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  • Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award

    2022 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Awardee: Morris E. Hartstein, MD

    Awards Committee

    The Academy is privileged to honor Morris E. Hartstein, MD with the 2022 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award.

    Dr. Hartstein was nominated by American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for his contributions to enhance ophthalmology training and improve access to quality eye care service in Ethiopia.

    Since 2014 and averaging four trips per year, Dr. Hartstein has built an extensive program in Ethiopia that comprises of primary eyecare, distribution of medication and glasses, oculoplastic surgery and teaching and cataract surgery campaigns. Dr. Hartstein has personally examined and treated nearly 7,000 people, prescribed and distributed thousands of pairs of glasses and medications. He also performs complex oculoplastic surgery cases in Gondar and in Addis and has lead cataract campaigns, which restored sight to over 250 people.

    To ensure access to comprehensive ophthalmic care in Ethiopia, developed established a successful model for primary eyecare outreach to villages near Gondar with mobile eye clinics. He continued to work in remote villages during the pandemic and during the recent civil war. Dr. Hartstein also established a training program for Ethiopian ophthalmologists in Israel and continues to be involved in continuing education lectures for Ethiopian residents as well as their board exams to ensure compliance with international standards.

    While working in Gondar, Dr. Hartstein noticed children who suffer from malnutrition. He teamed up with local and foreign non-governmental organizations to establish a daily feeding and monitoring program for over 500 malnourished children. All food is purchased and prepared locally, and the program has been running for the past four years.

    Dr. Hartstein completed his residency in Ophthalmology at Bellevue Hospital Center, followed by a fellowship in Oculoplastic Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical School. He was director of oculoplastics at Saint Louis University Eye Institute prior to moving to Israel with his family in 2004. Dr. Morris is currently director of oculoplastics at Shamir Medical Center, clinical associate professor, Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine. He has published four best-selling textbooks in his field.