The DR. HARRY I. ZELTZER LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD is presented at the V/I Annual Meeting to a person recognized as an exemplary humanitarian by providing a lifetime of service to humanity through improving visual welfare through leadership, dedication, invention, public health, developing sustainable eye care and furthering the understanding and correction of refractive error. (Sadly, the eponymous Dr. Zeltzer passed away in August 2020. To read the tribute to Dr. Zeltzer, please refer here.) This award is not an annual award but is awarded at the discretion of the V/I Board of Directors. The recipient of this award is recognized as one who meets the highest criteria that exemplifies the spirit of VOSH/International. http://vosh.org/about-us/awards/
VOSH/International 2020 Harry I. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award: Matthew Blondin, OD, MPH and Audrey Blondin, Esq. MPH, VOSH-Connecticut
With the year 2020 a particularly significant year for the international eye health sector, VOSH/International is proud to announce that the Harry L. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded to Matthew Blondin, OD and his wife Audrey Blondin, Esq. leaders of VOSH-Connecticut for their unconditional commitment to serve those in need in their local community and internationally. The Blondins have been dedicated for over 20 years providing eye health care to over 50,000 people in Southern Nicaragua through a successful and sustainable service in this country. In addition, Dr Blondin has spent the past 40 years in private practice in Torrington, CT providing eye care services to low-income children, adults and seniors under the CT Husky, Medicaid and Medicare programs. Under their leadership VOSH-CT has partnered with RAM-USA in 2019 to provide eye care services to those in need in Emporia, VA and has been recognized as VOSH Chapter of the Month twice.
Through their volunteer work, the Blondins have inspired other optometrists, optometry students, opticians, optical assistants and lay volunteers to engage in community service highlighting the importance of giving back to society. They are examples of lifelong dedication to selfless service, eyecare and VOSH/International values. Dr Matthew and Attorney Audrey work together as a great team, complementing their expertise and with their infectious enthusiasm to continue supporting more and more people. Their interest to continue improving their skills and knowledge to offer better services saw them complete their Master of Public Health (MPH) Degrees at the University of Connecticut Health Center this year. Audrey was recipient of the 2020 Susan S. Addiss Award in Applied Public Health Practice recognizing her qualities as a leader, public health advocate and commitment to the community and academic performance. The Blondins are an example of what this award stands for.
On receiving the news of the award Audrey Blondin indicated “”We are both very honored and humbled to receive this award, especially in honor of such a wonderful and distinguished leader and humanitarian, Dr. Harry Zeltzer. This award is not about us. It’s about the devoted and dedicated volunteers, who have given so generously of their time and efforts over the years to all leave the world a little better place than they found it.”
The VOSH/International Harry I. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person who has been recognized for a lifetime of service to humanity for improving visual welfare through leadership, invention, public health, developing sustainable eye care and furthering the understanding and correction of refractive error. It is not an annual award and meets the highest criteria that exemplifies the spirit of VOSH/International. This year’s award will be presented at our virtual Annual Meeting. VOSH/International is the largest non-profit network of volunteer optometrists in the world with 92 chapters globally. More information available here: https://vosh.org/get-involved/annual-meetings/