Local Ophthalmologist Performs Cataract Surgeries in Honduras as Part of Humanitarian Outreach

  • Share:
June 25, 2018
Vistar Eye Center is proud to welcome back ophthalmologist and Roanoke-native, Dr. Stuart Tims, following his 7-day trip to Central America with the Eradicating Cataracts Honduras Outreach Foundation (ECHO). Dr. Tims returned June 15th after he and his team helped perform 150 sight-restoring cataract surgeries and 3 corneal transplants for the people of Honduras. His team, called a brigade, was one of four groups consisting of roughly twelve surgeons, optometrists, anesthesiologists, and volunteers that travels to Honduras annually.

"So many Hondurans are needlessly suffering from blindness due to cataracts," said Tims.  "I am humbled to be able to use my medical training to restore their sight."

Dr. Tims' recent trip marks his sixth brigade with the ECHO Foundation, the nonprofit he began working with in 2012 during his fellowship training. The organization has carried out missions since the early 1990's to help the estimated 160,000 Hondurans who are blind due to cataracts. In 2013, ECHO partnered with a Lion's Club chapter in Honduras to build a sustainable ophthalmology infrastructure that would help fund these important missions. To date, ECHO's brigades have performed over 6,000 cataract surgeries in Honduras with each one taking roughly 15 minutes and using $100 worth of resources. The number of procedures nearly quadrupled from 2012 to 2017. ECHO's mission and Dr. Tims' passion for the people of Honduras has encouraged Vistar Eye Center to get involved.

"At Vistar, we value sight for all and we're really proud of the way Dr. Tims has demonstrated that philosophy through his work with ECHO," said Dr. Jon Brisley, managing partner at Vistar Eye Center. "He inspired us to join the Eye for an Eye Campaign last year and we now make a donation to ECHO with each refractive surgery we perform here in Roanoke. We're honored to say our proceeds in 2017 helped provide 126 Hondurans with sight-restoring surgeries."

Dr. Tims is among 16 ophthalmologists in the United States who participate in ECHO Foundation cataract brigades annually.  To learn more, visit www.operationecho.org.

For more information about Vistar Eye Center, visit www.vistareye.com