Dooley Intermed is a 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization

Our History


The organization was established in 1961

by Dr. Verne Chaney

Geographical Timeline


Burma (Myanmar) 2001-2003

Work with Yangon Eye Institute (Dr. Aung Than)-books, journals, antibiotics , eye medications, introcular lenses, 'edging instrument', a computerized model, to adapt lenses to eye glass frames.

Two doctors and two nurses from Rangoon were sent to Kathmandu for two months of advanced training in cataract surgery at a well - recognized and reputable Eye Institute. The program is organized and supervised by UNDP representative in Rangoon with Dooley Intermed providing the support funding for transportation, food and housing.

Dooley Intermed also supplies educational materials and training books and literature in the field of ophthalmology...textbooks ophthalmology journals are mailed monthly to the

Chief of Ophthalmology, Dr. Than Aung, at the Eye Institute in Yangon (Rangoon / Myanmar).

In 2002-2003, the following surgical instruments, medications and supplies have been provided: Portable slit lamp, Portable A-scan, Autoclave sterilizer, Zithromax

Instruments for corneal graft surgery, 10,000 intraocular lenses for the treatment of cataract patients.

Cambodia 1972-1975

Phnom Penh: Medical and material assistance 1972/73 to camps sheltering refugees streaming in; established medical laboratory for refugees; equipment and supplies to provincial hospitals 1973 16 tons medicine donated by pharmaceutical firms; Dooley- Intermed sent $300,000 worth of aid in 1973 alone.

1974-Medical care and vocational training to orphanage of teenage girls

In early 70's "over half the total civilian population of Cambodia displaced."

El Salvador 1986

pharmaceuticals & medical supplies.

Ethiopia 1987

Collaborated in establishment and support of self-help handicraft center in the village of Lalibela.


Under the guidance of Dooley Intermed’s Project Director, Dr. Maria Compte, a Medical Technician training program was organized at D-I’s 30-bed hospital in Rus Rus in May of 1995. After a six-month training program, eight medical techs were graduated to return to their village clinics.

India 1962-1970 1978-1982, 2015-2020

Tibetan Refugee Program 1962-1970 Refugees numbered about 40,000; three mobile health units. Handicraft Center (Mussourie) Child welfare assistance.

1980-financial support for medical dispensary and school for children.

2015 - Ngoenga School For Children With Special Needs, India

This is the only school in existence for disabled Tibetan and Himalayan children.   This program was initiated in 2015 when Dooley Intermed funded the purchase of much-needed physical therapy equipment and special orthopedic shoes for these disabled Tibetan refugee children.

2017- Gift of Sight Educational and Surgical mission in Northern India.

Dooley Intermed - Operation Restore Vision project in Northern India, along the sacred Ganges River in the foothills of the Himalayas. Our colleagues at Hans Eye Care in Haridwar screened over one thousand patients prior to the team’s arrival, selecting dozens of complex retina, cornea, oculoplastics and glaucoma cases for free eye surgeries. Working shoulder to shoulder, the USA based team was impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the entire Hans team who welcomed the visiting eye experts as colleagues and friends. It was a very special project with many sight-restoring surgeries, and many new friendships.

Kaziranga, India – In 2020 a fund was established to facilitate healthcare for the local villagers of Kaziranga, the location of Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, and important tiger, elephant, and wildlife habitat in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity area of Northern India. The Organization's goal is to create a viable healthcare service for the villagers, especially children, that will also provide urgently needed medical care for the local Kaziranga Park Rangers and workers responsible for protecting the indigenous wildlife.

Israel – 1995

In April 1995, six pallets of needles & syringes were donated by Dooley Intermed to the Institute for Health Development and Research in Palestine in support of the medical care of the sick and elderly in the Israeli municipalities of Bethlehem and Beit Sabour. The shipment was valued at 10,000.

Kenya 1988

Contributed to the construction and support of the Olmesutie Primary School in the village of Loita.

