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: Complete the VOSH intake form: https://evf.wufoo.com/forms/m16cdnta0c9xwgx/ Or visit: evfusa.org and Select Engage/Partners to complete initial inquiry form 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...

President’s Insight: End of the Year 2016 Accomplishments

At the beginning of this year, I set two goals. The first was to increase our outreach with our SVOSH chapters. Our SVOSH visits to each of the schools by board or committee members are coming along nicely, and the student enthusiasm is contagious. VOSH was blessed with student interns that helped us in so many ways this past year. We also hosted successful student reception in Boston in June, in conjunction with AOA, and in Anaheim at our annual meeting. If you didn’t get a chance, check out our student video contest winners on our Facebook page. My second priority was to support the expansion of VOSH chapters in Mexico. The VOSH board has a wonderful resource in member Marcela Frazier, and with the addition of Cecilia Denny from Mexico to our VOSH/SVOSH International chapters committee and I see great potential for VOSH expanding throughout Mexico. Following are a few other 2016 VOSH accomplishments I want to highlight…. Our newly formed VOSH chapters in Ghana, ably led by Dr. Abena Ntim, held two outreach missions.  Dr. Ntim and VOSH Ghana, in conjunction with Rotary Club of Accra west, organized a free eye screening and education for the people of Kitase and the surrounding community on March 19, 2016. VOSH and the Rotarians, 24 optometry students from KNUST School of Optometry and local dignitaries worked together on this historical event. I had the pleasure of representing VOSH at the American Partner’s Forum for Our Children’s Vision during the Vision Expo West meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to bring VOSH, Essilor Vision Foundation, Vision Impact Institute, Eyelliance, VSP,...

President’s Insight October 2016: Our Children’s Vision

Our Children’s Vision is a new initiative spearheaded by Brien Holden Vision Institute. I had the pleasure of representing VOSH at the American Partner’s Forum for Our Children’s Vision during the Vision Expo West meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to bring VOSH, Essilor Vision Foundation, Vision Impact Institute, Eyelliance, VSP, Optometry Giving Sight, World Council of Optometry, Charity Vision, Special Olympics and others together to join forces and address the lack of eyecare for children in the United States. An often quoted statistic is that 80 percent of learning takes place through our eyes. So it makes sense that a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to ensure that a child can see clearly at distance and near out of each eye, has eyes that come together into one clear image in the brain, and are healthy. I’ve been a licensed optometrist for 24 years now, and have worked locally to educate my patient’s parents, teachers and school nurses, and pediatricians on why it’s important for children having a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist prior to starting kindergarten. I know this has made a small difference in my community, but it’s obvious that locally and as a nation, we can do better. The purpose of the American Partner’s Forum was to bring various different players in the eye care world together.  As discussed, “Our Children’s Vision needs local, national and global partners to help screen more children, in more regions, establish stronger referral pathways, ensure comprehensive treatment, and impact sustainable change in eye care provision.” As President of VOSH, I’m proud that we’re...

President’s Insight September 2016: Colleagues

VOSH is truly an International organization. I respect our colleagues at other organizations such as IAPB, OGS, BHVI, WCO, and the Vision Impact Institute for all of the great work they do on an international level to address the issue of uncorrected refractive error. I just booked my flight to the IAPB meeting in Durban, South Africa where I will be presenting a poster on our Technology Transfer Program, where VOSH takes donated equipment and moves it to schools and clinics in developing areas. The three day meeting is full of exciting lectures. In addition to the education, I look forward to the opportunity to interact with colleagues from throughout the world. It’s treuely an exciting opportunity to be affiliated with these other organizations that are making a global impact. VOSH is often referred to as the “boots on the ground”. We have organizations that fundraise, those that strategically plan, those that guide and educate, and those that are visionaries in the fight to eliminate uncorrected refractive error. VOSH brings a unique perspective on this, as we have dedicated souls that take time off of work, at their own expense, to go to areas of need. But, the vision impact we have is a small one on our own. So, being affiliated with other organizations that approach the issue of uncorrected refractive error from their perspective is so important and so gratifying. It’s wonderful to see these other entities, what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and realizing that together we’re all making a much bigger impact, all with the same end goal, but each with a unique approach,...

President’s Insight August 2016: World Sight Day Challenge!

“Optometry Giving Sight raises funds to support sustainable projects that deliver eye care and glasses in communities where there is currently little or no access to these services”. Optometry Giving Sight is a valuable partner to VOSH/International. Congratulations to them as they celebrate their ten year anniversary! I always enjoy looking at their website, givingsight.org, to read about the many projects they support. World Sight Day is October 13th. Yesterday our office received a large box containing our new Optometry Giving Sight t-shirts. In our office, employees have a casual day one day per week where they wear their Optometry Giving Sight t-shirts. We put various informational pieces throughout the office, and post pictures on our Facebook page. Patients are encouraged to donate, and when they do so put their name on a donor card that’s posted behind our front desk. Optometry students are especially creative in their participation in the World Sight Day challenge. One school hosts a dine-in- the-dark dinner, where they serve a nice dinner and all those participating wear a blindfold while eating. Another school sells links that the participants put their name on, and link them together to create a large chain. At the end of the challenge they pull on the chain, and the first link that breaks wins a prize. On a student level this creates excitement about how students can make a difference with their fundraising and it also raises the awareness of the blind and visually impaired people throughout the world. I challenge all VOSHer’s to participate in the World Sight Day Challenge, which run through September and October. Optometry Giving Sight can help you get started-go to their website for ideas and help make a...

President’s Insight July 2016: Boston Board Bulletin

I wanted to share a little background on how the VOSH volunteer board and committees work. Since we’re all scattered in different states and Canada, we hold monthly board meetings via conference call. Throughout the month, there are various additional calls between various board members, committee chairs and volunteers to plan, implement and manage the wide variety of tasks and projects that VOSH is involved in. In June many of us gathered in Boston for a face-to- face meeting during the American Optometric Association (AOA) meeting. As President of VOSH/International, I was asked to present to the American Optometric Student Association Trustee’s and Trustee-Elects. In addition, VOSH and the AOA held a joint student reception to recognize our student volunteers and the awesome job they are doing. Much thanks to the AOA Board of Trustees for taking the time out of their very busy week to mingle with VOSH. Thanks also to the New England College of Optometry for their generous donation of their board room at the NECO Institute Center for our meeting. It’s so productive when our dedicated group of volunteers can sit in a room together. It was a busy, fast paced, productive meeting. Some of the discussion topics included branding VOSH, chapter benefits, dues, our relationship with Optometry Giving Sight, the website, legalities, our student intern program, fundraising, TTP, and VOSH Corps. Many objectives were accomplished and new goals set. As President I want to express my appreciation for those that donated their time, effort and expense to attend this meeting. Ellen L. Weiss, OD,...