June President’s Insight

June 2018 Development of Optometry Worldwide Living in a country where there is access to care, it is sometimes hard to remember that everyone does not have this advantage. An eye exam to correct refractive error and detect sight-threatening conditions seems easy to access, but it is not always possible. Around the world, so many do not have this advantage due to lack of eyecare providers or inability to access this care. Optometrist are well suited to help fill this vast need. The World Council of Optometry (WCO) created a document called “Why Optometry?” in response to the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019. This document can be found at https://worldcouncilofoptometry.info/why-optometry/. The WCO states: “Optometry answers these challenges by providing a range of diagnostic, technical and direct patient care and support services required by patients and other health care professions. It has increasingly focused on universal health coverage; providing accessible, equitable and affordable eye health services to all and shifting from a predominantly private sector orientation to a public sector one as well. Optometry functions in a primary care capacity in many developed countries and in developing countries at a secondary level as part of a multidisciplinary team including doctors and ophthalmologists.” In addition, as optometrists, it would be hard if we were unable to practice using all our skills and knowledge that we acquired in our training to help our patients. There are many organizations working hard to increase the level of optometry training worldwide. These organizations are also working with local government to recognize the profession of...

Tips for those doing eye exams in Spanish

V/I Board Member Dr. Michael Ciszek speaks fluent Spanish. Here is a language tip for anyone doing eye exams in Spanish:  Dr. Molly Martin, creator of the Medical Spanish Podcast, put together a series of audio lessons covering Spanish for basic eye care. You can find her Medical Spanish audio lessons at docmolly.com. To get the Spanish for Eye Care series for free, email her at molly@docmolly.com, and explain that you are a volunteer through VOSH. I highly recommend Dr. Martin’s podcasts. They have practical information and are short enough for us busy folk. She offers both medical Spanish podcasts and Spanish grammar podcasts. Both are excellent. You can also find her on…. Facebook: www.facebook.com/MedicalSpanishPodcast/ Twitter: mobile.twitter.com/MedSpanishPod Instagram: www.instagram.com/spanish_podcast/ LinkedIn:...

Dr. Ellis Potter awarded Honorary Degree from Southern College of Optometry

Dr. Ellis Potter awarded honorary degree for distinguished service, and delivered commencement address to Class of 2018 of Southern College of Optometry.  MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 29, 2018) – Dr. C. Ellis Potter, a 1967 graduate of Southern College of Optometry – where he earned his Doctor of Optometry degree – and a longtime optometrist in Iola, Kansas, recently delivered the commencement address at his alma mater and accepted the college’s Doctor of Ocular Sciences honorary degree.             “When considering commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients, we strive to select someone our graduates can be proud of as a representative of their profession,” said Dr. Lewis Reich, president of SCO. “Dr. Potter’s record speaks for itself. He has a long history of service, which we hope to instill in our graduates as they move on to serve communities across the United States and the world.”             Potter previously earned a number of awards for his global service initiatives. In 2017, he earned the American Academy of Optometry’s Brien Holden Humanitarian Award, which recognizes significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region, particularly humanitarian efforts in the nonprofit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities. He also earned the VOSH International Dr. Harry I. Zelter Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, which recognizes exemplary humanitarians who have provided a lifetime of service by improving visual welfare through leadership, dedication, invention, public health, developing sustainable eye care, and furthering the understanding and correction of refractive error.             In addition to his global service, Potter has served on numerous committees for the Kansas Optometric Association....

2-3 Optometrists needed for Mission to Guatemala

Dr. Nelson Edwards and Gerald Jackson are looking to add 2 or 3 other eye doctors to join their team on an upcoming Rotary eye clinic mission. The mission will be traveling to a Mayan village in northwest Guatemala on November 2-11, 2018. This team will be going to provide eye care to the Mayan people who have limited access to such care. For detailed information about the clinic, please contact Gerald Jackson, a Director of Casa Colibrí, at gerry@gjengineering.com. You can also visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CasaColibriUS/ or their website...

VOSH-Ohio has successful Sint Maarteen clinic

I received information from VOSH International that a team was needed into Sint Maarten to provide eye care for the primary school children and being sponsored by the St. Maarten Lions Club. I requested permission from the VOSH-Ohio president to pursue this mission. On August 16, 2017 a letter was sent out to a list of optometrists offering this mission from VOSH-Ohio. I received responses from 13 optometrists showing interest in this mission. By August 21st, I had a team set up to be able to provide the services needed. Working with the Sint Maarten Lions Club and Lion Davey Woods, the dates determined were November 11 through 19, 2017. Invitations were received from the Lions Club, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health wishing us a success with the project. Our lead OD suggested that we obtain sunglasses for the children and I proceeded to find enough sunglasses to provide for 5,000 children. These were received from VOSH Southeast in Florida and the Lions Sorting Center in Indiana. Our local Bluffton Lions Club assisted us in sorting and packing these sunglasses for shipping. The mission was cancelled due to a major hurricane; however, the sunglasses were ready to go and we decided to ship these ahead, hoping that the mission would be on again soon. January 22, 2018 I received an email from Lion Davey Woods from the St. Maarten Lions Club indicating that they were working hard to get the project going for May 12 through 18, 2018. I again notified team members; however, some were unable to attend due to difficulty with those particular...