Thomas F. Mauger, MD currently serves as the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He has been on staff at the College since 1988 and has a pure OSU pedigree – Mauger received his MS and MD at OSU and completed his residency here as well. Thus, it is no surprise that his most recent endeavor typifies the “but for Ohio State” spirit that is so much a part of the OSU fabric .
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is committed to a patient-centered approach to providing health care and including underserved populations. Locally, OSUWMC doctors, students, and staff volunteer at the Physicians free clinic. In December, however, Dr. Mauger and a group of his OSU colleagues pushed the borders of their expertise beyond Columbus, taking a trip to Ethiopia.
Leading the trip were Wondwossen Abebe Gebreyes, DVM, PhD, ACVPM; Kelechi Kalu, PhD and Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs. Joining them on the trip representing Dean Charles Lockwood and Doctor Daniel Sedmak, Director of Global Health Education; was Jesse Kwiek, PhD, Assistant Professor Robert Brueggemeier, PhD and Dean of the College of Pharmacy; Karl Werbovetz , PhD, Associate Professor, College of Phamacy; Stanley Alan Lemeshow, PhD, MSPH and Dean of the College of Public Health; Patrick M. Lloyd, PhD, MS and Dean of the College of Dentistry; Beau Meyer, Dental Student; Professors Michael Earley, OD, PhD of the College of Optometry. An earlier trip in the summer involved the other Deans of the Haelth Science Colleges.
The group flew first into Addis Ababa and then continued to Gondar, located in the northern part of Ethiopia. Under the leadership of Doctors Gebreyes and Kalu the group visited community health centers, university, and government officials. . They met with some of their counterparts at Addis Ababa University and Gondar University to exchange ideas, discuss health care issues plaguing the Ethiopian people and, perhaps as important as anything, to establish relationships.
“Ultimately, the hope is to establish a robust portfolio of educational, research and patient care collaborations that would be mutually beneficial to both the people of Ethiopia and to The Ohio State University. We established important dialogs and began plans in Gondar and Addis Ababa,” he says.
The relationships cultivated on that trip in December will come in handy because Dr. Mauger says the table is set for further collaboration between Ohio State and their counterparts in Ethiopia. In fact, another trip to Ethiopia is imminent.
Mauger says, “A team from Ohio State just returned from a collaborative visit on eye care issues and eye surgery training in Gondar. We hope to build on this relationship”.