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Global Health Rotations

Part of our well-rounded, intellectually stimulating education includes charitable care: locally

through our free vision clinics through our KU Eye Lions Club and

Dr. White in Ukraine

 medical-student-run JayDoc ophthalmology nights, as well as internationally. Several of our physicians have gone on mission trips to Haiti, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Ukraine and other countries in dire need of their expertise and help. 

“Eye care is very difficult to access in much of the world, and I view these service trips as an opportunity to narrow that gap,” said W. Abraham White, M.D. We are delighted to now offer these same mutually satisfying opportunities to our senior residents through two global health rotations per year. 

“When possible, we try to do skills transfer with local surgeons so that work will continue after we leave. I have found that I often learn as much from the host ophthalmologists as they do from me. It is remarkable and humbling to see how they have found ways to achieve excellent results, in spite of limited resources,” said White.

Faculty supervising these experiences include Miles Greenwald, M.D., who completed a fellowship in global ophthalmology, and Dr. White, who is also a licensed pilot.  

The first global health rotation was in February 2024 with Dr. Greenwald and senior resident, Sara Krachmalnick, M.D., who went to Tenwek Hospital, Bomet, Kenya. During their time there, they collaborated closely with the local eye team, conducting a series of significant procedures.

While there, they successfully performed 12 corneal transplants using donated tissue from Saving Sight (Kansas City) on patients suffering from severe ocular surface disease, keratoconus, corneal dystrophies and corneal scarring from trauma. Additionally, Drs. Greenwald and Krachmalnick performed cataract surgery (MSICS) and evaluated adult and pediatric patients in clinic.

Of this fantastic global health experience, Dr. Krachmalnick said, “We extend our deepest gratitude to the remarkable team at Tenwek Hospital and Saving Sight (KC) for their invaluable support and partnership. This experience has been profoundly enriching, and we eagerly anticipate future opportunities for collaboration and impact.” 

In April 2024, Dr. White and PGY3 Rachel Chu, M.D., along with KU surgical technologists, Latrinda Pope and Myiah Winn, performed 25 cataract procedures and about 30 retina lasers and injections in collaboration with the National Ophthalmology Hospital in Port Mourant, Guyana.  Our team provided critically needed care for patients with varying stages of diabetic retinopathy and assisted hospital staff with the care of these complex patients.

Guyana Team

KU School of Medicine

KU EYE
7400 State Line Rd
Prairie Village, KS 66208
Phone: 913-588-6600
Fax: 913-588-6655