by Mike Knaak
A Sartell doctor leaves Saturday for a nine-day trip to Mexico to provide vision care to residents of Gomez Palacio.
Dr. Stacy Hinkemeyer will join three other doctors on the trip. She expects the team will treat 2,000 patients.
The doctors will do eye examinations and treat children and adults for diseases of the eye including glaucoma, cataracts and excessive exposure to the sun.
Hinkemeyer will be accompanied by her mother, DelRose Hinkemeyer of Clearwater.
Two years ago, Hinkemeyer participated in a similar trip to Panama.
“I’m so fortunate I have a skill I can share with the world,” Hinkemeyer said. “We’re so fortunate here.”
Hinkemeyer is clinical director at PineCone Vision Center where the practice has collected donations of more than 700 prescription glasses. Those glasses will be matched to patients needing corrective lenses. The practice, at 2180 Troop Drive, continues to collect prescription glasses, reading glasses and sunglasses for future trips.
The trip is sponsored by the South Dakota chapter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity. In Mexico, the mission group, totaling 12 people, will be hosted by the Gomez Palacio Lions Club. The industrial city of 300,000 is in central Mexico.
“When we arrive in the morning, hundreds of people are lined up to see us,” Hinkemeyer said. “They wait for long hours and at the end of the exam they are so grateful.”