About Us

The HelpMeSee Difference

HelpMeSee is the global campaign to end cataract blindness, which the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Through partnerships with hundreds of surgeons and dozen of hospitals in nearly a 10 countries, along with cutting-edge technology and training, we are building a sustainable solution to this health crisis.

How Are We Different?

Sustainability

Sustainable health solutions are at the center of our campaign, and the best way to provide the ongoing care needed to end cataract blindness is by increasing the number of local specialists. That’s why we foucs on training and supporting local partners.

Scale

We work closely with medical professionals to standardize the quality of care, the medical supply chain, and measure progress to create a replicable model for eye care. Thanks in part to the revolution in mobile computing and cloud-based technology, we can deploy outreach and monitoring tools to our partners across India and monitor results in real time.

Integration

The challenges to end cataract blindness are great – not enough surgeons, poor patient awareness, limited access to quality instruments and facilities. So HelpMeSee focuses on a comprehensive solution to cataract blindness, which includes surgical training, patient outreach, and delivery of sight-restoring cataract procedures. Our technology-driven solutions address every dimension of this global challenge.

Long before HelpMeSee was founded, our work was inspired by one man's lifelong dream – to end cataract blindness. The inspiration HelpMeSee began in the late 1970s, when Albert L. Ueltschi dedicated himself to fighting blindness in the developing world. His insight was to train of local caretakers to serve their communities.

As founder of FlightSafety International (FSI), the world’s foremost aviation training company, and a pioneer in simulation training, Al Ueltschi wanted to use his skills and experience to make an impact. Today, the company he founded remains a global leader in aviation training, providing more than 3,000 individual courses for 135 aircraft types serving 154 countries.

Al also co-founded and led Orbis International, the global nonprofit best known for its “Flying Eye Hospital”. Using his background, Al Ueltschi lead the effort to equip the first McDonnell Douglas DC-8 airplane and later, it successor the DC-10 wide body. For the first time, volunteer ophthalmologists were able to reach around the world to treat preventable blindness and train eye care specialists in developing countries.

While the Flying Eye Hospital program continued to do great work, Al Ueltchi began to realize it lacked the scalability needed to provide access to the millions of cataract blind, which is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Soon he began investigating the possible use of simulation technology and other aviation training to teach the thousands of skilled cataract specialists needed to solve the problem.

In 2010, Al Ueltschi co-founded HelpMeSee with his son, Jim Ueltschi, with a single goal: to end cataract blindness. He brought to HelpMeSee more than a half a century’s experience in simulation-based aviation training to successfully design and develop a virtual reality eye surgical simulator that could train 30,000 cataract specialists.

Before Al passed away in October 2012, he signed the Giving Pledge along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Thanks to his generous support and vision to change the world, he was able to successfully launch the HelpMeSee campaign. Today HelpMeSee India Foundation continues to carry out his mission, to eliminate blindness caused by cataract.

Jacob Mohan Thazhathu

President & CEO, HelpMeSee
Chairman, HelpMeSee India Foundation

Mohan ThazhathuJacob Mohan Thazhathu joined James Ueltschi in 2008 to launch HelpMeSee. Jacob established HelpMeSee’s base of operations in New York City after officially assuming the position of CEO and President of HelpMeSee in 2010. Previously, Jacob was Chief Operating Officer of ORBIS International, CEO of ORBIS Canada, and Managing Director of ORBIS Taiwan. He has held various executive leadership positions with Plan International, one of the world’s leading development organizations and has lived in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. In 2001, Jacob was Plan International’s Representative to the UN and Lead for the special session on the Rights of the Child at the United Nation’s General Assembly.

James Tyler Ueltschi

Co-Founder, Chairman & Treasurer
Member, HelpMeSee India Foundation Board of Directors

Jim UeltschiJames Ueltschi is the driving force behind HelpMeSee since the idea sparked in 2008. As Chairman and Treasurer of HelpMeSee, James is leading a multi-disciplinary team that is bringing the technology of flight simulators and advanced training methods to surgical training and medical practice. The goal is to train cataract specialists in months instead of years. During his early career, James was the Vice President and a Treasurer of FlightSafety International as well as serving on the board of ORBIS.

Jeff Mullen

Member, HelpMeSee India Foundation Board of Directors

Jeff MullenJohn Jeffrey (Jeff) Mullen graduated from Georgetown University in 1991 and from Georgetown University Law School in 1995. Jeff worked at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP as a corporate attorney from 1995-2000 before joining Goldman Sachs & Co., where he was most recently a Managing Director in the Investment Management Division. In August 2016, Jeff joined Airbnb as Treasurer. Jeff has been a member of the HelpMeSee board since 2011 and is also a member of the board of directors of the Fabretto Children’s Foundation.

Venkat Sambandhamoorthy

Chief of Campaign and Field Operations - New Delhi, India
Member, HelpMeSee India Foundation Board of Directors

VenkatVenkat serves on the Board of Directors for HelpMeSee India Foundation, and works for HelpMeSee as the global Chief of Campaign and Field Operations, based from his office in New Dehli, India. Venkat has 25 years of experience in Finance, Project Management, Administration, Operations, and International Auditing. He has managed major restricted donors and bilateral and multi-lateral projects. Venkat has developed systems and procedures for Partnership operations in various countries. His strengths also include Partnership Management and project evaluations for more than 80 projects in 20 countries. Before joining the HelpMeSee team, Venkat spent nearly two decades with Plan International as its Financial and Project Manager in Asia and Africa.