President’s Insight October 2015: The Autumn Equinox – A Time Of Transition

Fall arrives at 10:29 p.m. ET on Monday, September 22 this year. For many cultures, this time of year is seen as a period of transition, as the northern hemisphere progresses toward the winter solstice and the southern hemisphere looks forward to the summer season. And throughout history, the autumnal equinox in our half of the world has been observed as a time of preparation and reflection. In Greek mythology, the autumn equinox marks the return of Persephone to the underworld to be with her husband Hades, where she must return after walking the Earth for half the year as the goddess of spring growth. In China, the Moon Festival celebrates the harvest during the 15th full moon of the Chinese Year, which falls around the autumn equinox. In Japan, Buddhists observe higan, a memorial service when people visit family graves to comfort their ancestors’ spirits. The arrival of the autumn equinox is also evidenced in the animal kingdom, especially in the migratory flight of many species of birds. It is during this time that the Arctic Tern makes its annual 11,000 mile trip south and the Bar-Headed Goose soars to heights above 28,000 feet (that’s over five miles up!) as they skim over the Himalayas on their way to warmer climes. And we find ourselves doing our own part during this time of transition, preparation and reflection as we begin preparing our lawns and gardens for the change in seasons, pulling out our winter clothing from storage, and enjoying body-warming and soul-stirring soups and stews. Yes, the arrival of autumn is indeed a time of change. I hope...

September 2015 Insight: A New Direction with Recycled Eyeglasses

I have recently returned from the First World Congress of Optometry. More than 2500 optometrists, industry professionals and scholars came together from 60 countries, in a city known for making big changes through smart and innovative choices. The event took place in Medellín, a city in Colombia known 20 years ago as “the most dangerous city in the world,” yet now is among the most innovative. In 2013, Medellín won the Wall Street Journal award for Most Innovative City, ahead of New York and Tel Aviv. I left so inspired by my experience in Colombia. I visited a city that is no longer tied to the way life has always been done. VOSH should be the same. VOSH/International is a strong advocate of the WCO’s (World Health Organization) mission and I had a great experience learning more about the cause and how we can be more involved.  I had the opportunity to engage with representatives from the ministry of health in Colombia, IAPB (International Association for Prevention of Blindness), WHO, the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Giving Sight, and many more that, like VOSH, are advocating for healthy vision. Along that line of thinking, and in support of these global organizations of which VOSH/International is a member, the Recycled Eyeglasses committee of the VOSH/International board, recommended the position statement below to the board at our last meeting.  This position statement is in support of the similar position statement on recycled glasses put forth by the IAPB almost 1 year ago. This is a goal for all chapters to strive for, as a perfect VOSH mission should be always in support of sustainable...