VOSH Pennsylvania

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity - Pennsylvania Chapter

2018 Mission Trips


January 5 - January 12    

    Trip Leader: Diane Wilson, O.D.     

    Email: dianewilson1661@gmail.com

VOSH PA Mission to Cap Haitien Jan 5-12, 2018

Team:  Dr. Marianne Banales, Dr. Kara Ramsey, Dr. Parker Plante, Dr. Diane Wilson, four optometry students: Jon Wilson, Leslie Kinder and Kajene Murugathasan  from st louis, and Franz Tousaint from New York. (We were thrilled to have Franz because he is Haitian and lived in haiti until the age of 18.)    Also 3 lay persons: Judi Ruppel, Caroline Wilson and Lauren Werkmeister.

Location: Grand Riviere, Limonade, Pain tru Nord (dr maklin), Port Mago, and a school in Cap Hatien.

Total patients: 1363.  Cataract referrals: 59

                                    Glaucoma referrals: 129

                                    Other: 9

We referred glaucoma to Milot and cataracts to Vision Plus

Joseph did a fabulous job as always. Favio, Mark, James, Marise and JB were our interpreters.

I changed our trip from Sun to Sat to Friday to Friday because the airfare was 40% less than traveling Sun to Sat. January seems to be the most expensive time to travel to haiti.

Our team enjoyed visited Comier beach and the citadel.

Thank you for the honor of serving,

Diane Wilson, O.D.

January 14 - January 20    

    Trip Leader: Marcha Pollection, O.D.     

    Email: marchaod@gmail.com

On Sunday January 14th Dr. Michelle Cadet, myself and my cousin Emmanuella Petion arrived in the afternoon at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  We had no problems at customs.  They didn't even open our duffel bags, we didn't have to pay  for anything.  Zouti Bernard from Charity Vision came  later to get us from the airport and took us to the hotel. We had a meeting that night.

Zouti made all the arrangements for the locations and transportations for the whole week.   Charity Vision had staff including 4 nurses. They brought in portable equipments and some meds to treat eye  infections. We went to a private school for the first two days and two public schools in Leogane for days 3&4.

Days 1 and 2:  Le Taupin school in Carrefour Port-au-Prince total  502 students seen with around 23 staff included. 

Day 3: Ecole Nationale de Gressier in Leogane total 120 students seen.  It was a shorter day.  

Day 4:. Ecole Nationale de Darbonne in Leogane total 392 students some staff. 

Zouti has 10 prescription of eyeglasses that need to be done in a lab.  He will contact VPC in Cap- Haitien.  We dispensed a lot of eyeglasses.

The sunglasses I got from Dave were given to the teachers. There were some students who had eye infections and were treated with antibiotics/steroid ointment. I also gave them sunglasses.

Day 5: Michelle  and I met with Dr. Cadet and the students of the new Optometry  program at the University.  It was a very productive meeting and the students were very appreciative.

On Friday night everyone who worked with us went to a reception in our honor.  We also met a group of Catholic Church members including the priest.  They were very impressed with VOSH PA and would like to work with us in the future.

It was a great trip.  The children and the staff at the schools were happy with us.  The coordinator and nurses at Charity Vision were very professional.  We worked hard and it was a pleasant experience. I want to thank the board members for caring for the Haitian people. You guys rock!  Thanks Dave for helping me with organizing the trip.

Marcha Polection OD

March 10 - March 17

     Trip Leader:  Mark Rakoczy, O.D.

     Email:  mrakoczy831@gmail.com


Report of Eyecare Mission to Cap Haitien, Haiti, March 10-17, 2018

Team members, Mark Rakoczy,OD, team leader; Mike Gordon, OD; Mike Satryan,OD; Kent Nickell,OD, Melissa Summers, Lindsay Delgado, Chrystal Vermeulen, Susan Katz and Jill Joseph.
We were accompanied by SEE surgeons Drs. Reed Kindermann, Jeremy Joseph, Pete Roney, resident Melissa Seiber, 3rd year med student Max Huntley and Greta Kindermann
The following is our visits to various villages and statistics:
Monday March 12- Jaksy- 78 patients, 7 Glaucoma, 6 cataract, 2 pterygia , 2 eyeglasses
Tuesday March 13- Ouanaminthe 137 pts, 9 Glaucoma, 2 cataracts, 1 pterygia, 1 eyeglass
Wed. March 14- LImbe -335 pts, 11 Glaucoma, 17 cataracts, 6 pterygia, 4 others, 3 eyeglasses
Thurs. March 15- New Hope Hospital- 390 pts. 22 glaucoma, 27 cataracts, 4 pterygia, 4 others and 8 eyeglasses
Friday March 16- Cap Haitien 210 pts, 5 Glaucoma, 3 cataracts, 1 pterygia, 3 eyeglasses
We also sent 17 patients to VPC to have eyeglasses made including inexpensive frames. If that expense turns out to be high, I and maybe some of the other docs will donate to VOSH PA to cover them.
Total 1150 patients, 55 cataracts, 54 glaucoma, 14 pterygia, 11 others.
Many thanks to our head interpreter, Joseph for his diligent work in organizing our different sites and interpreters Marc, LuLu , Gemes, Savio and Tyson for their help with patient care. I would also like to thank Lumarc Pierre at Crudem for access to our storage.
The SEE surgeons who accompanied us performed 51 surgeries for the week, 49 being cataracts and 2 others at Vision Plus Clinique. With 4 surgeons for the week, they could have performed many more, but were not used to their full capacity.
We normally have the Lions van to transport our referrals. It was not running so we attempted to transport who we could with our van, just after lunch. This did not work as well as they were given appointments for the next day. For whatever reason, our accompanying SEE surgeons only saw a few of our VOSH referrals. There are now Cuban doctors there that do some of the screening process and I’m not sure what else. I am not sure where our patients ended up. I will try to find a better way to help our referrals for next year.
Better news comes in the way of a donated SLT for use at the VPC. It was donated by Alcon. Dr. Reed had it set up and running and got Dr. Dupuy comfortable with the settings and use. Dr. Dupuy did one that setup day and 4 the next. Hopefully, that will be a great help to the patients. They also fixed the new $100k surgical microscope as it’s optics were poor because of dust. Dr. Pete got in touch with the service people and got a diagram of how to get it cleaned, and also showed Dr. Dupuy how to do that. Two great accomplishments in my book.
We had a smaller but very good VOSH team, who worked well together. All members accepted and performed their assignments very well. We worked hard…on a few days…and had a lot of fun. Many thanks to all of them. And many thanks to our SEE team, who not only do an excellent job at the clinic, but are a great group to “ go with the flow” with. Ho,ho,ho … and a bottle of rum!

