PRESS via Short Hills eye surgeon will embark on surgical mission to Ecuador

Dr. Michael Farbowitz, eye surgeon and medical director of Short Hills Ophthalmology, will be travelling to Guayaquil, Ecuador this June as a participant in a cataract surgical and medical mission to treat the impoverished residents in that location.

The mission, organized and supported by A Promise to Peru, Inc. ( a New York based charitable organization, hopes to perform sight restoring cataract surgery on 150 patients. In addition, the group will treat other common conditions of the eye, dispense distance and reading glasses and provide general healthcare to the communities including: internal medicine, emergency medicine, gynecology, nephrology and ultrasonography.

“I’m looking forward to helping as many people as possible in the week that we are there said Dr. Farbowitz. “The medical facilities there do not have access to the technology that we here take for granted. I’m looking forward to helping as many people as possible and give them access to modern skills and technology.”

Toward that goal, this summer’s mission to Guayaquil, Ecuador will consist of 52 participants who will transport 69 pieces of luggage packed with supplies, medications and equipment to set up a portable full-service eye and medical clinic as well as two portable operating rooms. The majority of the equipment and supplies are donated or lent by local businesses, physicians and private individuals.

Dr. Farbowitz is a veteran of past medical missions, including a trip to Ghana in West Africa in 2012. “Giving of my time and skills to help others both at home and abroad has always been a part of the mission of Short Hills Ophthalmology,” Dr. Farbowitz said. He hopes to make this trip a yearly event, and has been an active participant in Vision Harvest, a yearly event that provides free cataract surgery to the uninsured around Thanksgiving time.

The past several years the mission served Peru, however, this June they will travel to Ecuador to provide similar care. This year’s mission is being conducted in conjunction with the non profit organization Blanca’s House. ( Their clinic in Guayaquil, El Centro Misionero de Salud “Maria Leonor Aguiar” is composed of several exam rooms and two operating rooms.

Since the inception of A Promise to Peru Inc., the surgical and medical team has accomplished:

• 7,000 medical exams on patients in remote villages, orphanages and schools
• 100 Portable ultrasonography examinations
• 2,100 patients examined in the eye clinic
• Approximately 200 sight restoring surgical procedures performed
• 3,700 pairs of glasses administered

Five physicians who organize annual cataract surgical and medical mission to areas in need throughout South America established A Promise to Peru Inc. The group organizes ophthalmologists and physicians of various specialties along with other healthcare professionals from across the NY metropolitan area and around the United States who donate their time and talents towards this effort. They also mentor medical students from Stony Brook, Robert Wood Johnson and Columbia University, State University of New York optometry students, pharmacology, public health students and undergraduate students from various universities. These students assist the physicians and nurses in their treatment of the hundreds of patients seen daily.

Farbowitz encourages patients and friends to donate to this worthy cause by visiting the website

Short Hills Ophthalmology is at 551 Millburn Ave. For more information, call 973 379-2544, or visit

Upon his return from Ecuador, Dr. Farbowitz will be available to local school or civic organizations to speak about his trip. Contact Michelle Gargiulo at 973-379-2544 or michellesheye[at] for details.