In the second week of February of this year our members Dr. Hank Croce and Dave Sweeterman, with their wives Suzanne and Judy, and a troop of doctors and helpers, went to the Dominican Republic. Their mission was to help local people who had eye problems. 
 
Hank is a retired ophthalmologist, his wife Suzanne was a nurse. Dave is a retired executive who managed the logistics of the enterprise. They saw 800 patients over a period of five days. The visitors were the guests of the Episcopal Diocese of Santo Domingo. The visitors paid for their own transportation and accommodation. The Diocese made local people aware of the mission by distributing flyers.
 
The mission had access to the local hospital; full eye exams were conducted, and 4,000 pairs of donated eyeglasses were distributed.  Pictures accompanying the presentation showed patients waiting, and a great deal was accomplished in a very short time, a near-miracle in a society where English is spoken by very few.  Hank and Dave praised the efforts and hard work of all those who accompanied them.
 
There were also beautiful pictures of an afternoon spent in Santo Domingo, with its statue of Christopher Columbus, and an old church dating back to the 1500s, and, of course, ever-photogenic  Caribbean beaches.
 
Answering members’ questions, Dave said the local population cannot afford eye doctors and eye exams; in fact, many people never see a doctor at all, it does not occur to them. There were some patients for whom there were no suitable eyeglasses among those donated; they are being made here and will be sent.  Hank and Dave thanked all in our community who gave help for this endeavor.
 
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