It has been estimated only 30 surgeons in Sichuan Province can adequately perform a good cataracts surgery.
And in rural China, there aren't any cataracts surgeons.
In contrast, in Oklahoma City, about 30 physicians work at Dean McGee Eye Institute, and Oklahoma has only a fraction of the population of the Sichuan Province, Farris said.
Over the past 10 years, the relationship between the Oklahoma and Chinese doctors has developed into an extensive partnership.
The Dean McGee Eye Institute and Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital have developed a residency program to teach residents who will graduate and perform eye surgeries in China.
And recently, Chinese health officials announced plans to build a $30 million 97,000-square-foot facility, using Dean McGee as a model for the facility's structure.
Ophthalmologists have the ability to change lives by performing a cataracts surgery, which takes only about 15 minutes to perform, said Dr. Gregory Skuta, the president of Dean McGee Eye Institute.
The Sichuan Province is one of the largest in China, and the ophthalmological needs are considerable, Skuta said.
“And I think the ability for us have impact is high,” Skuta said. “With the economic growth in China, they have the resources to really move the medical system forward in a very meaningful way, and we would like to be part of that, if we can.”