Hurricane Harvey: Vision Assistance

Like so many others, ​I ​have been watching the devastation unfold in Texas and Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In addition to personal accounts from family in the area, social media platforms such as Facebook have provided us all a personal glimpse into the lives of people that have had to evacuate their homes, lost their business, cars, the list goes on and on.  VOSH stands for Volunteer Optometric Services to HUMANITY. There’s many definitions of humanity, but I like this one from Merriam-Webster “the quality or state of being kind to other people or animals”. VOSHer’s volunteer their time and talents because we care and get so much by giving of ourselves.   Vision related injuries, including broken or lost glasses​, are often the product of such disasters.  The severity of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath call us once again to respond in desperate times. If you want to help with the recovery effort or know people affected by Hurricane Harvey, there’s a few sources to which we can guide you: Remote Area Medical (RAM) will be launching a mission to the affected area in the coming weeks. They are looking for medical and veterinary volunteers to help them in this cause. Go to http://ramusa.org/disaster-relief/ to find out more. The Eye Center of Houston, Vision Source has partnered with VSP and EyeMed Vision and plans to offer FREE Eye Exams and Glasses for First Responders or ANY disaster victims who have lost or damaged their glasses. If you have VSP or EyeMed, schedule your FREE exam today 713-777-2020. If you don’t have VSP or EyeMed, contact your local...

SALUS University MPH Certificate Program

Are you looking for a good foundation upon which to build for your VOSH experiences?  Salus University offers on-line courses that provide VOSH members the necessary knowledge to help build sustainable health systems around the world. The certificate program is 15 semester hours, divided among six selected courses form the Master of Public Health program:  three elective courses in the areas of humanitarian and refugee health, health and human rights, and global health and leadership. There are three core courses in the areas of health policy, epidemiology, and program implementation and evaluation.  Each course will provide students with an opportunity to apply new knowledge and skills to humanitarian problems. To learn more, visit...

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...

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: 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,...