Hannah Cho, OD
By Essilor USA
Dr. Hannah Cho’s work exemplifies her love for helping others in vision care for the underserved, both locally and internationally. In January 2016, she started out as a volunteer optometrist on a mission trip with the Association Haïtienne de Développement Humain (in Haiti), and her experience in providing eye care solidified a desire to incorporate helping others in her normal work life. This passion became a reality later that year with the establishment of For All Eyes Optometry, a charity that donates eye exams, frames, and lenses to the underserved community. Currently at her private practice, FLOE (For Love of Eyes) Optometry, with every pair of glasses purchased, a free eye exam and complete pair of glasses are donated to someone in need. She inspires her patients to get involved in helping improve others’ sight through something as easy as purchasing a pair of glasses!
Dr. Cho dedicates certain Saturdays during the year to close her office and partner with the UCLA Latino Health Student Project on their quarterly Mexico mission trips, donating custom made prescription glasses through her in-office edging lab. Since the start of her charity in 2016, she and her team have seen over 1,500 patients in various locations around Tijuana, Mexico and donated several hundred glasses. Over time, she developed an efficient workflow to maximize the amount of patients seen at these community clinics. Now her team can examine over a hundred patients daily, helping screen patients for ocular diseases and prescribing glasses, most of whom have never received proper eyecare. Her success has sparked the interests of other optometrists to join her charity, spreading awareness of the importance of improving the quality of life for others
Dr. Cho continually seeks further opportunities to reach the underserved. In September 2017, she established an optometry clinic for the St John’s Well Child and Family Center, a large non-profit organization located in South Central Los Angeles. She saw the need for vision care in their community outreach program and worked closely with their Chief Financial Officer and Chief Medical Officer to develop a business plan to create a sustainable optometry clinic. Dr. Cho currently commutes from Irvine to Los Angeles to work at the clinic, seeing about 20-25 patients a day, mostly those undocumented or uninsured. She even devoted time to learn Spanish so she could personally communicate with patients during their visit. In creating this clinic, she hopes to replicate this model for other nonprofit health organizations.
In her six short years as an optometrist, Dr. Cho has demonstrated that she is not just your average eye doctor. Not only does she have a passion for serving those in need, but she also works hard to see that it becomes a reality. Her commitment to serve others by improving their eyesight is manifested through her charity For All Eyes Optometry and her partnership in establishing optometry clinics with nonprofit organizations. She strives to help others see, especially those who are not able have proper access to healthcare.
-Submitted by Carla Chiu