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Transforming Lives With Medical Mission Trips

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Having access to modern medicine is something that many of us take for granted. However, for millions of people around the world, living with treatable vision loss is often the reality.


At Columbus Ophthalmology Associates (COA), our doctors are passionate about making a difference—donating their time and specialized skills to help those most in need. Dr. Robert Derick, the director of glaucoma at COA, is especially passionate about giving back in this way.

In Jamaica, where the rates of vision loss from glaucoma are staggering, Dr. Derick’s surgical skills and specialties transform lives. During his 2019 medical mission trip, he had the privilege of working with two other Ohio surgeons to help patients experience the clear, healthy vision they deserve.

Dr_Derick_examines _glaucoma_patient

Dr. Derick examines a glaucoma patient during his 2019 medical mission trip to Jamaica.

Through medical mission trips, Dr. Derick has provided advanced eye surgery to hundreds of patients over the years who would otherwise not have access to modern medicine. Assembling an expert team for each trip, Dr. Derick has traveled to countries throughout the world, offering hope, expertise, and compassionate care.

From India, to Jamaica, and even Nicaragua, Dr. Derick and his team have provided life-changing and vision-restoring surgeries to people suffering from eye problems, like cataracts or glaucoma. Upon arriving at these locations, Dr. Derick and his team get to work. After carrying surgical equipment and supplies to the hospital (often weighing thousands of pounds), they then set up their operating rooms and begin performing surgery for as many patients as possible.


Patients in Jamaica lined up for follow-ups after receiving their cataract and glaucoma surgeries.

During these trips, cases range from typical to complex. However, the joy of watching someone see for the first time in years makes every challenge worthwhile. Dr. Derick and his team are so grateful to provide these life-altering surgeries and look forward to helping even more people in the future.

COA Research Fund:

The COA Research Fund was developed to help make a difference in the lives of others. While a portion of these funds is allocated toward education and training for students, residents, and eye care professionals, we also proudly support our staff members and their charitable endeavors.


Dr. Derick and two other Ohio surgeons pose with a happy patient in the operating room.

Though medical mission trips are self-funded by participants, costs associated with surgical supplies and equipment can quickly add up. Last month, the COA Research Fund was proud to help support Dr. Derick and his team, donating over $3,500 worth of medical supplies to their latest trip to Central America. It is a privilege to know that these supplies help patients get the clear, healthy vision they deserve.

To learn more about Dr. Derick’s work with medical mission trips, click here.

The doctors at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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