Laos 1961-1975 1982-1992, 1997-2001

Only three medical doctors in all of Laos before Dooley-Intermed arrived

In 1969 "last private American medical group working in Laos, everyone else has pulled out..." North Vietnamese and Chinese troop movements forced Dooley-Intermed teams to evacuate many times.

Training girls in midwifery, childcare, public health. Basic health education: setting aside land for garbage disposal areas, improved nutrition with donated hi-protein milk biscuits & saw children gain weight, seem to learn faster, sores heal faster. Puppet shows showing diseases, teaching boiling drinking water, cooking fish, sleeping under mosquito nets, how to care for minor injuries/sores, get rid of mosquitos' stagnant pools, wear shoes against tapeworm.

1967 Project Showboat: Two 40-foot houseboats modified as medical clinics with x- ray, laboratory, minor surgery, and training facilities providing medical care to Mekong River Villages; five 18-foot ambulance boats. Movies, music, puppets teach about health, sanitation, nutrition. One boat, in 1 1/2 years, treated 20,000 people. American doctors, nurses, technicians work with and teach Lao medical personnel. Stewardesses with puppet shows. Second boat 1969.

1970-North Vietnamese forces appeared, had to withdraw.

1974-75: Schistosomiasis study on Mekong River with Smithsonian Institute and Mahidol Univerisity, Bangkok

Khong Island (Laos): 1964: Khong is 70 miles south of Pakse. The early 60's, averted the cholera epidemic via attention to early warning signs in villages. Eventually fifty-bed hospital and maternal, laboratory, Xray, and child health center--financial material, and technical assistance.

Para-medic training program River village clinics, Evacuated 1970.

Champasak: Seventy (or 90)-bed hospital and maternal and child health center--staff, financial, material, and technical assistance; (1970) complete x-ray facilities, surgical suite, & 2 laboratories

River village clinics Evacuated 1970.

1997-98 Dooley-Intermed supporting medical services for landmine victims here and in Vientianne (eyeglasses, hearing aids, oxygen resuscitation unit, surgical instruments, complete dental unit, books)

Pakse (provincial capital of Champassac): Administrative office

Provincial Hospital with complete x-ray facilities (mobile x-ray unit) installed in 1969 1971 Very bad in Laos. One-third of the 3 m. population homeless, disease rampant. 1973 cease-fire allows Dooley-Intermed re-entry

1961-1970 Ban Houei Sai: Northwest Laos, fifty-bed hospital with surgery, laboratory River clinics

Thadeua: (near Vientiane). Refugee-driven. 1970-74, medical care and health education for 9,000 refugees, major medical assistance, health education and preventive medicine Mobile land unit used with medical boats to reach remote refugee villages.

1972-74 Immunization campaigns against tetanus, Diptheria, polio, and whooping cough 1972-immunization campaign against cholera in Mak Heo village on the Mekong: Dooley- Intermed nurse & Lao team members vaccinated 7,000 villagers & averted epidemic. Also, 1970's, asst. to Sisavangvong Hospital,

Vientiane: Health survey of Mekong River villages, a joint project with School of Public Health, University of Hawaii 1968-1970

Sisavangvong Hospital laboratory technician training 1969-1971

1997/8 Dooley-Intermed supporting medical services for landmine victims here and in Champassac (eyeglasses, hearing aids, oxygen resuscitation unit, surgical instruments, complete dental unit, books)

Pak Lay, is a town in Sainyabuli Province, in the west of Laos.: Twenty-bed hospital, medical care, and public health programs.

Vientiane: Donated complete dental unit in 1994

1998 Now focusing entire Lao assistance program on the reinforcement of existing services at two locations: 1) National Medical Rehabilitation Center in Vientiane-equipment for physical therapy, hearing & vision rehabilitation, technical assistance for improved production of orthopedic devices 2) Champassac Provincial Hospital (south of Laos, also landmine rehabilitation) needs autoclave, anesthesia machines, anesthetic agents, ambulance & other equipment.

2001 at Vientiane Eye Institute (Dr. Vithoune)'s Blindness Prevention and Treatment Programs. Donated Some type of edging instrument.

