About Us

Our Mission Statement: Since 1984, the non-profit Hawaiian Eye Foundation has been dedicated to promoting the preservation, restoration, and improvement of vision throughout the pacific basin and beyond through charitable service, education, and research programs.

Our Vision Statement: That all people of the Pacific rim and beyond will have access to quality eye care.

Our HistoryJohn Corboy, M.D. founded the prestigious Hawaiian Eye Center. He had nine offices across the state to serve all of Hawai’i, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. To all he gave the same VIP care, including a flight to O’ahu, a limo waiting at the airport, and a place to stay the night after surgery.

Dr. Corboy also founded the Royal Hawaiian Eye Meeting (RHEM). The RHEM is still the third largest eye meeting in the country and hosts doctors from all over the world. This was the start of the HEF’s commitment to education because by sharing best practices and modern techniques, the best care can be provided. Dr. Corboy used the funds from the RHEM to begin humanitarian missions. The Hawaiian Eye Foundation (HEF) was born in Tonga.  Dr. Corboy was inspired by the passion that Dr. Jeffrey Rutgard had for the blind impoverished and he invited Dr. Rutgard to join the Hawaiian Eye Foundation as Director of Ophthalmology Missions  Through significant personal sacrifice, Dr. Rutgard expanded the humanitarian services of HEF from Tonga to 3-dozen countries doing more humanitarian eye surgery in more developing countries than any other ophthalmologist. He has been invited to teach eye surgical techniques all over the world.  Dr. Rutgard’s full time commitment to giving the gift of sight to the blind poor, world wide, represents the most noble of humanitarian dedication.   Thanks to Dr. Corboy’s leadership and Dr. Rutgard’s passion, we proudly serve, each year, over 24 worldwide locations to help end cataract blindness.

What We Do:

The two pillars to our organization are:

  1. Training programs
  2. Direct care mission projects

Established Programs

Expeditions to Pacific Basin countries providing humanitarian eye surgery and training.
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Training Programs in Viet Nam and Myanmar teaching eye surgeons advanced techniques.
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Outreach Programs, including training scholarships, equipment and supply donations, and research projects.
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Royal Hawaiian Eye Meetings providing continuing education for U.S. eye surgeons annually for 40 years.
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New Programs
Sustainable Clinic establishment providing jobs to local healthcare workers and primary eye care local patients in HEF’s absence.
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Telemedicine communication assisting and teaching local doctors from afar.
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