic.
The Pharmacy crew are
always keeping the mood light and humorous. They often spend time
endlessly counting out pills, perhaps this is the reason they find ways to dance
around and laugh together when they are temporarily free of the counting chore.
They are always helpful in explaining the medications they are distributing and
every year the people of the community express their specific affection for the
job that the Pharmacy staff does. The pharmacy staff is presented with
gifts from those they have helped and are always very touched by that.
With veterans galore, the Pharmacy was in tip top form. The pharmacy was
well stocked, with many thanks due to those companies and individuals who
donated medications for the staff to dispense. Forming the core of
the Pharmacy team this year were veterans Eileen Tiexiera RN, Diane Brown King
RN, Diane Forest RN and Cheryl Kelley RN.
the first time, NEVOSH had a registered licensed Dietician working the
clinic. Of course Becky Tiexera is a 6 time NEVOSH veteran, but this year saw
her flexing her new diploma and offering sage and pertinent dietary advice
for her patients. Diabetes nutrition was a common concern, we look
forward to posting Becky's report on her experience.
Mobility Clinic was located on the playground at the far corner of the school
allowed them to utilize an existing metal building for storage of the
wonderful donated chairs. The bright red wheelchairs stood out the first
day of the clinic, but by Thursday the chairs were barely noticeable next to the
bright red skin of the mobility clinic team. These volunteers really gave
it up for their patients this year. The wind was blowing sand and grit
from the courtyard above, and the sun was a constant companion for the crew
until a shade area was established with a canopy. The team worked hard and
seemingly did so in total synchronicity. Sarah Chirnside captained the crew that
included veterans Dave Pritchard, Shahin Barzin, Ali Hocek, and Ellie Santoro. The
team's hard work changed many lives of those with mobility issues.
Audiology came with their A game again this year, examining, charting, and
diagnosing hearing problems for the people of Masaya. The
professionalism and attention to detail in the fitting and calibrating of
the hearing aids dispensed is inspiring.
The audiology team "quietly"
changed life after life all week long. With
donated hearing aids and a
sophisticated variety of equipment, the team has a lot to carry and set up
for the clinic, but every patient who received a hearing aid was quite glad
that the team had made the trip this year. Ken Startz led the crew to a
very professional and successful mission.
The Dental Team
continued this year to impress all observers with the caliber of clinic that
they can assemble in a remote location. With 2 portable chairs and all
the myriad gear that they bring to bear, they were able to see and treat 308
patients. The patients in the
Dental clinic were even soothed to music
with great sound quality to make them more comfortable! We look
forward to posting much more on the Dental Clinic for you very soon.
Dental has run an annual golf tournament for a few years now. This
year's tourney raised over $10,000 for NEVOSH!
Thanks to incomparable
medical illustrator and veteran VOSH fellow,
we know that 3,987 patients were seen altogether during the 4 day clinic. Kevin Worked
in Registration and tallied the numbers thusly:
website for this most recent January 2007 clinic trip is still under
Please return soon!
We are expecting to add new text and more photos very shortly.
Submissions of photos and
stories from those who were on site are being solicited. For more
information on submission, email
NEVOSH.com especially needs images of Screening, Translators,
Mobility Clinic and Cataract Clinic. Please contact
Two people that help to make the annual trip possible are Dr. Miguel
Silva and his lovely
wife Velia Silva. They help to coordinate the trip from the
earliest site selection and planning stages to the completion of the
mission. Being a retired Optometrist from Seattle who is of
Nicaraguan blood, Dr. Silva is helpful in facilitation in both the
US and Nicaragua. Dr. Silva is very diplomatic and acts as a
liaison with government officials in the town where the clinic is
set up. Dr. and Mrs. Silva assure that the library of donated
glasses and wheelchairs is on site and ready when the clinic begins.
Following find an excerpt from the 2004 Mission Report regarding Dr.
Silva and his lovely wife:
is on the boat, it takes about a month to get to Nicaragua. Once there,
it needs to be removed from the container, placed on trucks, and
moved to a secure facility. Luckily, we had trusted people working
on the Nicaraguan end. First and foremost is Miguel Silva. Miguel
is an optometrist of Nicaraguan descent who lived and worked in the
Seattle area for many years with his wife Velia. In December 2002,
they “retired” and moved back to the Masaya province of Nicaragua.
I put the word retired in quotation marks because since they arrived
in Nicaragua, Miguel has worked very hard on a great deal of
projects, only one of which is our mission. Without him, the
mission would have been far more difficult to organize, and quite
likely would not have been successful.
Miguel and representatives of the mayor of Nindiri met the shipment of glasses and wheelchairs
from the boat and transported them to a secure location in Nindiri. But this is not the only
thing that was done locally. Before beginning an undertaking such as a VOSH mission, you
must have an organization working to make sure everything is taken care of locally.
Read more of the 2004 Mission Report by Jonathan Wasserstein, OD
Hernando Alfonso OD and his
lovely new wife Anita were honored at the final dinner at the Alhambra
Hotel in Grenada. They were presented with a charming hand carved
wooden figure produced by a Rhode Island artist. Hernando is an
Optometrist practicing in Tarrytown, NY. He has been traveling
with MDVOSH cum NEVOSH since the second trip in January, 1988 to
Hernando met Anita in Nicaragua on previous NEVOSH trips and the couple
were married in Nicaragua in November, 2006. They honeymooned on
Corn Island on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. While Anita has
been waiting to join Hernando in the United States of America, the two
have spent time together traveling in Central and South America.
NEVOSH congratulates the happy couple.
healthcare professionals in Nicaragua have helped to facilitate the
success of the NEVOSH mission. Dr. Martin Ugarte,
a dentist and a Rotarian has
been most helpful to NEVOSH. Dr. Raul Harquin and his wife Sylvia
have helped NEVOSH. Dr. Martha Castillo, Rotarian and
director of the Masaya Hospital has been instrumental in the
success of the NEVOSH trips in Masaya.
This year at the final
group dinner at the Alhambra in Grenada, Dr. Vidal Ruiz MD of
Ticuantepe, Nicaragua was honored with a hand carved figurine for his
continued involvement in the annual visit by NEVOSH.
January 2007 Trip to the neighborhood of Monimbo in Masaya, Nicaragua proved
successful and well orchestrated. Once
again the group worked closely with the Rotarians of Masaya to coordinate
the clinic site, advertisement, translation, lunches, admissions, and ease
various aspects of the group's visit to Nicaragua. The Rotarians have
been a big part of the success of NEVOSH from the very early years and
without their annual assistance the clinic and trip would likely be very
Masaya Rotary Club
Please read the La Prensa Article on the 2007 clinic in original Spanish and a somewhat
English. Do not miss the
article in the Warwick Beacon online on Tom Geruso's experiences.
2012 Panama & Tennessee
2010 Nueva Esperanza
2009 Nueva Esperanza
2008 Nandaime, Nicaragua
2007 Monimbo, Nicaragua
2006 Nandasmo, Nicaragua
2005 Catarina, Nicaragua
2005 Mus, Turkey
2004 Nindiri, Nicaragua
2003 Jinotepe, Nicaragua
2002 Ticuantepe, Nicaragua
2001 Monimbo, Nicaragua
2000 La Concepción, Nicaragua
1999 Masatepe, Nicaragua
1998 Niquinohomo, Nicaragua
1997 Lake Yohoa, Honduras
1996 Jutiapa, Honduras
1995 Omoa, Honduras
1994 Vera Paz, Guatemala
1993 Coatepeque, Guatemala