Nepal 1963-2021

1963-Overall goal: to help Nepal set up and maintain national disease prevention and medical care program using Nepalese people.

General in Nepal: Immunization, nutrition, health education, training for health workers, video education project documenting conditions in remote villages--tapes to be used in the classroom and to help in health policy decision making, research. Training of physiotherapists, nurses, nurse-aides, vaccinators, health workers, and technicians.

First to:

Plan, finance, implement National Health Survey introduces a Physical Therapy Training Program,

introduce an Infection Control and Quality Assurance Nurse Training Project to introduce a Solar-Powered Refrigerator for field use.

introduce a video for training nurses and health workers

introduce the concept of solar and wind-powered radio for rural health posts.

1978-Working on getting solar-powered radios allowing health workers at remote northern (Kaski District) villages to communicate daily with physicians at a medical center 150 miles away. Villages are in "the most remote of Nepal's high mountain valleys".

Kathmandu: 1964; 1965 Bir Hospital nurse education assistance; medical/surgical specialty seminar. No medical schools in Nepal and new doctors with overseas MDs would be confused-DI worked to establish standards adapted to Nepal's level of development. Also, set up public health clinic & created standard nurses' manual.

1968 -

Kokhona Leprosarium outside Kathmandu


Equipment and Laboratory supplies to Central Health Lab, Kathmandu


Supplies, including hospital beds and surgical instruments to Bir hospital


Medical books, journals, cassette tapes to medical library at Bir Hospital


Equipment including beds, large generator, surgical instruments and


other materials to Gandaki Zone Hospital


Built and equipped medical laboratory in Pokhara


Helped supply three village clinics in Kaski District


Built and equipped medical library and public health education office in


Gandaki Zone Hospital


Dental supplies to Gandaki Hospital


Equipment and supplies for Physical Therapy Dept at Bir Hospital


Equipment aand supplies to Central Sterile Supply Dept Bir Hospital


Built Dome for Medical laboratory, some furnishings to Surket Hospital


Built, helped equip and furnish, laboratory for district hospital at Gorkha


Contributed essential equipment and materials to launch a video


education program for villagers and health manpower training.


Fully equipped ambulance to Bir Hospital.

Also: medicines, vitamins, cleaning compounds, blankets to Bir Hospital nursing staff. And, volunteers, and donations in orphanages, nurseries, shelters for handicapped youngsters.

1962-AirIntermed; Flight attendants from 26 airlines volunteered to assist in remote clinics as part of the AirIntermed program. Volunteers gave up ¼ of their annual salary to do three months of service in SE Asia.

1970-Physical therapy department established. "While economic development brings solutions to many health and medical problems, it also brings new problems. Increasing machinery use means more accidents and injuries. Technology means better hospitals and more sophisticated elective surgery. Post-operative and post-trauma conditions yield a new type of patient and an urgent need for programs in physical rehabilitation in Nepal." Continuing through the '70s

Sita Bhawan Orphanage-English teaching 1967-73 Tibetan Camp-child welfare assistance 1967-73

Pokhara Valley: There's a hospital. 1971-Three pre-fab village clinic buildings: x-ray, laboratories, lab technician training

Mobile health units

Medical care, health education, immunization, and other public health programs; 1973- major campaigns in Himalayan villages to inoculate against TB and smallpox.

Established and supervised training program for technicians and vaccinators

1965-1966 National Health Survey of Nepal 1970 Introduced physical therapy to Nepal.

1972 Began to create Physical Therapy Department at 400-bed Bir Hospital in Kathmandu

1976 Agreement with Nepal government to proceed with radio telecommunications program with five demonstration villages, radios powered by solar panels, windmills, water wheels.

1978 Introduced video to Nepal for the training of patients, villages, health professions as recommended by UNICEF & WHO. (1978-80; govt. took over prematurely) Asked to immunize all children under 6 in the Gorkha District of northern Nepal against Diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, smallpox, and tuberculosis. Working on a solar refrigerator to transport vaccines.

