At HEF, we are most appreciative of 35 years of spreading aloha and giving sight with each of our volunteers and donors! To commemorate our 35th anniversary: a visual countdown to 2020. Hear our leadership team share HEF’s mission and honor our founder.
Special thanks to Glacial Multimedia for their continued support!
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By the mid-eighties, Dr. John Corboy had achieved success with his Hawaiian Eye Center, which spanned across all islands of Hawai’i, as well as the popular Hawaiian Eye Meeting (discount code below). He provided services to patients in Hawai’i, regardless of their ability to pay. His patients asked him to do the same for their relatives residing in their home countries throughout the Pacific.
On his first mission to Tonga in 1984, Dr. Corboy observed the prevalence of blindness and felt the need to make a lasting impact with this underserved population. He founded the Hawaiian Eye Foundation 501(c)3 to do just that. With the support of his friends and colleagues, Dr. John worked with the local providers to furnish two clinics and provide invaluable surgical training.
At the start of the new millennium, Dr. Jeff Rutgard became the Medical Director and has since performed over 20,000 charity eye surgeries and trained thousands of ophthalmologists in MSICS. Dr. Rutgard took Dr. Corboy’s model and spread it across the globe. Together, they established training programs in Southeast Asia that mirrored the Hawaiian Eye Meeting.
Under their guidance, HEF has grown into the capacity-building organization that it is today. Focusing on sustainable partnerships with host countries that include local infrastructure and human resource development efforts. Our impact-driven events occur year-round through the dedication of our incredible network of volunteers.
Dr. Corboy had no idea how HEF would grow to surpass his original intention of giving sight to the blind in isolated island nations. With your support over the last 35 years, HEF has expanded to serve patients and train health professionals in 35 countries. We celebrate you, our loyal supporters, who have made all of this possible.