Our Doctors Deliver Gifts to Christmas (Island)



It turns out living in paradise has its drawbacks. Residents of Christmas Island in the Pacific are prone to a “surfer’s disease” caused by exposure to dust, wind, and abundant sunlight. Medical Eye Center surgeons Dr. Paul Imperia and Dr. Paul Jorizzo noticed the situation on a fishing trip years ago. Now they return on a regular basis to treat patients with a variety of eye diseases using modern techniques otherwise unknown in the area.

Dr. Paul Imperia talks to Jefferson Public Radio about his medical mission to Christmas Island.

Listen to the interview…

Medical Eye Center Sponsors Medical Mission to Christmas Island

In August 2015, Medical Eye Center ophthalmologists Paul Jorrizo, MD, and Paul Imperia, MD along with optometrist Rory Murphy, OD are traveling to Christmas Island (also known as Kiritimati) in August to perform more than 120 life-changing eye surgeries that will treat debilitating eye diseases in the local population.

Click to read the full article.

Keith Shirley Supports Five Ethiopian Hospitals

Maintaining ophthalmic equipment is vital for any hospital, especially where services are few and far between. Keith Shirley, Medical Eye Center’s biomedical engineer, recently traveled to Ethiopia to provide two weeks of training to local biomedical maintenance technicians. On behalf of the Himalayan Cataract Project, Keith worked with nine local technicians at five institutions to examine equipment, make repairs, and provide hands-on guidance and training.

The first medical device Keith tackled was a Pachymeter which had a missing power connector. It would have been impractical to replace the connector due to the age of the device, so Keith cut the connector off and attached the cable directly to the circuit board. The Pachymeter was immediately placed back in service. “I like […]

Nepal Earthquake: Supporting the Relief Effort

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the Himalayan country of Nepal. The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) is taking a leading role in the medical and humanitarian relief efforts throughout the country. HCP has been providing medical services in Nepal for over 20 years. Their remote eye teams have a long-term relationship with many of the rural communities most affected by the earthquake.

The Himalayan Cataract Project’s co-founder Dr. Sanduk Ruit and all of HCP’s partners and friends at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology are safe. The eye hospital is still standing and functioning. Unfortunately, several colleagues have lost their homes and countless acquaintances have died. Many outlying communities and villages are completely destroyed. Power, water, and transportation are […]

Dr. Matt Oliva Receives Humanitarian Award

On June 6th, Dr. Matt Oliva was awarded the 2014 University of Washington School of Medicine Alumni Humanitarian award.

Watch a video that played at the ceremony:

As a medical student, Dr. Matt Oliva did a rotation in Nepal. There, he saw an international team perform 300 cataract surgeries in four days. “It was the genesis moment for me,” says Dr. Oliva. After settling into practice at Medical Eye Center, Dr. Oliva began volunteering with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), which collaborates with local doctors in the developing world to improve eye care. Working in temporary clinics in remote areas, highly efficient physician-nurse teams provide cataract surgery and restore sight to those in need.

Read the full article.

Dr. […]

The World is our Community

Every community has individuals who are called to take on global challenges and make a difference in the world. Jefferson Public Radio’s Jeff Golden interviews Medical Eye Center’s Dr. Matt Oliva about his experiences with the The Himalayan Cataract Project. Watch the interview

Bridging the Gap: Medford to Africa

Medical Eye Center Doctor restores eyesight in Africa and trains African doctor here in Medford

It takes a village—a global village—to improve health care around the world. And Medford doctor Matt Oliva of Medical Eye Center (MEC) is doing his part. Together with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), he is striving to promote self-sufficient eye care in impoverished nations by restoring eyesight to thousands in Africa and teaching African doctors—one of whom he’ll host right here in Medford—to do the same.

Dr. Oliva has teamed up with HCP and the Earth Institute at Columbia University on the Millenium Villages Project, which involves finding the most cost effective health, agriculture, and education interventions in order to help rural African villages lift themselves […]

Restoring Sight: My Work with the Himalayan Cataract Project in Ethiopia

by Dr. Matt Oliva

Blindness exerts an incredible toll in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, in terms of both human suffering and adverse economic impact. Due to environmental conditions, malnutrition and vitamin deficiency, ocular infections, trauma and lack of access to care, some of the world’s highest rates of blindness exist in this arid and mountainous area, with a 1.5% estimated prevalence rate. The majority of this blindness is caused by cataract and corneal opacification, both of which are treatable conditions, often for as little as $20 per surgery.

The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) is working to eradicate preventable and treatable blindness in the developing world. Beginning in 2007, in partnership with the Millennium Cities Initiative, we joined forces with the […]

The Mail Tribune: “Helping the Blind See”

Dr-Oliva-news-storyRead The Mail Tribune’s article about Dr. Matt Oliva’s work with the Himalayan Cataract Project. On the board of directors since 2006, Dr. Oliva is currently director of African programs. He travels the globe helping restore vision to people in poor, rural communities. “There are 18 million people in the world that are blind in both eyes from cataracts,” says Dr. Oliva. “But it’s possible to eradicate this preventable blindness if enough resources are brought to bear.”

Click here to open a 2-page PDF with the article.

Second Suns: Restoring Sight, Saving Lives

Second-Suns-coverSecond Suns tells the story of the Himalayan Cataract Project’s work restoring vision to people in the poorest communities of Asia and Africa. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally and can be treated with a 10-minute surgery. In wealthy countries, surgery is readily available and cataracts typically are removed when there is mild visual impairment. In poorer countries, however, the condition often progresses to total blindness, and treatment for many is unavailable. The World Health Organization estimates that 18 million people remain blind from cataracts.

Medical Eye Center’s Dr. Matt Oliva is a board member and director of African programs at the Himalayan Cataract Project, which is the subject of […]