Our 2023 fellows are here and it’s all thanks to our generous donors and supporters!
For the past 32 years, our Fellowship Program has provided once-in-a-lifetime experiences for fully qualified ophthalmologists from around the globe.
And now we’ve now extended the scheme to include a new Glaucoma-Neuro Ophthalmology fellowship. Thank you to all our generous donors and to the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation for supporting this position to meet the growing demand of patient needs.
With strong community support, Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has committed more than $500,000 to support nine fellows in 2023.
Associate Professor Andrew Chang, Head of Ophthalmology said, “They are selected competitively on merit and importantly, if from overseas, intend to return to their country to provide much needed speciality services there."
“Our eye speciality departments are committed to the Fellowship Program which affords unparalleled access to the best in medical and surgical ophthalmology training, and our fellows work side–by–side leaders in the field and importantly train our junior doctors,” said Associate Professor Chang.
Australia’s first hospital, now known as Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital provides surgical and medical management across seven sub-specialities of vitreoretinal, medical retina, cornea, glaucoma, strabismus, oncology neurophthalmology and uveitis.
Since 1991 Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has funded 173 Ophthalmology Fellows from 32 countries.
“Fellows enrich the hospital in many ways and are often described as central and fundamental to our service delivery to patients,” said Linda Fagan, Chief Executive of Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation.
“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all who donate to the Foundation. With an ageing population, there is increasing demand on services and we need to raise much more funding to support the hospital,” she said.
Sydney Eye Hospital 2023 Honorary Fellows:
Mabs Melville Corneal Fellow
Dr June Artaechevarria was born in San Sebastian, a unique small city in northern Spain. She finished her medical degree in the University of the Basque Country, and completed part of her internship in Cologne, Germany. She then moved to Madrid, where she fulfilled her four-year ophthalmology training and has been working as a cornea specialist for the last three years. June has also volunteered for ophthalmology cooperation programmes in South Sudan, providing clinical and surgical treatments to the most needed.
She is very grateful for the opportunity of being part of Sydney Eye Hospital and is looking forward to learning from the best corneal surgeons, as well as to contributing to the patients care and research programmes. In addition, June is excited to visit Australia and to know more about local culture and traditions.
Medical Retinal Fellow
Adjoa Safoa Panyin Quaicoe is a dedicated Ghanaian ophthalmologist, who graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. She had her residency training at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and is a member of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. At the completion of her fellowship, Adjoa hopes to become Ghana's first female medical retina specialist and to establish a retina clinic which will serve as a referral centre. While in Sydney, Adjoa plans to immerse herself in the city's vibrant culture while advancing her medical career. Supported by the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, she remains committed to making a significant impact in the field of ophthalmology.
Graham Lovett Vitreoretinal Fellow
Dr Zak Prime is an ophthalmologist from Wellington New Zealand. He was born in New Zealand but grew up in Asia and Europe before returning to Auckland for Medical School. After training in Wellington and Auckland he went on to do a first year vitreoretinal fellowship in Wellington.
When not cutting vitreous and reattaching retina Zak enjoys tennis and skiing. Zak is excited to work with and learn from the team at Sydney Eye Hospital, particularly cutting-edge techniques in vitreoretinal surgery. Zak is grateful to the Foundation for the opportunity to undertake this vitreoretinal fellowship.
NEW Glaucoma Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellow
Dr Jessica Belle Sy was born and raised in Baguio City, Philippines. She completed her medical degree at UERMMMCI and went on to pursue her residency in ophthalmology at Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, where she also served as the chief resident. Driven by her passion for the field, Dr Sy has been accepted as the first Glaucoma Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellow at Sydney Eye Hospital, an opportunity she considers a great honor. She is enthusiastic about collaborating with a renowned team of experts and learning from the best mentors in the field.
Her primary objective is to enhance her clinical and surgical skills, gaining valuable expertise in neuro-ophthalmology and glaucoma management. By leveraging her training and experiences, Dr Sy aims to take the highest standard of eye care back to her community in the Philippines.
