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 .
Dr. Mauger is committed to a patient-centered approach to providing health care and he extends that approach to underserved populations. Locally, he volunteers at the Columbus free clinic. In December, however, he and a group of his OSU colleagues pushed the borders of their altruism and expertise beyond Columbus, taking a trip to Ethiopia.
Joining Dr. Mauger on the trip were Robert Brueggemeier, PhD and Dean of the College of Pharmacy; 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; Professors Michael Earley, OD, PhD and Wondwossen Abebe Gebreyes, DVM, PhD, ACVPM; Kelechi Kalu, PhD and Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs; and Jesse Zweik, a researcher.
Mauger and the group flew into Gondar, located in the northern part of Ethiopia and visited a community health center as well as the University of Gondar. They met with some of their counterparts at the University to exchange ideas, discuss health care issues plaguing the Ethiopian people and, perhaps as important as anything, to establish relationships. Later in the trip, they visited Addis Ababa University (AAU) and, again, began to establish relationships with colleagues at AAU.
“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 him and his colleagues at the College and their counterparts in Ethiopia. In fact, another trip to Ethiopia is imminent.
Mauger says, “A team from our department will be traveling to Gondar again in two weeks to collaborate on eye care issues and eye surgery training.”