How we work

Physicians, nurses, technicians, and all volunteers donate their time, talent, and resources on each VHI field program. VHI participants pay their airfare and a portion of in-country expenses for meals and lodging.

VHI volunteers conduct their work in Latin America with the same professional standards as those followed in the United States.

A large percentage of the surgical and diagnostic equipment, eyeglasses, and surgical supplies used in VHI field programs are made available through the generosity of private and corporate donors. VHI receives no U.S. government funding for its operations.

Critical to the success of VHI’s field programs are the collaborative relationships established with government agencies and medical professionals in our host countries. All of VHI’s services are performed in local hospital facilities with the assistance of local personnel. Return trips to many program sites extend the delivery of vision health care in the region and helps build long-lasting relationships with local professionals and patients.

VHI offers medical, surgical and optical services to people in underserved areas of Latin America. Surgeries include cataract removal with intraocular lens insertion, strabismus repair for misaligned eyes, pterygium removal and various oculoplastic procedures for tumors, birth defects and trauma. In addition, medical conditions such as glaucoma and infections are diagnosed and treated. Eyeglass measurements are taken and glasses fitted for refractive errors. Teaching of local professionals often takes place.