No person should be needlessly blind.
Restoring Sight International, Inc. (RSI) was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1996 as a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness in underserved communities in the US and throughout the world. Currently chaired by Dr. Roland E. Houle, former President of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, RSI was founded by renowned ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Felipe Tolentino, following a decade of personal medical missions to bring accessible eye care to indigent urban communities in the Philippines. Today RSI has a robust and vastly expanded program. While the Philippines remains the major focus of its activities, RSI through its sponsorship of training fellowships has made small but meaningful inroads in such countries as Brazil, Chile and Israel. It has also engaged in collaborative programs with institutions in Greater Boston, including Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Tufts New England Eye Center, and Codman Square Health Center Eye Clinic that cater to the health care needs of underserved communities in the area.
In the Philippines, not only has RSI partnered with the Ophthalmological Foundation of the Philippines (OFPHIL) and governmental health organizations to conduct medical missions in far-flung areas of the country where eye care was once practically non-existent, it has also made significant contributions to infrastructure development, ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of eye care services in these disadvantaged communities. The newest “jewel in the crown” is the Ambulatory Eye Center in the town of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao Province designed to serve the area’s indigenous tribes as well as communities in the neighboring provinces. Its two operating rooms have been named in honor of the Güells and the Elzaburus, two distinguished families from Madrid, Spain who have been among RSI’s most benevolent benefactors. The first OFPHIL/RSI eye care center outside of Metro Manila, the opening of this Ambulatory Eye Center was an historic event. celebrating the largest commitment of resources that RSI has ever dedicated to a single project.
Free eye care services delivered by the more than 40 medical missions held to date include: vision screenings, ophthalmic medicines and eyeglasses, lab work, diagnoses, treatments and cataract surgeries. The numbers tell it best:
|Patient treatment visits||149,783|
|Diagnostic services delivered||8,793|
|Pediatric eye treatments||1,369|
|Vision screeners trained||782|
|Basic vision screening and eye care trainees||184|
Clearly, in a country of 98 million 60% of whom live in poverty, there’s still a long way to go. However, slowly but surely, and at an ever accelerating pace, RSI and its partners are making great strides in realizing its vision of a world where no person is needlessly blind. We invite you to explore the pages of this website to learn more about us and how far we have come in attaining our goals.