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Bascom Palmer’s Vision Van Helps Out in Japan

The Miller School’s keen eye for sending help where it’s most needed focused on Japan after its devastating earthquake and tsunami. As part of a unique international rescue mission last spring, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, in collaboration with Japan’s Keio University School of Medicine, flew its Vision Van to Sendai—an area decimated during the March catastrophe. The van, a 40-foot converted bus with state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment, a comprehensive examination room, and three screening stations, was accompanied by Richard K. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and a Bascom Palmer glaucoma specialist. Lee trained local ophthalmologists and volunteers on how best to use the van’s capabilities, enabling them to provide vision screenings and treatments for various conditions, including eye infections and ocular inflammations from contaminated water. Patients were also provided with glasses and eye medications to replace those lost or damaged in the disaster.