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The Himalayan Cataract Project was founded by two doctors, Sanduk Ruit and Geoff Tabin, whose shared mission is to give eyesight back to anyone who needs it, regardless of his or her ability to pay — and with pre- and post-operative care that rivals the highest quality health care throughout the world. This deep-seated lifetime commitment has led them to receive a number of humanitarian and professional awards.

Honors for Dr. Sanduk Ruit

2014: Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Sanduk Ruit was recognized by the Schwab Foundation as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. The winners were selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and global impact. 

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2013: Champalimaud Vision Award

Dr. Sanduk Ruit’s Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal won the 2013 Champalimaud Vision Award, the world’s largest prize in the field of vision, from the Antonio Champalimaud Foundation. The $1.3 million prize is the largest monetary award for work on eyesight and one of the world’s largest scientific and humanitarian prizes. Tilganga was recognized for adapting a system of high-quality, high-volume, low-cost cataract care to the most inaccessible regions of the Himalayas.

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2012: Arthur Lim Award

Dr. Sanduk Ruit received the Arthur Lim Award at the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in South Korea. The Arthur Lim Award recognizes ophthalmologists who have exhibited exemplary leadership in ophthalmology, leading to substantial improvements in ophthalmic teaching and training in their region and beyond.

2010: CMO Asia Brand Builder of the Year Award

Dr. Ruit won the CMO Asia Brand Builder of the Year Award for developing and promoting sutureless cataract surgery. The award is offered by the Asia Brand Congress, which represents 25 countries across Asia.

2008: The 16th Prince Mahidol Award

This award is offered to an individual who demonstrates an outstanding and exemplary contribution to the advancement of medical and public health services for humanity throughout the world. In January 2008, at the Grand Palace in Bankok, Thailand, His Majesty the King bestowed the Prince Mahidol Award to Dr. Sanduk Ruit.

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2007: Asian of the Year – Reader’s Digest

Dr. Sanduk Ruit was named 2007 Asian of Year by Reader’s Digest. “In the last 23 years, Dr. Sanduk Ruit has personally conducted nearly 70,000 cataract surgeries, often saving more than 100 people a day from blindness. And by developing simpler and cheaper techniques, he has brought the procedure within reach of thousands who could not otherwise have access to it.” 

2007: Honorary Officer in the Order of Australia

In December 2007, Dr. Ruit earned the highest honor that the Australian Government awards to foreign nationals. This award sought to recognize Ruit for establishing eye care services in Nepal (and surrounding countries); teaching and training surgeons; and, pioneering technical innovations.

See Dr. Ruit's past awards

Honors for Dr. Geoff Tabin

2014: Warnock Presidential Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology

Dr. Geoffrey Tabin was awarded the first John E. and Marva M. Warnock Presidential Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center.

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2012: Lifelong Vision Foundation Award

Dr. Geoff Tabin was honored at the St. Louis Eye Ball as a recipient of the Lifelong Vision Foundation award for his extensive international ophthalmology work.

2009: Unsung Hero of Compassion Award

Dr. Tabin was named an "Unsung Hero of Compassion" in a ceremony featuring remarks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tabin was among 49 people from 13 countries to be celebrated in San Francisco for their service to society. 

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2008: American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award

Dr. Tabin was recognized by this national association for his participation in indigent care, community service and humanitarian activities in providing services to the poor and needy populations around the world.

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In the words of a colleague, "Geoffrey Tabin is a unique individual whose heart is focused upon preventing blindness internationally. He has personally been responsible for this program expanding from Nepal to Bhutan, Tibet, Western China, North Korea and now Africa." For his medical expertise and compassion to eradicating blindness worldwide, the Academy is proud to honor Dr. Tabin with this year’s Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award.

2007: Intercollegiate Tennis Association Achievement Award

Dr. Tabin received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Achievement Award for excellence in his chosen career. The award was presented at the US Open by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Rolex Watch USA.

See Dr. Tabin's past awards