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Vision Excellence Awards: Hugh Parsons

Dr. Hugh Parsons

Dr. Hugh Parsons is a clinical professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of British Columbia and founded the Retina Surgical Associates of British Columbia. He is the former chief of surgery at the Surrey Memorial Hospital and is actively involved in the training of international fellows in vitreoretinal surgery. One of his fellows, Dr Tuul, is the first vitreoretinal surgeon at government hospital #1 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and is providing care to patients with retina problems and training other ophthalmologists in vitreo-retinal surgery. Dr. Parsons’ institution has accepted three fellows from Mongolia for the coming year to be trained in retina, cornea, and oculoplastic surgery with the plan to return to their native country.

Dr. Parsons has travelled to Mongolia multiple times over the past 10 years and organized faculty members from the University of British Columbia in different specialties to bring equipment for the purpose of doing outreach projects to provide eyecare to outlying areas and to provide training to local ophthalmologists. One of his main goals is to upgrade the residency training program in Mongolia, and he has worked closely with the Ministry of Health to that purpose. He has enlisted Dr. Ari Giligson to help with this effort who is the director of the University of British Columbia ophthalmology residency program.

Dr. Parsons received the Award of Excellence in 2016 from the Mongolia Ministry of Health which is the highest award for physicians in that country. He has served as director and program coordinator for the Laurel Foundation in British Columbia and has been concerned with providing access to care for patients in remote areas, developing ophthalmology residency programs, and developing cancer programs for the head and neck group. He has acted as a team leader for ophthalmology projects in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China and has volunteered as an ophthalmologic surgeon with the Evangelical Missions Aid Society.

Dr. Parsons is very dedicated to sharing his knowledge and skills with ophthalmologists and residents in developing countries. His efforts continue to make a positive impact on underserved patients with eye disease. Latter-day Saint Charities has worked with Dr. Hugh Parsons on the Mongolia projects for the past three years and are very impressed by his level of commitment to providing eyecare for the underserved in Mongolia.