Marcelin, an ophthalmologist at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, first visited Haiti while in medical school and it was her trip there that inspired her to become an ophthalmologist. Add to that Marcelin’s background – her family is from Haiti – and it makes for a very meaningful trip on many levels.
“You could say that I am going back to my roots,’’ said Marcelin. “But more than that, going back to Haiti is coming full circle to what got me started in ophthalmology in the first place.”
What got her started in ophthalmology in the first place is what still inspires her today: giving the gift of sight. Marcelin, who teaches at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, will travel to Haiti from January 18-25 with the Crudem Foundation to work at the Sacred Heart Hospital (Hôpital Sacré Coeur) in Milot. There she hopes to perform surgery on glaucoma patients. She specializes in treating glaucoma, which is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because it has no symptoms and can end in blindness if left untreated. Marcelin says that it is a particular problem in third world countries like Haiti where treatment is not readily available.
She will be traveling with a group of other ophthalmologists including a cataract surgeon from Boston. Marcelin said she will probably spend most of her time performing surgery to insert glaucoma drainage devices, which help to reduce pressure on the eye created from the buildup of fluids.
Marcelin said that she hopes that the trip will be the first of many and that she would like to eventually organize a group of her own to return to the islands each year. She said that her colleagues at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary are already inspired by her plans.
“I hope that once I return others will be inspired and I will be able to get more people involved,’’ she said.
Dr. Marcelin completed her Ophthalmology Residency at New York University Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She received her fellowship training in glaucoma diseases at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
To follow Dr. Marcelin’s travels, visit Hudson Valley Hospital Center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Hudsonvalleyhospital. To contact her office for an appointment, call 914-737-6360.
To learn more about the Crudem Foundation and its work visit www.crudem.org