President’s Insight

VOSH/INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATES WITH SALUS UNIVERSITY IN OFFERING SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR A MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE PROGRAM FOR VOSH CORPS OPTOMETRISTS

VOSH/International is pleased to announce that it is collaborating with Salus University to offer VOSH Corps optometrists scholarship opportunities for earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree while on their international placement. making its first placement in the newly established VOSH Corps program. The MPH degree is designed for future international optometric leaders with advanced knowledge and skills in developing and implementing sustainable vision programs worldwide. The program includes courses and projects such as cost-effectiveness analysis, humanitarian and refugee health, program implementation and evaluation, human rights, global health and leadership, and health policy. The program is delivered online with real world application through a capstone project adaptable to the VOSH placement.

Dr. Justin Manning, the first VOSH Corp placement, is currently enrolled in the MPH while serving on the faculty of the optometry school at UNAN-Managua, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua. The school has 124 optometry students who will be prepared to serve the unmet needs of communities throughout the country.

The goal of VOSH Corps is to build optometric education worldwide. VOSH Corps is in collaboration with the Brien Holden Vision Institute and is supported by Optometry Giving Sight.  Modeled after the Peace Corps program, graduates from North American optometry schools are recruited to serve in emerging optometric institutions around the world as faculty and program development assistants. 

When asked about his reasons for applying to VOSH Corps and his future plans, Dr. Manning said, “During my first Student VOSH trip (to Nicaragua of all places), I thought to myself, if there was any way I could make a living doing this, I would do it in a heartbeat. That sentiment only grew following my second SVOSH trip to Bolivia. Since those two trips, the dream to move abroad developed and when the opportunity to return to Nicaragua presented itself, I knew it was where we were meant to be.  Pursuing the Salus MPH has allowed me to apply my new public health skills and knowledge to my work in Nicaragua. The MPH has given me a public health framework and language to engage with the broader health community, sharing ideas, successes, and challenges that will lead to expanded strategies for long term sustainability. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity through the MPH to engage in discussions with other health providers throughout the developed and developing world: sharing ideas, successes, and challenges from which we all can learn. It really has been an honor and privilege to be able to serve in such a meaningful capacity. I encourage others to continue this historical VOSH initiative.”

More information about VOSH Corps, including application information and the Salus MPH program, can be found at: http://vosh.org/vosh-corps/

President’s Insight: One Week Teaching Opportunity!

One week teaching opportunity!

VOSH is pleased to be a partner with the Asociacion Latinoamericana de Optometras y Opticos– ALDOO to collaborate with schools of optometry in Latin America.  ALDOO wants to encourage the schools to join and collaborate with VOSH.  

One initiative from the VOSH-ALDOO collaboration is to find Optometric Educators in the US and other countries to volunteer to do one full week of lectures/workshops at the schools that form SVOSH chapters in Latin America.  We have had a few of these collaborations this past year that that have had excellent success.

Several Latin American schools have expressed interest in this program. The main areas of need of several schools that ALDOO has queried are Low Vision and pediatrics.  However, we anticipate anterior Segment, contact lenses, and disease will be very helpful in the future also.  A one week course may be designed as ~ 12 hours of lecture (mornings) and four 3-hour workshops (afternoons). 

Since this is a new program, we are very flexible on dates, just mindful of when it would be feasible for the volunteers.  The local schools provide room and board of the guest lecturer, as well as providing an interpreter, if needed. 

If interested, please contact VOSH Director Marcela Frazier, OD, MPH, FAAO at mgfrazier@uabmc.edu

 

President’s Insight: Essilor Vision Foundation Supports VOSH Chapters

In March, we had a chapter relations phone call with Andrea Haymore from the Essilor Vision Foundation, and I’d like to share with our chapters this opportunity to collaborate with the Essilor Vision Foundation and tap into their Corporate Mission offerings.

Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) is a non-profit organization committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight. EVF directly serves youth across the country providing eye exams and glasses, and supports vision charities and optometrists who serve underprivileged populations in the US with in-kind stock lenses and lab services. EVF looks to offset costs so charitable agencies and optometrists can extend their outreach and sustain their efforts. 

How it Works:

  • Vision partners are responsible for securing frames
  • EVF will provide a charitable lab account and online order entry for charitable jobs via a frame-to-come model at no-cost
  • Sign up online to express interest:

While EVF focuses on domestic vision needs, 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG), a Corporate Mission program, addresses the 2.5 Billion people in the world who need vision services. 2.5NVG supports the need through Ready2Clip prescription eyewear. Ready2Clip is a glasses technology available outside the US with pre-edged lenses, where left and right are interchangeable across a large frame selection. There is a nominal cost to purchase Ready2Clip eyewear – for less cost than a return flight to dispense. Contact Shindhe Gunputh (shindhe.gunputh@essilor.com) for more information or to purchase Ready2Clip glasses. 

Essilor Vision Foundation is a proud sponsor of Optometry Cares® – The AOA Foundation’s Healthy Eyes Healthy Children Community Grants program. Optometrists are encouraged to apply for grants (up to $5,000 per project) to support intervention and examination initiatives focused on children’s vision. In addition to the grant dollars, Essilor Vision Foundation will provide lenses and lab services at no cost for awardees, offer portable examination equipment and access to discount frames, as available. Submission is open to all Optometrists with written approval from the AOA State Optometric Affiliate where the proposal resides. Please visit  http://www.aoafoundation.org/HEHC to apply April – July 15, 2017.