Other organizations that we have contributed to:

Dr. Kozarsky recognized by TBS as a PATHFINDER
"Alan has devoted more than 20 years volunteering with the Georgia Eye Bank. He has helped surgeons throughout the state provide the Gift of Sight to thousands of Georgians through the miracle of cornea transplantation. He willingly volunteers hundreds of hours a year and makes himself available 24 hours a day for consultation."

Georgia Eye Bank

Lost Boys of Sudan

I first met Dr. Hamilton in 2001 when I began volunteering in the refugee community with the Lost Boys of Sudan. One of the Lost Boys had an eye injury that had never been treated and needed to be examined. Dr. Hamilton gave of his time, medical talents and heart. He not only treated the patients medical condition, but also listened with concern and care to the patients story of surviving war and living in a refugee camp. In 2005, another Lost Boy, Peter Ngong, asked me about seeing a doctor concerning the loss of sight in his right eye many years before. Three surgeries including a tissue graft, a cornea transplant and lens implant restored the sight in his injured eye. I witnessed a medical miracle watching the restoration of Peters sight over the period of a year and a half. When the bandages were removed after the third surgery, I began to cry as Peter was able to read the next to last line on the eye chart. Before his treatment he could only see the big E on the first line. Over the past five years, Dr. Hamilton has never hesitated to donate his medical services when other refugees have needed his help. He provides excellent care with a sense of compassion that is rarely found today given the demands on physicians. Dr. Hamilton is a gift to the medical profession and has made a valuable difference in the lives of many refugees.

Susan Gordon

Angel Flight, Hurricane Katrina Relief
Dr. Kozarsky delivers emergency supplies to Baton Rouge

ECHO Foundation

The ECHO Foundation

There are at least 50,000 people needlessly blind from cataracts in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Sight can be restored for virtually all of these people with a 15 minute surgery and about $100 worth of resources. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and are also one of the easiest to fix, given proper resources.

In the early 1990’s, Atlanta ophthalmologist Alan Kozarsky began working with Atlanta physician Steve Wilks and Honduran ophthalmologist Carlos Gonzalez to bring regular cataract surgery brigades to Honduras. These brigades restored sight for several hundred poor Hondurans each year who otherwise would not have had access to surgery. In 2008, Alan Kozarsky and Kyle Coffey founded ECHO Foundation as a US non-profit to grow this effort.

Over the years, ECHO has built many local relationships in Honduras and a large network of committed volunteer surgeons and other professionals. They continue to send cataract surgery brigades to Honduras to augment the efforts of local ophthalmologists, and have become very focused on making sustainable impacts that grow the sector of ophthalmology in Honduras.

Their sustainability initiative, known as Unidos Visión, is currently working on a three year capital improvement plan for the San Pedro Sula Lions’ Hospital Fraternidad. This non-profit eye hospital provides invaluable services to the people of Northern and Central Honduras, and is in need of equipment and facility upgrades to reach full operating capacity. Follow their progress as they work with Hospital Fraternidad to grow surgical volumes and continue to grow as a protagonist for Honduran ophthalmology.

Honduras Outreach

Dr. Kozarsky in the Mosquita region of Honduras
These children have never seen their pictures before.

Honduras Cataract Mission 2006

Drs. Kozarsky, Himmel, Hoopes and Burton accompanied by techs Rhonda and Greg flew to San Pedro Sula, Honduras during early March 2006 and working with Dr. Carlos Gonzalez and his staff at the Lions Eye Hospital performed 183 cataract procedures on indigent visually impaired Hondurans. This was the most successful trip thus far

Dr. Alan Kozarsky Participates in Honduras Outreach
On February 24, 2001, Piedmont Hospital nurses Jennifer Jones and Patty Justice, Arkansas ophthalmologist Ken Jones, and I left Peachtree Dekalb Airport for San Pedro Sula, Honduras with a large load of donated eye surgery materials. Our flight included a fuel stop in the Florida Keys and a Cuban overflight. This was approximately the tenth trip made by the Ophthalmology Missionary Brigade under the auspices of Honduras Outreach, located in Decatur, GA. The outreach was inspired by Piedmont Hospital radiologist, Steve Wilks. A separate Atlanta group which included Dr. Wilks and local opticians reached San Pedro at the same time by commercial airlines. Completing the brigade were Honduran ophthalmologists, Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Nunez, and a nurse anesthetist.

The following morning, I left for Puerto Lempira, the main town in the Mosquito region of Honduras, with the accumulated half ton of supplies in my aircraft. Puerto Lempira is accessible only by small aircraft and shipping boats. It is notable for the extreme poverty and deprivation of the inhabitants, the Mosquito people.

The presence of tropical rain showers at the precise time of arrival of my aircraft and that of the small commuter aircraft carrying the other members of the brigade made our landing very challenging. Adding to the excitement was the fact that the airport "runway" turned out to be the equivalent of a dirt road, a very muddy one at that.
This trip, the first to the Mosquito region by Honduras Outreach, was intended mostly for relationship building.

With the brigade and equipment in Puerto Lempira, we were met by our hosts, two local missionaries who accompanied the group to the local hospital. There were literally hundreds of people waiting to be evaluated. Some were completely blind from cataracts, many were in great need for donated eyeglasses, and a few special children awaited eye surgery.

We examined several hundred patients, measured and dispensed glasses to many of these, and performed surgery on approximately 60 patients. Surgical procedures included mostly cataract extraction with implants, but we also performed strabismus procedures and ptosis repair in some of our pediatric patients. The surgeries and other medical activities, albeit in very primitive surroundings, went very well and left some very happy postoperative patients.

The living arrangements for the brigade were the most austere that the group had seen in a decade of trips to Honduras. A special outing allowed the group to visit the Mosquito people in one of their own villages.

After five days of this unexpectedly rewarding, and exciting trip, the Honduran physicians were returned to San Pedro Sula and the "North Americans" departed for the US.

Operation Saving Sight

Operation Saving Sight (OSS) is a new charitable program of Eye Consultants of Atlanta (ECA) and the Eye Consultants of Atlanta Foundation, in which ECA surgeons and clinic professionals contribute their time and skills to perform cataract eye surgeries at no cost for Georgians in need.

For people diagnosed with cataracts who are living at or below the poverty level, the medical attention they desperately need can be out of reach. OSS's mission is to support and serve those individuals by delivering cost-free, sight-saving surgery.

While cataracts are the most common condition treated through this program, other surgically treatable eye conditions may be eligible as well. If you would like to be considered for participation in OSS, click here for more information.

Piedmont Better Vision