1979- 800 out-patients treated every month (Later integrated into in-patient services)

1980’s -training of Physical Therapists as a continuation of the project started in 1975, along with specialty training in hospital infection control procedures.

1992 In Kathmandu training Nepali nurses and midwives in community medicine; students go to village health posts to care and teach.

1993 Telecommunications project using solar-powered radio to train village health workers.

1995 Continues to support Nursing School Library at Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu. Washer and dryer to Surgical unit.

2007-2010-Nepal, financial support for an orphanage, “New Youth Development Society” housing approximately fifty orphans, located in northern Nepal, near Kathmandu.

2010-Blindness Prevention Outreach

Our ultimate goal was to provide those in need with the “Gift of Sight”

Our team, in cooperation with organizations based in Nepal, planned and conducted a multi- day medical project treating eye & vision and general medical issues for an underserved population comprised of Tibetan refugees, students, and local inhabitants residing in the vicinity of Pokhara, Nepal.

The Tibetan Refugee Eye & Medical Expedition team’s mission was both humanitarian and scientific. The team successfully examined, refracted as needed, and treated upwards of 627 patients over 4 days. This included both general medical issues supervised by Project Medical Director, Dr. Indira Kairam, and eye and vision examinations with Dr. Henry Goldstein and the Himalaya Eye Hospital.

2011-Blindness Prevention Outreach Program continues…

Dooley-Intermed’s eye and vision project is focused on the Mustang region of Nepal and has provided free examinations, eyeglasses, and ophthalmic surgeries to all in need. The cataract eye surgery program helped thousands of patients to see again – Dooley-Intermed hosted 12 clinics, screened 1600 patients in remote villages during the 2011 project.

2011-2021 Eco-Home Orphanage – One of the Organization’s major initiatives has been the support of homeless and abandoned children. This led to the Organization helping develop and construct a new Orphanage Eco-Home in the Sankhu Valley, outside the Kathmandu Valley. The organization has continued to support these “at-risk” children throughout 2020, providing ongoing funding for the Eco-Home Orphanage operations and supplies. The Organization’s nutrition enhancement program continues to benefit the children through the on-site production of eggs and vegetables. The ongoing “urgent need” for these children is assistance with everyday items such as food, medicines, clothing, school uniforms, shoes, blankets & coats, etc. for the cold winter months. The Organization also helps facilitate the school fees and education expenses of specific children through sponsorship by individual donors.

2013-Gift of Sight Program continues… spring 2013 gift of sight project to the remote Mustang region of Nepal was a huge success. We not only helped close to 1000 people with severe eye and medical problems we also helped a very grateful Tibetan refugee named Karma. One of our Doctors with the expedition team, Dr. James Conole MD, identified this man with a suspected and potentially fatal intestinal blockage. In cooperation with the Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute, we arranged for Karma to be transported to Pokhara for hospital treatment. We are pleased to report that this patient has recovered and is back home with his family.

2014- Sponsored “Basic Eye Training for Health Professionals” class which was conducted in cooperation with the Himalaya Eye Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal. The two-week immersion course provided instruction on all aspects of basic eye care, diagnosis, and treatment. The participants are from extremely remote health posts in the Dolpo and other regions of Nepal where the eye and vision care are virtually nonexistent. Dooley Intermed has provided all the course funding, study materials, travel expenses as well as meals and lodging for the program.

2015-2021- Dooley Intermed working with Airline Ambassadors revives the AirIntermed program. AirIntermed is a unique opportunity for airline employees to participate in programs devoted to improving health conditions for the people of Nepal. The Airline volunteers will be working at the Eco-Farm Home for Orphaned Children Volunteer Service Program in the Sankkhu–Sharada Village, Nepal in cooperation with Mission Himalaya, Kathmandu

2015-On April 25th a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck central Nepal which includes the capital, Kathmandu, and the surrounding areas causing hundreds of fatalities. This disaster has resulted in widespread damage and destruction of buildings, many of which have collapsed. On Mt. Everest the earthquake triggered an avalanche, killing 18 people.

