Message From the Founder:
Helping others is the most fundamental expression of our true nature: loving kindness and compassion. For those of us who have been blessed with so much, giving is a natural act, a reflex. At the heart of the medical profession is our inclination to alleviate the suffering of other beings. There is something pure, beautiful, and sacred in the heart of every doctor. The most profound expression of a doctor’s heart is to help our patients without receiving anything in return. As an ophthalmologist, I am double blessed for I can, with heart, my hands and appropriate equipment, restore people’s greatest gift, their vision. I have been fortunate to discover mission work at the beginning of my career, almost 30 years ago.
Initially I went on missions to Africa and South America with established organizations. As time went on, I realized that a lot of the time was wasted in traveling and setting up an operating room in remote areas. Also, eye surgery is very specific and requires specialized knowledge and equipment. Therefore, I created Visionary Foundation, a 501c3 tax exempt foundation. Our initial focus has been yearly international eye surgery missions to serve indigent populations, particularly in Central America. Over the past decade however, it has become evident that there is a tremendous need for charity eye care right in our own backyard. Many of our patients are very poor and uninsured. We routinely provide charity care for many of those patients.
In addition, there is a need for contributing to the education of new Ophthalmologists. Our current system of education falls short in this regard. Finally, there are certain “orphan” diseases, such as Pterygium, dry eyes, and diabetes with high prevalence in the poor populations that we serve. We have ongoing clinical studies to help advance the care of these diseases. Thus, we are expanding Visionary foundation’s goals. Besides international surgical eye care, we will be helping to educate young ophthalmologists and advance research in eye diseases.
j. Alberto Martinez, M.D.