Dr. Cathy Schanzer, Director, Chairman and Medical Director
As an ophthalmologist/surgeon, her medical mission efforts have included work in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, working with existing programs in these various countries. Dr. Schanzer began working in Sierra Leone in 2000, just as a tragic ten-year civil war was ending. In 2006 she and her husband established Southern Eye Clinic in Serabu which is located in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, approximately 150 miles southeast of the capital city, Freetown. Cathy attended the University of Texas School of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completed her ophthalmology training at Baylor College of Medicine. Cathy is also the Medical Director of Southern Eye Associates, a medical/surgical eye care practice in Memphis.
Rev. Joe Geary, Director, Vice President
Rev. Joe Geary is a bishop in the Methodist Church and is located in Paris Tennessee. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Rev. Geary has led volunteer missions to Africa since 1995. His mission work for the last several years has been in Sierra Leone. He is very familiar with the work of SEI in Sierra Leone and is a strong supporter of these efforts.
Sam Pieh , Director, Member at Large
Sam Pieh is a business man and teacher. A native of Sierra Leone, Mr. Pieh has dual citizenship with the United States. He is a former member of Rev. Joe Geary’s church community and has co-led numerous mission trips to Africa for the Methodist Church. It was Mr. Pieh’s influence that first led Cathy and Tom to Sierra Leone.
Tom Lewis, Executive Director
Tom Lewis received an undergraduate degree from Rice University and a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration from Trinity University. Tom left the business world in 2000 and began working full-time in support of the Southern Eye missionary efforts. Tom has accompanied Cathy on every mission trip since 1988, oversees the day-to-day operations of Southern Eye Clinic of Serabu and coordinated all development activities of Southern Eye Institute.
Brad Scharff, Southern Eye Institute Coordinator
Brad Scharff joined Southern Eye Institute as its new mission coordinator. Brad is from Memphis, TN where he attended the University of Memphis and received a Master’s in Education from Union University. Before joining us, Brad had extensive experience at Catholic Charities of West Tennessee Foundation. Brad was a member of our 2014 Mission team to Serabu.