A Trip Of A Lifetime | Long Island Eye Doctor
As I prepare to go on a mission to the Dominican Republic to provide eye care to those in need, I reflect upon all the years that I spoke about doing just that. This opportunity presented itself through a partnership with TLC Laser Eyecare Centers and the Pujols Family Foundation. Ten optometrists and a team of support personnel will embark on a mission in January, 2015. Seven thousand pair of eyeglasses have been donated by various eyewear manufacturers and eye care providers.
Our group will be going into the inner countryside, the poorest areas of a poor country, providing eye care services to people that receive little to no healthcare. Most have never seen a doctor and have a relatively short life expectancy. It is our job as optometrists to find and treat any eye disease that we can, improve the visual quality for many, and triage major visual issues for future missions by medical personnel to treat.
For years, my wife Judy and I have spoken about volunteering our services for the betterment of those in need. We never acted on our words….until now. In 2013, our office, Optix Family Eyecare Center, donated 500 pair of eyeglasses to a South American Mission trip sponsored by VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). In August, 2014 we volunteered on a mobile vision clinic in Smithtown, NY to examine and provide eyewear to people without vision insurance and who could not afford eye care. It was a very gratifying experience. And next is the Dominican Republic.
Thank you to all of my patients who made my professional experience exceptional and promoted my desire to give back.
Be well and see well.
Dr. Joel Kestenbaum