VOSH Signs Agreement to Establish First-Ever Optometry School in Haiti: Memorandum of Agreement signed for Haiti School of Optometry

(Denver, CO: July 18, 2017). A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed to establish the first ever School of Optometry in Haiti. The School is a collaboration between l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (UEH), Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Giving Sight, VOSH International and Charity Vision with support from University of Montreal. The signatories hope that the first students will commence their studies in October. “This is a great moment in the development of eye health in Haiti,” said Dr. Jean Claude Cadet, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy at UEH, which is the lead local implementing partner for the project. “We are grateful to our international partners for helping us to realize our vision of establishing Optometry as a profession in Haiti in order to improve access to primary eye care for the millions of people in need.” There are currently only 3 optometrists and 58 ophthalmologists (6 in the public sector) to serve Haiti’s population of 10 million people. These are predominantly located in the capital, making it difficult for the majority (70%) of people to access primary eye care services. “This project will seek to graduate 16 optometrists per year, in what will be a 5-year Bachelor of Vision Science degree,” said Dr. Luigi Bilotto, Director Global Human Resource Development, Brien Holden Vision Institute, which is the lead international implementing partner for the project. "This means within 10 years, there will be 80 new locally educated eye care professionals who will be providing eye care to more than 360,000 Haitians per annum.” The development of a locally trained workforce will have a huge impact on the well-being...

American Academy of Optometry to present VOSH/International Past President C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO, FVI, with the 2017 Recipient of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award

  Dr. Ellis Potter, has been announced as the 2017 recipient of the The American Academy of Optometry’s Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. The award, honoring the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO, recognizes an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. In particular, the award acknowledges humanitarian efforts in the nonprofit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities. (See http://www.aaopt.org/regsite/2017-award-recipients). The coveted Brien Holden Humanitarian Award embraces a bond between the academic and  humanitarian branches of optometry. Dr. Potter, a longtime Fellow of The Academy of Optometry, demonstrates a commitment to both. As a recipient of this Award,  Dr. Potter honors the memory of Brien Holden as well as his accomplishments in VOSH/International. Ellis’ commitment to eradicate world blindness continues until this day.  Dr. Potter is a shining example of a life so rare in continuing humanitarianism. He leads by example and has inspired many.     Dr. Potter has a lifetime record of humanitarianism. In his community and his profession, he has been an individual that always goes above and beyond. Dr. Potter has a long and distinguished career with Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, both in the International level and in his state chapter. He has been a member of VOSH-Kansas since 1994, leading over 13 VOSH clinic trips. He served in leadership positions within VOSH/International since 2009 and President from 2011-2013. He was recognized as a Fellow  of VOSH/International in 2006,  a member of the Franklin Harms Society in 2013 and awarded a Certificate of Recognition for...