Comayagua Honduras -- Maryland's Fourth Mission
19 January 1990 -- Host club Comayagua Lions Club

written by Robert Schwartz OD

After a flight to Tegucigalpa, we were met by the Lions and a U.S. Army transportation team for the trip to Comayagua.  Our Clinic site was a parochial high school and the gymnasium-basketball court our reception, screening center.  This dusty edifice was rendered spotless when the Bomberos (firemen) arrived and hosed it down.  Between the Lions, the Bomberos and the soldiers of US Task Force Bravo we had lots of support help.

Ours was a large mission with 12 Optometrists:  Hernando Alfonso, Tony Ficcara, Harry Hart, Tad Kosanovich, Mary Ellen McDermott, Spencer Moy, Greg Rios, Carl Sakovits, Lila and Bob Schwartz, and Vicki and Doug Weiss.  The dispensary and support staff was headed as usual by Larry Ulm assisted by Ted and Ellen Collister, registration and screening by Marlee Ulm and Nancy Hart, and brothers David and Brady Hart (our swing men).  We were additionally blessed with SUNY Students Gerald Abruzzese, Gary Mannheimer, Cathy Mauro, Nutrit Milstein and David Santos, plus ICO Student John Loesch.

This group smoothly and professionally handled 2060 patients and the dispensary under Larry Ulm ran like a fine watch.

We were again enhanced by two of our physical medical team, Dr. Chi Mei WU and Ellen Levy.  They came with 750 lbs. of donated wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes which were tied up in customs and not released until we departed.  In spite of this, they were able to treat over 100 cases.

The Comayagua Lions provided some hospitality for our group and this gave us the benefit of meeting the people at first hand, but at the cost of a loss of continuity and communication.  After a few days of R & R in the area the return home was uneventful.

VOSH Weekend in the Annapolis area was again a summer highlight and organizational plans were discussed for our 1991 Mission which will be outside of Honduras.  The Banquet was graced by Representatives from Omni Eyes Services and Maryland LASH who again presented their financial support for the coming year.

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