President’s Insight

May President’s Insight

Working with SVOSH Chapters

Student VOSH chapters are present at almost every optometry school. They are engaged and energic, looking for ways to provide VOSH services, just like VOSH Chapters. It is ideal for VOSH Chapters to develop a relationship with their local SVOSH chapter.

Some ways to connect:

  • If you live in a state where there is an optometry school, connect with the SVOSH chapter
  • Look to connect to a nearby optometry school, even if not in the same state
  • Connect with the SVOSH faculty advisor at your nearby optometry school
  • Sponsor events with local SVOSH club
    • Pizza party with a presentation of your VOSH Chapter activities, clinic trips
    • Donate to the SVOSH chapter to support their activities
  • Work with local SVOSH chapter on World Sight Day (WSD) activities. WSD is an annual event to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. WSD is held on the second Thursday of October and this year it will be on October 11th.
  • Make it easier for students to participate
    • Find out from the SVOSH chapter when their school breaks are, it is easier for students to participate in trips during academic breaks. Take a look at the SVOSH calendar of breaks: http://vosh.org/chapters/student-vosh-calendar-of-breaks/
    • Avoid the month of March (and a few months leading up to March) due to National Boards part 1.
    • Many SVOSH students that participate go during their 3rd year and during their 3rd year is when they are preparing for and taking National Boards part 1.
  • Attend VOSH midyear or annual meetings to meet up with students
  • Connect with VOSH/International Board of Directors SVOSH liaison Dr. Michael Ciszek, ciszek@vosh.org.
  • If you have ideas of how to involve an SVOSH chapter, let us know atciszek@VOSH.org

If you have never had optometry students on your trip, please consider it. SVOSHers add incredible value, enthusiasm and excitement to VOSH clinic trips. They are also the future of VOSH.

 

Tracy Matchinski, OD, FAAO, FVI

President VOSH/International

MOVE: Motivating Others to VOSH Excellence

April 2018

MOVE: Motivating Others to VOSH Excellence

UNAN and ICO optometry students November 2017

How can we make our VOSH clinic trips more impactful? Team up with local optometry! In November 2017, I lead a team from VOSH Illinois including seven of my students from the Illinois College of Optometry, http://www.ico.edu, to work with local optometry for a community service project in Mexico City. My longtime friend and fellow optometrist from Mexico, Dr. Cecilia Escobar, organized locally and coordinated participation from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Optometry program, http://optometria.iztacala.unam.mx/. ICO and 16 UNAN optometry students worked side by side to provide care to 1500 patient during a week-long clinic in Mexico City. During this time, the students worked side by side to provide optometric care. Clinical skills and ideas were exchanged and relationships formed. Through the MOVE program, funded by Optometry Giving Sight, http://www.givingsight.org, the ICO SVOSH club was able to present 10 sets of retinoscopy bars to the UNAN program to support them in their continued community service projects.

UNAN and ICO optometry students November 2017

VOSH clinic trips are a valuable way of enhancing local optometry capacity and the MOVE grant provides an opportunity to provide equipment for optometric community service. These grants are for 2 years projects and are funded at $1,500.00. To learn more and apply for MOVE grants see: http://vosh.org/chapters/

 

Tracy Matchinski, OD, FAAO, FVI

President VOSH/International

 

 

 

 

Our Children’s Vision Partners Meeting

I had the opportunity to attend the Our Children’s Vision Partners Meeting on February 5th and 6th, 2018 in Chilaw, Sri Lanka.  Our Children’s Vision is a global effort lead by Brien Holden Vision Institute and has 73 partner organizations, one of which is VOSH/International.  Attending the meeting were 50 participants representing 25 of the partner organizations.  This is a powerful initiative by the Brien Holden Vision Institute with the purpose “to upscale, accelerate and expand access to eye health services to more children in more locations”.  To date, this program has screened 18 million children with the goal of providing services to 50 million children by 2020. They have developed guidelines and work towards sustainable system change.  Mechanisms of this campaign include:

  • Powerful partnerships
  • Child eye Health services
  • Driving awareness
  • Local knowledge
  • Support for services

Our Children’s Vision is leading this call to action by:

  • Advocacy for changes to policy, practice and financing
  • Health education and promotion
  • Research
  • Practioner and Health Worker education
  • Harness Technology driven solutions
  • Disability Inclusiveness
  • Alignment with child health, welfare and development policies, the SDGs and the GAP

Creating access to eyecare will enable children to access education and ensure best quality of life.  Children should not be hindered in their education because of a vision problem.  Children’s eye health must be part of children’s health and education and integrated into local health policies.  Our Children’s Vision is bringing all partners together for global development and consolidated efforts to drive sustainable change.  You can find out more information about this campaign and lend your support at https://ourchildrensvision.org/