Mission Work


Charity Missions: From Callahan Eye Clinic to Nicaragua

While any of our Birmingham patients know that we’re committed to helping them achieve the best eyesight possible, they’ll also know that we’re committed to helping communities in need around the world. Since 2003, Dr. Callahan has participated in the mission FOR Nicaraguan Health, which is a service trip dedicated to bringing medical aid to the impoverished in Nicaragua. For one week, every year, several eye surgeons from the eye hospital join Dr. Callahan on a trip to Granada, Nicaragua to perform eye surgeries such as, cataract, strabismus, and other ocular surgeries. Dr. Callahan proudly stands as the Vice President of FOR Nicaraguan Health and is excited to have seen it grow from it’s humble roots from Highlands United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

FOR Nicaraguan Health History

  • 1980s – Dr. Vargas starts bringing medical supplies to help those in need in his hometown of Granada

  • 1993 – Dr. Vargas obtains a large donation from Mr. Thomas E. Jernigan Jr. to buy six pieces of industrial laundry equipment for the hospital in Granada and with the help of members of the Highland United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL the project is successfully accomplished.

  • 1998 - Hurricane Mitch destroys large portions of Nicaragua leaving thousands of victims in desperate need for healthcare. Once again, Dr. Vargas and his friends from Highland United Methodist Church and the Birmingham community raised $35,000 to aid the Nicaraguan Red Cross and provide medical services and food supply to the victims of the disaster. After this event, the idea of creating an organized medical mission group and return to Nicaragua was born.

  • 2000 – The first annual medical mission trip to Nicaragua takes place under the name of Alabama Medical Team with a group of 30 (14 doctors and 16 support personnel). This marks the beginning of our 17 annual missions accomplished up-to-date (2016).

  • 2001 – In July Friends of Rudy (FOR) Nicaraguan Health is incorporated. Application to Internal Revenue Service for non-profit status is filed in August.

  • 2002 – In February FOR Nicaraguan Health receives the not for profit 501(c) (3) status. (Prior to our incorporation, we worked under the tax exemption of Highlands United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama).

  • 2002 – In May the plans to acquire property and renovate a building to operate a year round clinic in Granada becomes a reality.

  • 2004 – In February the Grand Opening of Clinica Alabama-Granada takes place and later in March it begins fully operating. Since its opening over 200,000 patients/visits have been provided

  • 2008 - In August, with the help of Dr. Ilana Kutinsky, we took ten children with cardiac arrhythmias to the Beaumont Hospital in Detroit for very expensive electrophysiology studies and treatment called ablations. All transportation and treatments were done at no cost to the patients and they returned home in good health. Now one of them (Emmanuel Osorio) is a volunteer for the medical missions.

  • 2009 - With equipment donated by Dr. Christian Machado and completed with equipment donated by Dr Kutinsky the first EP Lab of Nicaragua was installed at the Military Hospital in Managua. We are grateful to both Doctors for their contributions.

  • Present – The Foundation has successfully set root in Nicaragua through its two main projects. One is Alabama-Granada Clinic, the general medical clinic, our “Flagship”. The second is the Annual Medical Missions that provide services in four different hospitals in the cities of Granada and Managua.

    To make a direct impact and help FOR Nicaraguan Health, please consider 
    donating to the cause.

Contact Callahan Eye Clinic

Help yourself and help the world at Callahan Eye Clinic. We strive to give the best optometry & ophthalmology services in Birmingham, AL to all of our patients. This includes providing state-of-the-art eye treatments such as cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, and oculoplastic surgery, among others.  Beyond, it involves a treatment method that is founded on ensuring the patient is comfortable and happy, and ultimately apart of our Callahan Eye Clinic family. After all, if it wasn’t for our Birmingham community, we would not be able to give back to those in need. If you have any questions regarding our mission work, or would like to contact Dr. Callahan regarding FOR Nicaraguan Health please contact us via phone at 205-933-6888.

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