Our response was immediate. With an emergency allocation of reserve funds and donations from our loyal supporters, we launched relief programs in 13 village districts, including free medical camps, food, and shelter distribution, and our unique “Hot Kitchens” providing free meals to villagers whose homes had been destroyed. We managed to obtain air freight pallets of earthquake-proof dome shelters into Nepal via Istanbul (that took some doing!). At the same time, our Nepal teams were responding to numerous emergency requests for help from desperate isolated villagers from Kathmandu, Gorkha, and even the Khumbu regions.

Traversing landslides and rubble-filled roadways using 4-wheel drive vehicles and chartered helicopters our Dooley sponsored teams delivered food rations, hundreds of tarps, shelters, food, medicine, and vital supplies.

2015-2016-Nepal, “second phase” of disaster relief has been ongoing; restocking health posts with vital supplies, distributing hundreds of sheets of corrugated roofing, providing food, medical supplies, notebooks, and school supplies to 21 local village schools during the torrential rains of the Monsoon season.

2016- Nepal, Community Health Center – Throughout 2020, the Organization provided support to the Community Health Center located close to the Eco-Home Orphanage in the Sankhu Valley. The clinic is staffed full-time and has been treating an average of 30 patients daily, providing vital medical care to the local population.

2017- Nepal -Bhakundebesi Eye Clinic – The Organization funded the construction of a new satellite eye clinic in the village of Bhakundebesi, which opened in December 2017, and has continued to provide care to hundreds of local villagers through 2020, including providing high-quality eye and vision care, eyeglasses, and sight-restoring surgeries. Services are provided on a sliding scale so that impoverished villagers receive care completely free of cost. Multiple outreach eye camps were conducted during 2020 at the Bhakundebesi facility.

2018-Operation Restore Sight – Gumghadi, Mugu District of Western Nepal

A designated donation was received late in 2018 to facilitate eye care programs and related expenses for cooperative outreach eye & vision projects with the Operation Restore Sight (ORS) team of eye care professionals. The Organization has partnered with ORS on multiple projects geared toward blindness prevention and sight restoration. Final count 931 patients examined and 87 surgeries performed. Afterward, we departed by 4WD for Rara Lake, the largest lake in Nepal.

2018-2021 Construction of a new Eye / Medical Hospital Dhalkebar, Nepal.

As of February 2021, the organization is close to completing the construction of a new 3- story full-service Eye Hospital in Dhalkebar, Nepal near the border of India. This is the largest project undertaken in our 60-year history. The Organization entered an agreement in 2018 to provide support for the construction in cooperation with Reiyukai Eiko Masunaga Eye Hospital in Nepal. Construction of the first and second floors is now nearing completion. Structural supports and roof for the top floor have been completed and completion of the exterior walls is underway. Construction activities and funding have been impacted by the Covid pandemic but are proceeding on schedule for anticipated completion, and opening, in 2021. Once open the facility will be able to treat an estimated 100,000 patients per year. All patients will receive care regardless of their ability to pay. The Organization continues to collaborate with organizations in multiple countries for future “Gift of Sight” projects in underserved areas, with a focus on preventing blindness and restoring sight.

2019-2021 Women Health Care Workers Training Program

Female Healthcare Worker Training Program – Beginning in 2019, the Organization organized and funded the first formal training programs for Female Healthcare Workers in the Banepa and Sankhu Districts, outside of Kathmandu. These women serve as the front- line healthcare and social workers, who often travel by foot along rugged trails to provide care in outlying villages. Before these training programs, the women had received no medical training or instruction. The Organization organized and hosted a professionally staffed one-week intensive training program for these women and provided all training materials. Upon completion of the course, each healthcare worker was provided with a medical kit including a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, scale, medical notebook, etc. Based on the tremendous success of these projects the Organization is actively seeking funds to continue this program in 2021.

