National Vision Affiliated Doctor Travels to Mexico to Help Optically Underserved
He traveled with a group of volunteers including 14 optometry students from two Mexican optometry schools (Aquascalientes and Sinaloa), three of their teachers (also optometrists), nine Arizona optometrists, one optician, eight Arizona College of Optometry students, one UMSL optometry student, three Mexican ophthalmologists, and 14 non-professional volunteers.
Over the course of just five days, the group was able to see 4,334 people and provide them all with sunglasses. They also distributed over 1,500 readers and dispensed 1,371 prescription glasses.
This makes the 28th mission trip that we have supported in 2017.
Dr. Matt Gill says:
“Arizona VOSH is working very hard on expanding the educational opportunities available for current students as evidenced by the commitment to both U.S. and Mexican optometry students. Enabling students in Mexico to learn and better care for patients in their own country is the ultimate goal of organizations like VOSH so that someday trips like this will no longer be necessary.”
“It was a very rewarding but tiring trip and the busiest trip I have ever been on. Our work days were between 10-12 hours. I hope to continue volunteering, and I love to share my love of international volunteerism with others. Thanks again to NVI for their generous donation of readers and sunglasses that were given to our patients in Hermosillo.”
About Dr. Matt Gill
Dr. Gill has been involved with the Arizona VOSH chapter for over seven years. He became highly committed to international volunteer trips over 15 years ago after serving on month long trips to Ghana and Tanzania where he helped school-aged children.
Dr. Gill graduated from optometry school at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona in 2013. He served as SVOSH club president for two years during his 2nd and 3rd years of optometry school. He tells us that it was rewarding and interesting to get a chance to practice the new skills he was learning, experiencing so much while being completely immersed in a new culture, and practicing a new language.
Dr. Gill has been an affiliated optometrist with National Vision since April, 2015 and resides in Phoenix, Arizona.