Moran's Global Outreach Fellow Works to Build Sustainable Eye Care from the Ground Up

Jun 03, 2020 8:45 AM


Global Outreach Fellow Sophia Fang, MD, at work in Moran's Global Outreach Division.
Global Outreach Fellow Sophia Fang, MD, at work in Moran's Global Outreach Division.

To build something truly sustainable and effective, you need a strong foundation.

Perhaps no one knows that better than Sophia Fang, MD, who studied biomedical engineering and clinical research before becoming an ophthalmologist.

As the John A. Moran Eye Center’s 2019-2020 global outreach fellow, she created behind-the-scenes tools and practices needed to make sustainable, effective eye care in outreach settings a reality.

“Sophia’s work is a shining example of how we approach the international fellowship at Moran,” said Jeff Pettey, MD, vice chair of education. “We support and encourage each fellow’s unique skillset. We also look at how we, as an academic medical center, can uniquely assist global and local partners working on expanding access to care.”

Fang’s background in engineering and data analysis influenced her focus on improving and streamlining online systems and key protocols used in Moran’s global outreach program.

“Even in the most remote corners of the world with the highest volumes of patients, our commitment to delivering high-quality care and developing effective training programs requires robust, innovative systems to gather good data,” explained Fang.

In Utah, Fang created protocols and electronic forms to gather more consistent data for the thousands of patients from underserved populations who receive free vision screenings, eye care, or surgery through Moran’s donor-funded Global Outreach Division.

Aravind Eye Care System in India— the largest eye care provider in the world—asked Fang to analyze its high-volume outreach endeavors and make recommendations to increase the efficiency and quality of patient care. She created a user-friendly interface that made it easier for doctors to find the information they needed about their patients from one screen.

While training nurses at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana and residents at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal, Fang helped develop an open-access, interactive online ophthalmic curriculum. For physicians, she edited, updated, and organized educational resources on small incision cataract surgery, an invaluable technique mainly used in the developing world.

"It's been gratifying to have the opportunity to create and implement change during my fellowship," said Fang. "In addition to making a difference, I am heading out into the world with a wealth of experience."

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