OCEP Clinic & Inauguration – Sep 25, 2021

September 25, 2021 was World Retina Day. We formally inaugurated the Orange County Eye Project on this day.

Special invitees included:

  • US Congressman Lou Correa
  • US Congresswoman Young Kim (represented by Field Representative Abigail Fachtmann)
  • Senator Josh Newman
  • Senator Dave Min (represented by District Representative Brian See)
  • Senator Tom Umberg (represented by Field Representative Christy Le)
  • Assembly Member Janet Nguyun (represented by Field Representative Brianna Buda)
  • Assembly Member Steven Choi (represented by Nam Hyee Kim), and
  • Mayor of Orange, Mark Murphy

Leading retina specialists from Orange County and the larger SoCal area, including Dr. Firas Rahhal (from Retina-Vitreous Associates of Los Angeles and the volunteer retina specialist for the day), Dr. Alison Wong (Ophthalmologist from Kaiser Permanente and the volunteer anterior segment specialist for the day), Dr. Sean Adrean, Dr. Mitul Mehta, Dr. Suri Appa, etc. as well as leading citizens were also present at the event.

In the pictures above, from the left, the OCEP banner; ophthalmologists and retina specialists from OC; Senator Josh Newman with Dr. Raj Agrawal and Dr. Sean Adrean; Group of doctors at the event; doctors who visited the clinic for the inauguration; and certificates for the OCEP volunteers.

Dr. Raj Agrawal, CEO Retina Global, gave a walk through for the special invitees through the clinic and explained what the various facets of the program.

 

At the inauguration event, Mr. Ed Gerber, Executive Director of Lestonnac Clinic gave a brief about the project, followed by a talk by Dr. Raj Agrawal, who spoke about the work of Retina Global around the world, and the significant underserved populations in our own communities, which led to the initiation of the OCEP program for Orange County. Each of the Special invitees in their talks were very supportive of the work of the OCEP program. All volunteers who have worked in the OCEP program so far were provided with a Congressional Certificate to honor them for the work.

After the event, the OCEP clinic began seeing patients, with Dr. Firas Rahhal evaluating about 23 referred patients, while Dr. Alison Wong examined about 14 patients. Dr. Rahhal was ably supported by Dr. Moe Soliman, Retina Fellow at UCI, as well as with Melissa Chang, Medical Student at UCI, while Dr. Kevin Gustafson, Ophthalmology Resident at UCI and Emily Tom, UCI Medical Student, worked with Dr. Wong.

In the pictures above, top row, from the left, Dr. Firas Rahhal examines a patient; Dr. Alison Wong sees a patient; Heather Marion tests the vision of a patient; Luis De La Cruz checks the eye pressure of a patient; Dr. Rahhal discusses a patient’s condition with Dr. Alison Wong, with Dr. Kevin Gustafson on the left; and Dr. Alison Wong discusses management with a patient. Bottom row, from the left, Dr. Firas Rahhal talks to the OCEP team; an impromptu teaching session in between patients (Dr. Alison Wong on the left, Dr. Kevin Gustafson in the center, and Emily Tom on the right); Dr. Firas Rahhal examines a patient, while Dr. Moe Soliman, UCI Retina Fellow, observes; Dr. Firas Rahhal and Dr. Moe Soliman review an OCT of a patient with Kathryn Toyama who used Heidelberg Engineering’s demo OCT machine to scan patients; Emily Tom, UCI Medical Student, carefully applies eye drops; and Dr. Moe Soliman performs laser to a patient with diabetic retinopathy.

 

In this clinic, Heidelberg Engineering provided us with a demo machine for use in the clinic; Ms. Kathryn Toyama from Heidelberg was on hand to perform OCT scan on patients. The company is donating a Spectralis OCT machine to Retina Global’s Orange County Eye Project.

Volunteers included Dr. Natalie Batta, who is associated with a Pharmaceutical company; Heather Marion, who works at Retina Consultants of Orange County; as well as Luis De La Cruz and Joseph Rodriguez. Jonathan Toribio has volunteered at all the OCEP clinics so far, as well as American Rojas from Serve The People, who has worked on the OCEP program since before its initiation. Staff from Lestonnac Free Clinic included Beatriz Quintero and others. Noemi Grabiel managed the clinic as the OCEP Coordinator.

We evaluated close to 40 patients in the clinic.

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