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


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

     O.D. NEEDED!

     Trip Leader:  Nancy Delucia

     Email:  nandee8688@gmail.com


July 14 - July 20

    Trip Leader:  Marcha Pollection, O.D.

    Email:  marchaod@yahoo.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