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Rakoczy, OD


May 13 - May 18

     Trip Leader:  Mark Shust, O.D.

     Email:  mshust@salus.edu

Team Members (17): Mark Shust, OD (team leader); Helene Kaiser, OD; Suzanne Ward, OD; Scott Huggler, OD; Linda Boss; Jen Hyde; June Doan, Samantha Czerniak; Cynthia Lau; Cassandra Pastier; Emilie Seitz; Janice Chau; Jasmeet Aujla; Raquel Antoine; Victoria Shust; Mark Shust Jr, Kristen Huggler. All members of our team did an outstanding job throughout the mission trip, working tirelessly under difficult circumstances. I thank each of you for your commitment and effort!

Monday, May 14, Pont Sonde
Patients seen: 372
Glasses dispensed: 310

Tuesday, May 15, Pont Sonde
Patients seen: 361
Glasses dispensed: 274

Wednesday, May 16, Bokozel
Patients seen: 211
Glasses dispensed: 190

Thursday, May 17, LaChicotte
Patients seen: 337
Glasses dispensed: 272

Friday, May 18, Pont Sonde
Patients seen: 163
Glasses dispensed: 99

TOTAL PATIENTS SEEN: 1444 (541 Males, 903 Females)
Sunglasses and hats were also distributed to those patients requiring sun protection.

Significant Cataracts: 250+ Retinal Detachment: 2
Glaucoma: 125+ Retinal Drusen: 2
Glaucoma Suspect: 55+ Dacryocyctitis/Chalazion: 2
Pterygium/Pinguecula: 24 Entropion: 1
Corneal Opacity: 17 Trachoma: 1
Diabetic/Hypertensive Retinopathy: 8 Subluxed Lens: 1
Strabismus: 5 Solar Retinopathy: 1
Macular/Retinal Scar: 5 Subconjunctival Heme: 1
Retinitis Pigmentosa: 3 Nystagmus: 1
Corneal Foreign Body: 3 Blepharospasm: 1
Conjunctivitis: 3

SURGICAL REFERRALS (Cataracts/Glaucoma/Both): Total 64
In collaboration with the VOSH team, SEE-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Pierre-Yves Decastro provided surgical care at Clinique Ophtalmologique Specialisee in Port au Prince.
Dr. Decastro completed 26 cataract surgeries during 3 days in the course of the mission week with remaining surgeries to be completed subsequently. One day post-op evaluations were completed by the VOSH team in Pont Sonde. Thank you, Dr. Decastro, for your cooperation and support!

As expected, cataracts and glaucoma were by far the most prevalent pathological conditions identified. Sight-threatening glaucoma remains a major concern due to the lack of availability of non-medical treatment options. Virtually all of our glaucoma patients (well over 100 diagnosed) were treated using medications alone that are likely to be used with marginal compliance at best. Ultimately, the provision of laser therapy (SLT) must be considered for effective and practical glaucoma treatment in the majority of these patients.

I’d also like to recognize our translators: Pierre Schnider (head translator), Witny Etienne, Ricardo Dieujuste, Jean Belony, Perone Kences and Sandie Colas. They did a wonderful job of helping the VOSH team communicate with their patients and were a pleasure to work with!

Thank you to the staff of Clotaire Hotel in Pont Sonde for providing comfortable and secure accommodations!

Finally, many thanks to our sponsors, Mr. Dumas Simeus and Sove Lavi, for your tremendous logistical and financial support which was essential to the success of our mission!

Respectfully submitted,
Dr. Mark Shust


July 7 - July 14


     Trip Leader:  Nancy Delucia

     Email:  nandee8688@gmail.com


October 6 - October 13

    Trip Leader:  Michelle Cadet, O.D.

    Email:  dramc96@gmail.com


November 4 - November 10

    Trip Leader:  Diane Wilson, O.D.

    Email:  dianewilson1661@gmail.com


January 4, 2019 - January 11, 2019

     Trip Leader:  Diane Wilson, O.D.

     Email:  dianewilson1661@gmail.com