Barbara Erny, MD Takes on New Foundation Role

The ASCRS Foundation welcomes Barbara Erny, MD, to the team as the ASCRS Foundation Medical Liaison for International Programs. This is a new volunteer position created to support the expanding scope of the Foundation’s international work, which includes a diverse and growing network of nonprofit partners including DigiSight, Global Sight Alliance, Himalayan Cataract Project, Moran Eye Institute, Seva Foundation and Vision Care.

Dr. Erny will foster collaboration and coordinate our efforts with partner organizations committed to eliminating curable cataract blindness in the developing world. Dr. Erny recently retired from her private practice in Silicon Valley. A driving force for her retirement included the opportunity to fully devote her energies to advancing ophthalmology and cataract surgery in developing countries.

Dr. Erny earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she also completed her ophthalmology residency. Before her transition into the Medical Liaison role, Dr. Erny was a the leading cataract surgeon at the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group for 26 years. She has been on our ASCRS Foundation International Committee for several years, and is uniquely suited to this new role given her long term commitment to charitable eye care.

Over the past 25 years Barbara has volunteered with Himalayan Cataract Project, SEE International, The Flying Doctors, International Aid, Amazon Promise, and others teaching and providing humanitarian service in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. She has twice made extended visits to Ethiopia where she has taught and mentored local ophthalmologists at the ASCRS Foundation Sinskey Eye Institute.

Dr. Erny’s work will focus on helping the Foundation and our partners address the root cause of increasing global cataract blindness – the shortage of eye surgeons. Together, we are committed to long term solutions that build local surgeon capacity in developing countries. Solutions like the Ethiopian Residency Coordinator Initiative, launched with Himalayan Cataract Project two years ago. The program supports Residency Coordinators at each of Ethiopia’s five teaching hospitals – coordinating clinical rotations, providing travel support to African and U.S. meetings, and is working to standardize the educational curriculum country-wide.