About Hawaiian Eye Foundation

Our Surgeon: Dr. Jeffery Rutgard

Jeffrey Rutgard, M.D., M.S.


Surgeon Dr Jeff Patients Post SurgeryDr. Rutgard attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana where he was elected to the Alpha Epsilon Delta International Premedical Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society in recognition of Dr Jeff Smiling patients grateful happyexcellence in scholarship. Dr. Rutgard was academically honored and chosen to be a James Scholar Independent Study Student and graduated, Phi Beta Kappa, in three years with High Honors and Departmental Distinction for his research in Biology, Physiology, Nutrition, and Physical Fitness. Dr. Rutgard earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he was again academically honored and chosen to be a James Scholar Independent Study Student.

Dr. Rutgard received the University of Illinois’ Medical Research Award for his research in immunology, cancer, and ophthalmology. Dr. Rutgard’s research was highly acclaimed and published in prestigious medical journals and a chapter in a book. Dr. Rutgard attended the University of Illinois Graduate School for three years while he attended medical school and earned a Master’s Degree in Surgery combined with research in immunology the subjects of his thesis and dissertation. He began his ophthalmology training at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute where he studied ophthalmology basic science, pathology, and had his first clinical experience. He completed his residency and an associate-ship in ophthalmology at the highly acclaimed University of Iowa.

Dr Jeff Shaking hands surgeon womanSince the Fall of 1999 Dr. Rutgard has devoted his entire practice of medicine to serving the poor in the international humanitarian sector via on-going volunteer medical and surgical clinics in collaboration with SEE International, the Hawaiian Eye Foundation, Isight Missions, Faith Community Church, North Shore Christian Church, Medical Ministry International, Flying Samaritans, LIGA, Orbis, and many other international foundations. Dr. Rutgard has participated in over 150 Humanitarian Medical Projects, performed over 100,000 charity patient examinations, and over 10,000 humanitarian surgeries. He has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University, Clinical instructor for small incision cataract surgery in the United States and internationally and has educated over one thousand ophthalmologists worldwide. Dr. Rutgard is a guest lecturer in the United States and internationally for Medical Colleges, Medical Societies, Universities, Schools, and Churches.

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In 2010 Dr. Rutgard received the Eye Surgical Volunteer of the Decade Award from the Hawaiian Eye Foundation and in 2013 the SEE International Award for having performed more humanitarian eye surgeries in more countries than any other American Ophthalmologist. Dr. Rutgard has also been honored with the Paul Harris Rotary International Award for his significant contribution to the people of this world. In 2014, Dr. Rutgard received the Flying Samaritan Award for his outstanding humanitarian medical contribution to the people of Mexico and in 2014 an Award from the Catholic Church the Premio Estatal Al Altruismo – Angel Plateado Individual – (Angel of Altruism). In January 2015, he received the Biosyntrx Thornton Humanitarian Award in association with the Hawaiian Eye Foundation. See photos and read post on his most recent award here. 

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To see Dr. Jeff’s expedition calendar, click here: 2018 Expedition and Events. To find out how to join him on a mission or receive one-on-one MSICS training from Dr. Jeff, click here: Volunteer & Train with Dr. Jeff.

Stay Informed

Stay up-to-date with Hawaiian Eye Foundation. Get our latest news and updates by email:
95-717 Kipapa Dr #23
Mililani, HI 96789
Phone: (808) 536-3961
Hawaiian Eye Foundation is an I.R.S. 501(c)(3) public charity, established in Hawai’i in 1984, Tax I.D. #99-0237865.

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