Frequently Asked Questions

How did the International Division of the Moran Eye Center first begin?

The Moran Eye Center’s history of international outreach began in 1994 with Dr. Alan Crandall’s annual visits to West Africa. It has since grown to include dozens more physicians, residents and fellows.

How many humanitarian eye intervention missions does the Moran Eye Center go on each year?

The Moran Eye Center physicians go on more than a dozen humanitarian missions each year. The following doctors lead the Moran in the number of humanitarian missions completed within a year:

  • Dr. Alan Crandall, co-director of the Moran Eye Center International Division, participates in approximately three humanitarian missions per year.
  • Dr. Geoff Tabin, co-director of the Moran Eye Center International Division, participates in about four humanitarian missions per year.
  • Dr. Robert Hoffman, director of pediatric ophthalmology, travels on two to three humanitarian missions per year.

Other physicians participate in about two humanitarian trips per year. Most of the humanitarian missions will have two or more Moran physician traveling together helping those in the developing world.

What type of training do Moran physicians give while abroad?

Part of the outreach experience includes training and mentoring the best and brightest ophthalmologist throughout the developing world. Our physicians work in tandem with local physicians teaching sub-specialty surgical skills, best practices of patient care and clinical/surgical operations. This hands-on training greatly benefits the local physicians and staff as they continue treatment and care long after the visiting team from Utah departs.

What are some ways people can get involved?

The Moran Eye Center offers several opportunities for people to get involved. The most critical need is financial support of our programs. The Moran also welcomes volunteers for our annual event, Night for Sight, as well as help with various local outreach projects. It is rare to take volunteers on an eye intervention camp because of the specialty skill sets we require (like being a surgeon or a clinical/surgical technician). If “up close and personal” participation is desired, there is an opportunity for donors to participate in an eye camp intervention and Himalayan trek in Nepal each year.

Why does the Moran Eye Center focus so much on international outreach?

The International Division focuses on the developing world because it has the greatest need and has the highest rate of preventable and curable blindness.

Global statistics on blindness:

  • Approximately 800 million people in the world are visually impaired.
  • Of these, 45 million people are blind and another 269 million are significantly visually impaired.
  • About 90 percent of the worlds visually impaired live in developing countries.
  • 80 percent of blindness in the world is preventable.
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in the developing world

The Moran Eye Center has screened more than 335,000 patients and provided more than 30,000 surgeries in developing countries.

Does the Moran Eye Center get involved here in the local community?

The Moran Eye Center does a lot of work within the local community. The Moran has many community and satellite clinics throughout the Salt Lake Valley plus clinic locations throughout Utah in Davis, Orem, Park City and Tooele.

The Moran Eye Center’s physicians volunteer at the People’s Health Clinic in Park City and each month provide free eye care, screenings and surgeries for underserved and uninsured patients of the clinic. The Moran Eye Center partners with the 4th Street Homeless Clinic in downtown Salt Lake City to provide quality eye care to more than 5,700 homeless patients each year.

Where has the Moran Eye Center helped in the past five years?

Within the last five years the Moran has made great strides in helping to alleviate blindness in the developing world. Such places include the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana; the Lost Boy’s Clinic in Duk Payuel, South Sudan; and the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal. Moran physicians have also traveled to Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and to underserved communities throughout Utah.

How does the Moran Eye Center fund all of these humanitarian trips?

The majority of support comes from individuals and foundations. We also receive a great deal of support from companies such as Alcon and Allergan. An annual outreach/fundraising event, Night for Sight, is held each year which helps raise funds to support our programs throughout the year. To find ways you can donate please visit moraneyecenter.com/outreach and help give someone the gift of sight.

All clinical services and programs are part of University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics