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Dr. Geoffrey Tabin and Dr. Sanduk Ruit dedicated their lives to restoring sight to blind people in some of the most isolated, impoverished reaches of developing countries in the Himalaya and Sub-Saharan Africa. In 1994, they created the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) with a goal of establishing a sustainable eye care infrastructure in the Himalaya. With programs in Nepal, Tibet, China, Bhutan, India, and Pakistan they have been able to restore sight to tens of thousands of blind people every year since 1994.
Dr. Tabin’s aim is to be useful, to be respectable and to be compassionate. His work is a journey of self discovery. To him, the greatest glory is to faithfully create an exceptional medical enterprise and to have fun in the endeavors.
* Dr. Geoffrey Tabin is Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Director of the Division of International Ophthalmology at the John A Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. He is a leader in both the local ophthalmologic community and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
* He graduated from Yale University and earned a Masters in Philosophy at Oxford on a Marshall Scholarship. He received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Harvard Medical School in 1985.
* He pioneered the first ascent of the final unclimbed face of Mount Everest, the challenging East Face, and also became the first ophthalmologist to summit Mount Everest.
* Dr. Tabin was also the fourth person to climb the Seven Summits.
* In 1994, Dr. Tabin established the Himalayan Cataract Project with his colleague Dr. Sanduk Ruit. The two doctors have since perfected an affordable, innovative eye surgery procedure that can cure preventable blindness within hours. The cost of one sight restoring surgery, including the intraocular lenses, is US$12, the most cost-effective intervention in all of medicine.
* The Himalayan Cataract Project aims to deliver medical care based on six principles: Humanitarian, High Quality, Innovation, Direct Impact, Affordability and Replication. HCP empowers local doctors to provide ophthalmic care through skills-transfer and education. The project works to train over 200 medical professionals around the globe, and every year screens more than 20,000 patients, and performs between 12,000 and 15,000 surgeries.
* On an 8-day expedition to Ethiopia covered by National Geographic in 2009, Dr. Tabin and his team completed over 900 surgeries in just eight days.
* In 2009, Dr. Tabin was presented with Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award by Dalai Lama.
* Dr. Tabin is also the distinguished recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award given by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognition of his international humanitarian efforts.