International Outreach...Honduras

The ASOPRS Foundation is excited to support ACE Global’s Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Committee to bring to fruition a first-of-its-kind fellowship training program in Honduras. This program will train Honduran oculofacial surgeons to serve as a steadily growing resource for the people of Honduras, where there is a demonstrated need for this specialty. The first-ever Fellow, Nicolle Andrea Ruiz Rodriguez, MD, is training now and is dedicated to improving patients' lives in Honduras.

Honduras faces a significant shortage of oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery providers, which has a profound impact on the health of its citizens, especially the poor. According to the World Health Organization, there are only 0.2 oculofacial plastic surgeons per 1 million people in Honduras. This limited access to specialized care leads to delayed diagnoses, inadequate treatment, and increased rates of preventable blindness. Honduras has one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America, making it difficult for many patients to afford the medical care they desperately need.

The Fellowship in oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery is a 12-month specialty training that aims to train post-graduate ophthalmologists to become competent in functional and reconstructive care of the eyelids, lacrimal system, and orbital disorders. The program will strive to provide comprehensive clinical, research, and surgical training through varied exposure to hospitals and mentors in Honduras and the US. The fellows are expected to bring their acquired knowledge and skills back to their native countries and participate in programs to continue caring for patients needing their expertise.

 The first-ever Fellow, Nicolle Andrea Ruiz Rodriguez, MD, is dedicated to improving the lives of patients in Honduras. Although born in Colombia, she has called Honduras her home for the past sixteen years. She completed her medical education in Honduras, where she became aware of the lack of oculoplastic surgeons in the country. Her long-term goal is to stay in Honduras and use her knowledge and skills to help as many patients as possible. She is grateful for her opportunities and believes that proper treatment can help people physically and emotionally. Through her fellowship, Dr. Ruiz Rodri Fellowship will significantly contribute to her academic and medical career and improve the lives of many patients in Honduras.

Dr. Ruiz Rodri is currently in the United States, training with Dr. Sara Wester and Bascom Palmer, and will then travel to Orlando to work with Dr. Ryan Scruggs. ASOPRS Foundation is proud to be able to provide this opportunity. 

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