A surgeon from the La Carlota Adventist Hospital in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, operates on a patient recently. There were 40 cataract surgeries and 30 retina treatments performed during the World Meeting of Values – Charter for Compassion recently [Photo: La Carlota Adventist Hospital]


Adventist Hospital in Mexico Recognized as a Compassionate Institution for Its Free Eye Surgery Program

In Mexico, more than 3 million people suffer from cataracts, and this type of activity is a crucial step towards the eradication of the condition in the region.

Mexico | Laura Marrero and Inter-American Division News Staff

Seventy people with problems due to cataracts and retinopathy regained their vision and increased their quality of life significantly as a result of a recent free ophthalmological surgery campaign offered by La Carlota Hospital (HLC) at Montemorelos University, in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico. The October 22–24, 2023, event preceded the 15th World Meeting of Values, the first event in which HLC participated after being recently recognized as a Compassionate Institution by the Charter for Compassion organization.

The three-day surgery campaign took place at HLC’s Vision Institute. In addition to the 40 cataract surgeries and 30 retinal treatments performed, 120 more cataract surgeries were scheduled at no cost for January 2024, bringing hope to scores of people suffering from these conditions. The ophthalmological procedures were carried out by a team of qualified specialists from the Vision Institute, who donated their time and expertise to the initiative.

In Mexico, more than 3 million people suffer from cataracts, and this type of compassionate activity, led by HLC in partnership with other entities, is a crucial step towards the eradication of the condition in the region, said Juan Carlos Pedraza, coordinator of Medical Brigades at the Vision Institute and one of the leaders behind the initiative.

Pedraza said the initiative emphasized the ongoing commitment to the community with the goal of serving more people. “By being part of Charter for Compassion, we reiterate our commitment to help and support the most vulnerable people in society with quality surgery interventions, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Having the opportunity of being a Compassionate Institution is very favorable because our experience in brigades can be combined with the support of institutions with larger reach, and thus, more people can benefit.”

Prominent sponsors supported and partnered with the campaign, including the Office of Equality and Inclusion of Nuevo León, the Ministry of Health of Nuevo León, the Government of Montemorelos, the World Meeting of Values organization, Charter for Compassion, Carl Zeiss, and Montemorelos University.

On October 27–28, the15th World Meeting of Values took place under the theme “Social Harmony and Reconciliation,” in the Pabellón de Monterrey Auditorium, where HLC officially received the distinction as a “Compassionate Institution” by Charter for Compassion. Charter for Compassion is a global organization with a presence in 54 countries and 440 cities around the world. The distinction recognized the compassionate actions of HLC for the benefit of the community and as part of its mission and values.

“This gesture of compassion and generosity leaves indelible marks on the community, and HLC is pleased to be recognized as a Compassionate Institution,” Pedraza said. “[It is] a title that makes the hospital stand out as an example to follow in promoting compassion and quality health care in the region.”

HLC has provided healthcare services for 80 years and now offers multiple services, including specialized care, surgeries, advanced diagnosis and tests, in-patient care, and emergency services. In 2022, the Adventist healthcare institution performed 1,610 eye surgeries, but a remodeling initiative of the surgery theaters prevented the hospital from reaching more people in 2023.

Charter for Compassion regularly works with various entities and governments to increase services to populations around the world. Hospital leaders said the designation of Montemorelos University and HLC as Compassionate Institutions will boost efforts of the state of Nuevo Leon to also become a Compassionate State, one of the first in the country.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.