2019- Dooley Intermed receives a Certificate of Appreciation for sponsoring the first Female Community Health Volunteer training program. We had 20 graduates in the first class of its kind. Awarded by the Mayor and colleagues of the Godawari Municipality, Lalitpur District. This class was such a success we are now planning a second program in the Panauti area, near the Eco-Home Orphanage.

Nicaragua 1988-2021

1988 -Equip, supply, a direct hospital built by Friends of America at Rus Rus; run comprehensive health services with training, public health education, limited river outreach.

1994 -Move from Rus Rus to Santa Ines at Waspam. Primary/preventive, training, public health education, and limited river outreach.

1998- propose lab for Santa Ines Clinic; establish maternal/child services 1998 Hurricane Mitch.

2001 - Complete lab, hire a technician

1999-2021 medical equipment and a full-time physician and nurse, to the Santa Ines Clinic in Waspam, Nicaragua, located on the Coco River. This clinic is a lifeline to more than 15,000 indigenous Miskito and Mayagna villagers, including more than 2,500 babies and toddlers all under the age of four. The Santa Ines Clinic provides vital care to populations located in fourteen extremely remote villages and settlements. In addition to general medical services, the Clinic provides a specialized community-based maternal-child health program benefitting women and children. The Organization is actively seeking funds to continue this program.


1985 -Appeals begin for aid after draught 1986 Wodaabe nomads start receiving goats. 1991 -Continuing Buy a Goat Feed a Kid Program to feed children of the Wodaabe nomads.

Tanzania 1987 Maasai Tribespeople

Projected program for medical assistance, health worker training and water supply improvement.

Thailand 1980-2016

Financial support for a micro-enterprise handicraft project supporting an income- generating program for village women who are trained in the weaving and sewing of handicrafts. The marketing was carried out by an exceptional Lao-Thai woman, Vanida Mongkhone, who has been helping refugees and villagers in self-help projects for over 40 years.

Vietnam 1961-1970

1961-1970-Support for Orphanage of An Lac -Refugees from Tibet


Dr. Verne Chaney gave up the practice of thoracic surgery in Monterey, California to continue the humanitarian medical aid programs of the legendary Tom Dooley. In order to bring greater international support and cooperation to the Foundation, Dr. Chaney established an affiliated organization, Intermed, in Geneva, Switzerland in 1961 as the affiliated international extension of Dooley-Intermed.

A defining moment in Dr. Chaney’s life occurred in September 1960 when he volunteered for three months to help Tom Dooley in Vietnam and Cambodia to establish surgical procedures, train local health workers and assist in the care of children and villagers displaced by the war.

Dr. Dooley tragically died of cancer in January, 1961 but Dr. Chaney, upon the request of Tom’s brother, Malcolm, left his private practice of chest surgery in Monterey, California to be Medical Director in Asia for Dooley’s organization, MEDICO. MEDICO, unfortunately, folded for lack of funds in September, 1961, but with the support of Tom’s mother, Agnes, and other close friends who had worked with Tom in Southeast Asia, Dr. Chaney decided to re-open the projects, which Tom had started in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and India.  


In 1961, Dr. Chaney established the Dr. Thomas A.  Dooley Foundation to continue providing medical care to the less fortunate around the world. Working from a pay phone in the lobby of the St. Francis hotel, Dr. Chaney solicited the aid of other medical colleagues and friends. By good luck and possibly fate, assistance soon arrived from notables such as the singer, Peggy Lee, Bob Prescott of Flying Tiger Line, Carl Nichols of Cunningham and Walsh Advertising, Ian Smith of Medical Coaches, Sam Pryor of Pan Am, John Hench of Disney Productions, the noted explorer and news journalist, Lowell Thomas, Dr. Bob Worth of the University of Hawaii, authors Eugene Burdick and Bill Lederer, and Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame.

The basic orientation of the organization has always been the caring for the patient.

Simply stated: to treat illness in those who are sick and to prevent illness in those who are well.

The year 2010 represented the 50th year of Dr. Verne Chaney’s personal involvement and dedication to supporting and managing medical care, health education, and training projects to villagers in the less privileged world.

See a video clip with Dr. Chaney




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