VOSH Annual Meeting 2018

Montreal, Canada


October 12-13, 2018

Theme: United VOSH 

Keep checking back for more details – we are updating this page often!

Come to YOUR VOSH Annual Meeting!

Friday, October 12:

8:00 am: Fellowship Exam at Meeting Hotel: The Best Western Plus Montreal City Center Hotel Europa, 1240, Rue Drummond, Montreal, Qc, H3G 1V7, Canada http://www.hoteleuropa.com/en

8:00 am – 12:00 pm: Committee Meetings at the Meeting Hall at Péres de Sainte-Croix, 4901 Rue du Piedmont, Montreal

12:30 pm-5:00 pm – Board lunch & meeting at the Meeting Hall at Péres de Sainte-Croix, 4901 Rue du Piedmont, Montreal

6:00 – 7:30 pm: Welcome Reception Hosted by VOSH-Santa Cruz (Montreal) at Universite de Montreal, L’École d’Optométrie (University of Montreal School of Optometry), 3744 Rue Jean-Brillant, Montreal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada

Saturday October 13:

9 am – 5 pm: Annual Meeting (breakfast on your own due to later start of the meeting, includes lunch and cocktail reception), The Best Western Plus Montreal City Center Hotel Europa, 1240, Rue Drummond, Montreal, Qc, H3G 1V7, Canada http://www.hoteleuropa.com/en

5 – 7 pm Closing Cocktail Reception, to follow meeting

Sunday October 14:

9 -10 am Tour of VOSH-Santa Cruz Warehouse and Facilities, hosted by VOSH-Santa Cruz (Montreal), located at 9200 Av du Parc, Suite 206, Montréal, QC H2N 1Z4, Canada










Best Western Plus Montreal City Center Hotel Europa

Address : 1240, rue Drummond, Montreal, Qc, H3G 1V7


**Due to issues with the hotel’s booking system, it is best to contact the hotel directly at 514-866-6492 or 888-535-2808 and ask to speak with Olivier, Michael or Thierry, the managing staff aware of the VOSH group rate in the hotel. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sleeping room rates are as follows (free internet):

1 Queen bed, single or double occupancy            $124 CAD +TX

2 Double bed, double occupancy                           $140.00 CAD +TX

Breakfast is not included in the room rate. An American Breakfast buffet is available for $14.50 CAD +TX pp

To get to the hotel from the airport, City Bus 747 will drop you off near the hotel, only a 2 minute walk, and it runs 24 hours. Otherwise, there is a taxi flat rate of $40 CAD.


Jeffrey Olinghouse of ProTravel is available to help make your travel plans. Contact Jeffrey at vosh@protravelinc.com


Helpful note:To get to the hotel from the airport, City Bus 747 will drop you off near the hotel, only a 2 minute walk, and it runs 24 hours. Otherwise, there is a taxi flat rate of $40.


VOSH/International is offering financial assistance to one representative each Student VOSH Chapter.

(All Student VOSH members are welcomed to attend the meeting, but only one application per chapter, please).

Nominations must be received by VOSH/International from the SVOSH Chapter NO LATER THAN September 1.


Funding will be determined, and student will be notified y September 10. A travel stipend, based on distance, is available offset expenses up to the amount as listed below. 

Travel Guide based on location of Chapter and Meeting, as follows:
30 – 99 miles one way: $50.00
100 – 199 miles one way: $125.00
200 – 299 miles one way: $200.00
300+ miles one way:
If driving – $350.00
If flying – $550.00

Questions? Contact Dr. Barbara Brown, barbwbrown@hotmail.com



Once again, we will be hanging posters this year.  Last year almost all SVOSH chapters and many VOSH chapters submitted posters. This year, be one of them and share with the other VOSHers your accomplishments of the past year!

We invite all of you to submit a poster; the topic can on anything related to your SVOSH and VOSH Chapter activities (i. e. fundraising, domestic and/or international missions, etc).  If you and or a member of your chapter cannot attend the Annual Meeting, SVOSH Chapter posters can be mailed to Dr. Michael Ciszek (contact him at ciszek@vosh.org). VOSH Chapter posters can be mailed to Dr. John Larcabal (contact him at larcabal@vosh.org)

The format of the posters will be the same as past years:

We are requesting one poster to be submitted by each VOSH and Student VOSH Chapter. 

To be uniform, we are requesting everyone use the 24″x36″ size on glossy paper.  Several companies were evaluated for cost, ease of use and quick printing time. The company we suggest using is: Makesigns.com. The cost to your chapter for the 24″ by 36″ posters is about $24.00 plus shipping. To give you an idea about timeline to have these made, the posters are printed and shipped within one business day of receiving them (posters received before noon central time on any given business day are actually printed and shipped out on the same day). Then the delivery time simply depends on what shipping method you choose. The company offers everything from FedEx Ground, which can take up to 5 business days, to FedEx Next Business Day which would arrive the next business day after it is shipped.

Our VOSH template is flexible. You can find the suggested template at makesigns.com and can use it to create your own unique poster and upload the results.You can add text, images, tables or charts as you wish. Instructions: Go to the company website, makesigns.com, and on the home page along the top, click on “Scientific Posters” and under this, click on “Partner School Templates”. Our VOSH template is there (alphabetically). PLEASE USE YOUR VOSH logo (which is similar to the International logo). Every chapter has one. Contact vosh@vosh.org if you don’t have yours.

We ask that posters be dropped off at the VOSH conference hotel, The Best Western Plus Montreal City Center Hotel Europa, 1240, Rue Drummond, Montreal, Qc, H3G 1V7, Canadaon Friday afternoon, October 12, 2017, attention Dr. Michael Ciszek (SVOSH Posters) or Dr. John Larcabal (VOSH Posters).  If you are unable to come to the meeting, but would like to send your poster for display, please contact Dr. Ciszek at ciszek@vosh.org 

Again, if you and or a member of your chapter cannot attend the Annual Meeting, SVOSH Chapter posters can be mailed to Dr. Michael Ciszek (contact him at ciszek@vosh.org) . VOSH Chapter posters can be mailed to Dr. John Larcabal (contact him at larcabal@vosh.org)

If you have any questions, please contact:

John Larcabal, OD, Chair, VOSH Chapter Relations mailto:larcabal@VOSH.org

Michael Ciszek, OD, Chair, SVOSH Chapter Relations mailto:ciszek@VOSH.org


Dr. Luigi Bilotto, Brien Holden Vision Institute

As Director of Education at Brien Holden Vision Institute, Luigi has a vision to address uncorrected refractive error – the major cause of blindness and vision impairment – by taking optometry education to all corners of the world where it is needed. He is having a major impact in Africa – establishing and supporting numerous optometry schools and delivering eye health programs through his work as an educator, strategist and advocate with Brien Holden Vision Institute.

Luigi’s strategy and focus is clear – address the shortage of qualified eye health workers, a key factor that underlies the paucity in refractive and eye health services in the developing context through optometry development, educational programs and access to resources. He is looking well beyond current needs, aiming for sustainable integrated systems that will cater to the growing eye care needs of the future.

Since 2008, under Luigi’s direction, the Brien Holden Vision Institute and its partners have supported the implementation of ten optometry schools, from the ground up, in Malawi, