IAPB VISION EXCELLENCE AWARDS: TRACY MATCHINSKI, OD
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT, VOSH/INTERNATIONAL
Recognition for VOSH/International Optometrists
Dr. Matchinski graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1995 and completed her residency at the William Feinbloom Low Vision Rehabilitation Center of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1996. She splits her time between The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired and is on the faculty at the Illinois College of Optometry working in Low Vision Rehabilitation. She has been practicing Low Vision Care for 18 years and has a special interest in pediatric Low Vision Rehabilitation. Dr. Matchinski is a Low Vision Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry and has lectured both nationally and internationally on Low Vision Rehabilitation. Dr. Matchinski is currently the Coordinator the Rosenbloom Low Vision Rehabilitation Service at the Illinois Eye Institute and the Low Vision class coordinator for third year optometry students. She is the president of VOSH- Illinois, active in the CURE Network locally and faculty advisor to SVOSH at ICO.
Dr. Molter was born in Southwest Lower Michigan and attended Ferris State University and subsequently The Ferris State College of Optometry (now The Michigan College of Optometry) in Big Rapids, Michigan, graduating in 1985. He is married to Dr. Kimberly Molter, (FSCO/MCO 1988) and they have two grown children and one son-in-law.
Both Drs. Kim and Robert Molter practiced in Fort Myers, FL for the first decade of their professional lives. Moving back to Northern Michigan in 1996, they developed several practices before retiring in 2015. They then became adjunct clinical professors at their alma mater. They have participated in several VOSH missions to Dominica. For the past three years, they have both served as VOSH Corps volunteers working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the Brien Holden Vision Institute as teachers at the new optometry program. The first optometry class graduated recently and they are very happy to have been able to contribute to their success.
Dr. Molter became an Academy member in 1997, and passed the Board of Optometry certification test in 2013. He is a past-president of the Southwest Florida Optometric Association, the Northwestern Michigan Optometric Association, and of his local Rotary Club chapter.
Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice
VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.
Even if already vaccinated, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients. Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.
The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021.
Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.
If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process. We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.
*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making. VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.
Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.
John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI