Vision for underserved communities in Mexico

Collins Vision has a longstanding commitment to service, both locally and globally. Led by founder Dr. Michael J. Collins, Collins Vision embodies a culture of giving back that is exemplified in ways large and small.

Our Dry Eye Clinic Director and medical optometrist Dr. Nicole Alessi recently joined a group organized by the Club de Liones de Caborca (Lions Club of Caborca) for a medical mission trip to the underserved communities in rural Caborca in Sonora, Mexico. Over the course of just a few days, the team worked from sunup to sundown, performing more than 80 cataract surgeries, taking patients from near blindness to functional vision.

Dr. Alessi’s account:

“The patients were typically escorted into the exam by one or two family members as they are barely mobile due to the density of the cataract. Cataracts just do not reach this stage in the US, but there are no surgical options for these poor, remote communities like Caborca. These are typically complex surgeries due to the advanced nature of the cataract, and we operated into the night to make sure everyone was cared for.

Amazingly, the day after surgery, most patients returned for their post-op exam unassisted! They have regained mobility, independence and have seen their family members for the first time in years. It was an immensely gratifying experience that reminds me of why I chose this field.

While surgeries were going on, the Lions Club of Phoenix performed hundreds of refractions and dispensed hundreds of glasses for people who needed them. Frequently, they would find patients that could not be corrected and would ask me to take a look. Many of these patients are found to have diabetic retinopathy that we were able to treat onsite with a laser that same day.”

At Collins Vision, we sincerely believe that giving back is one of the best ways to not only make an impact externally in the local and global community but it also organically creates more camaraderie and engagement within our own organization. A double blessing!

We’re so proud of Dr. Alessi for donating her time and talents to improve the lives of individuals who don’t have the resources for or access to sight-restoring, life-changing eye care. If you’d like to become a part of the Collins Vision family, we’d be honored to serve your vision needs.