J Lawton Smith Award Recipient

J Lawton Smith was one of the original founders of the COS.  He was globally well known as a neuroophthalmologist who was charismatic in practice and his faith!

The J Lawton Smith Award is given out each year at the COS Annual Meeting to an ophthalmologist who has shown a lifetime commmitment to serving the Lord through their personal practice of excellence in medicine, academic influence, and/or missionary dedication.

Gaining a New Sight for the Unseeing in China




Award Year:

In 1990, Dr William Christie Conrad, an ophthalmologist and his wife Peggy, an ophthalmic nurse founded GANSU, INC. The organization was dedicated to promoting and delivering eye care to the people of remote, rural, northwest China through education and activity of eye care. Dr Conrad, the grandson of William and Jessie Christie who were missionaries in Gansu Province early last century, whose mother also lived years there as a child, has a heart for this part of China. After visiting the place where the Christies lived and seeing the lack of health care in Gansu Province in 1987, as an ophthalmologist, Dr Conrad founded GANSU, INC. which has been working closely with Gansu Health Bureau.

The Pop-up Trailer for cataract surgery that Bill Conrad used in China

Patients come because the health department lets them know. When the patients come to the hospital, adjacent to where the mobile surgical trailer is set up, they are first screened.  They are then brought to the trailer, and assisted onto a stretcher beneath the microscope, where we perform the cataract surgery. We mostly perform small incision cataract surgery, because the cataracts are very dense and are more effectively removed than emulsified… We set up our trailer adjacent to a rural hospital for the whole summer, from late May until September. Multiple surgical teams come for a month at a time, and perform the surgery, operating everyday during the week, except weekends. We don’t perform a super high volume, but consistently do a steady number, and have been doing so for 20 years. We provide the surgeries free of charge, but the local hospital does charge for routine blood tests, screening and after care.

JLS Award Recipients

Other amazing ophthalmologists to know . . .