Looking abroad

Dr. Philip Gardner of Alameda, California, has practiced ophthalmology (anatomy, functions, and diseases of the eye) since completing his residency at the U of M in 1969. A native Californian, he moved to Minnesota with his wife, Sharon. During his time at the U, he was awarded a Heed Fellowship in retinal disease. The Gardners fell in love with the University and the city of Minneapolis during their few short years there. 

Returning to California in 1970, Gardner began practicing ophthalmology and assumed an active role at Hospital de la Familia, a Bay Area-based non-profit that sends medical teams on humanitarian trips to Nuevo Progreso, Guatemala. He has participated in at least 10 trips and counts them among the best experiences of his career.

Throughout their lives, the Gardners have remained deeply connected to the U of M, especially to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences. Gardner’s passion for providing eye care to those in need led the couple to establish the Ophthalmology Fund for International Humanitarian Care. It supports University of Minnesota residents and faculty who travel to developing nations to treat patients with ophthalmic needs. Additionally, the Gardners have contributed significantly to the Ophthalmology Resident Endowment and have made an estate commitment to fuel both funds. 

“Great personal satisfaction comes from saving a child from a lifetime of blindness or from restoring sight to a blind person,” says Gardner. 

The U is grateful for the Gardners’ generosity as part of Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign.


(Photo at top: Sean Rivera, one of the doctors who benefited from the Gardners' scholarship, did his residency in ophthalmology and visual neurosciences. Inset photo: the Gardners.)

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