She is dedicated to making a meaningful impact by providing exceptional healthcare services and utilising her refined skills to benefit her patients.
Dr Josefina Herrera is a Chilean ophthalmologist and the first Latin American physician to train as an oculoplastic fellow at the Sydney Eye Hospital.
She obtained her medical diploma at the University of Chile, in Santiago, after which she completed her ophthalmology specialty training at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she acquired an interest in the oculoplastic, orbit and lacrimal surgery field.
Josefina then pursued further subspecialty training and finished an Oculoplastic Fellowship at the Sótero del Río Hospital in Santiago, which serves the largest population in the country. She has been working as an Oculoplastic Specialist at the same hospital ever since.
She is thrilled with the opportunity to join the oculoplastic team, to participate in research projects and learn new surgical skills from the renowned specialists at the Sydney Eye Hospital. Josefina brought her family along from Chile and looks forward to exploring Australia in the year ahead.
Graham Lovett Vitreoretinal Fellow
Dr Shalhevet Goldfeather Ben Zaken was born and raised in Israel where she graduated with her medical degree from the University of Tel Aviv. She completed a BSc degree in biotechnology from Bar Ilan University, and an MSc degree in neurobiology from Tel Aviv University researching under the neurobiology department Tel Aviv University, Israel in conjoined with the Goldschleger Eye Institute, Sheba Medical Centre Tel HaShomer, Israel.
Shalhevet trained as an ophthalmologist and went on to complete a one-year vitreoretinal fellowship at Kaplan Medical Center, affiliated with Hadassah Medical School. During that time, she took part in numerous research projects.
Shalhevet is grateful to the Foundation and excited to join the team at the Sydney Eye Hospital to complete her vitreoretinal fellowship. Following the completion of this year in Sydney, Shalhevet intends to move back to Israel to continue her career as a vitreoretinal surgeon, helping her patients and sharing with colleagues the knowledge and experience she gained here.
Professorial (Uveitis) Fellow
Dr Anelisa (Neli) Koh finished her medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines and went on to complete her residency training in Ophthalmology at Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center.
In hopes of filling the void in subspecialty care in her province, Neli is eager to hone her skills in the exceptional program that Sydney Eye Hospital offers which allows her to work with leaders in the fields of uveitis, retina, ocular genetics and neuro-ophthalmology. She looks forward to engaging with patients of different cultures and backgrounds, refining her skills in the theatre and taking part in international clinical trials.
Outside of work, she plans to explore the arts and culture, and beautiful outdoors that Australia has to offer.
Mabs Melville Corneal Fellow
Dr Alexander Chorny was born in Russia. He got his MD degree from Ben Gurion University, Israel, as part of a medical cadets program, followed by five years of army duty as a general and combat surgeon in Israel Defense Forces, where he had the opportunity to assist in humanitarian delegations. He completed five years of ophthalmology speciality training at Soroka Medical Center in Southern Israel with honours, including two years as a Chief Resident, while developing an interest in treating corneal diseases. He then took up a fifteen-month Cornea Fellowship at Rabin Medical Center. As part of his community involvement, Alexander volunteers for the Israeli Research Association for Eye Health and Blindness Prevention, offering ophthalmological care for disabled patients at their homes.
Upon return from Sydney, Alexander expects to use new skills, offer much-needed corneal service to the diverse community of Southern Israel, and teach future generations of ophthalmologists to provide the best care in treating corneal diseases.
Dr Aaron Wong is an ophthalmologist from Auckland, New Zealand. After completing training in New Zealand he has undertaken fellowships in glaucoma in Auckland and general ophthalmology in Melbourne. He has received a RANZCO NZ scholarship to complete the further glaucoma subspecialist training at Sydney Eye Hospital in 2023. Aaron is looking forward to working and learning from the team at Sydney Eye Hospital and hopes to further strengthen the trans tasman ophthalmology relationship on his return to New Zealand.