A Fond Farewell, and Hearty Hello

HCP bids adieu to Dr. Allison Jarstad and welcomes incoming HCP International Fellow, John Hinkle

Partnerships are the bread and butter of the work of the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP). Our partnerships with academic institutions and clinicians help us build an ever-expanding clinical network of globally-minded ophthalmologists to help tackle the mountain of needless blindness. Integral to Dr. Tabin and HCP’s training and mentorship ethos has been supporting an international fellowship program over the last decade.

The HCP international fellowship was developed to provide highly trained early career ophthalmologists with global health and low-resource setting surgical experience, helping them to envision a way to instill global service into their lifelong career. HCP fellows also help to integrate those skills into foreign healthcare systems in a sustainable way with minimal external involvement.

HCP Co-Founder, Geoff Tabin serves as a professor of ophthalmology and Global Medicine at Stanford University and directs the international fellowship. The program is a one-year post-graduate clinical training subspecialty in global medicine. Fellows spend two-thirds of the year working in Asia or Africa, alongside department faculty in collaboration with HCP. Dr. Allison Jarstad recently completed her fellowship year with HCP and Stanford, spending extended periods of time teaching clinicians and caring for people in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal and South Sudan. Please join us in bidding a fond farewell to our outgoing fellow, Dr. Allison,and giving a warm welcome to our newest HCP International Fellow, Dr. John Hinkle.

Dr. Hinkle grew up on a farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky and attended Yale University before working as a high school math teacher for two years through Teach for America. After teaching, he attended medical school at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and was then a resident at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Dr. Hinkle’s interest in ophthalmology was sparked by its impact and is looking forward to the year ahead:

“Ophthalmology appealed to me because it combined surgical treatments and long-term patient relationships. The field is incredibly technical while still being extremely impactful for the people who need care.

This fellowship is an opportunity to learn from the best on an enormous scale. The particular combination of skills, knowledge, and perspectives that develop from working with HCP are unique and powerful, and I'm incredibly excited to immerse myself in the work.”

According to outgoing fellow, Dr. Jarstad, the experience is one that will impact her for the rest of her life.

“After this year I am still blown away by how much need there is. I have been incredibly lucky to work with such an accomplished network of doctors throughout the world during my fellowship with HCP. The quality of ophthalmologists I worked with was astounding and it was rewarding getting to share skills and knowledge across borders.

I was able to witness the impact of blindness and the overwhelming joy of sight-restoration - which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. But more than that, the impact of being able to teach eye surgeons around the world can’t even be quantified! Through training, the impact continues as those eye care professionals I helped to train continue the work - long after I go back home. It’s exciting, rewarding and fun work.

I’m so grateful that this opportunity and HCP exists because the work the organization is doing is tremendously important. Global needless blindness is a challenge that can be addressed and by supporting HCP you get the world one step closer to a future where no one suffers from treatable eye disease and everyone has access to care.”

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