International Ophthalmology Program

About 80 percent of blindness around the world is preventable, yet it has an immeasurable impact on the cycle of poverty and quality of life for those affected and their families. Cataracts are the world’s most common cause of blindness, and is a condition easily treated with a 15-minute surgery.  

The OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s International Ophthalmology Program strives to reduce treatable and preventable blindness around the world by sharing its best resources with the doctors working in developing countries: knowledge and training. As a member of the World Health Organization’s Vision 2020 initiative, we work to increase the quantity and quality of eye care in developing countries by providing local ophthalmologists and eye care professionals with training opportunities, educational support and resources. 

The most common treatable eye conditions include river blindness, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma and cataract – areas where OHSU Casey Eye Institute has the expertise to make a difference. Additionally, we hope to inspire our own students here at OHSU to pursue careers that embrace public service. 

Ongoing international collaborations

Casey Eye Institute’s International Ophthalmology Program strives to reduce treatable and preventable blindness by bringing high-quality training to eye care providers working in developing countries. As a participant in the World Health Organization’s Vision 2020 effort, OHSU Casey Eye Institute is able to offer its best resources: knowledge and training. 

Common diseases in developing countries range from river blindness to retinopathy of prematurity to glaucoma to cataract – areas where CEI has the expertise to make a difference.

OHSU Casey Eye Institute's has several international ophthalmology collaborations. Learn more about our programs in Southeast Asia and in American Samoa.

International Ophthalmology Program team

About the co-directors

Mitchell Brinks, M.D., M.P.H. was raised and educated in the Pacific Northwest. He focuses on bringing advanced technology and high quality eye care to under-served rural communities throughout Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.

His international teaching and research endeavors have taken Dr. Brinks overseas to Cambodia, Bhutan, East Timor, Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, and the Samoas. He completed a Masters degree at OSU in International Health to support his work with the ministries of health overseas,  furthering their vision for eye care in their countries.

Kevin Winthrop, M.D., M.P.H., is a former public health official from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is a specialist in public health care delivery, tropical and infectious diseases, and epidemiological research. He has worked closely with CDC, the Carter Center, and other agencies within the River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) elimination campaign in Latin America. He has created the Vision 2020 Latin American fellowship at CEI and works closely with Latin American Vision 2020 program's training and research consortium. At CEI, he provides clinical and epidemiologic expertise with ocular tuberculosis, syphilis, and other ocular infectious diseases, and teaches in OHSU's Public Health graduate program.

Affiliate faculty

Devin Gattey, M.D. 
Affiliate Associate Professor of Ophthalmology 

Dr. Gattey is a part-time faculty member and former U.S. Peacecorps volunteer who works with trainees at Casey Eye institute to help develop their understanding of International Ophthalmology challenges and solutions in collaboration with Drs. Winthrop and Brinks. 

International ophthalmology fellowships

The International Ophthalmology Program fellowships bring foreign ophthalmologists to OHSU Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, where they receive specific medical and surgical training, allowing them to extend both basic and specialized eye care to their underserved populations upon their return. The curriculum is also designed to give fellows specific skills in epidemiology, public health, research or other aspects of ophthalmology that allow for their participation within their own national Vision 2020 campaigns to eliminate and prevent blindness in their home nations. Meet our featured fellows.

Service rotation for residents

The International Ophthalmology Program also allows OHSU’s ophthalmology residents (trainee surgeons) to travel internationally to treat patients in underserved communities. Learn more.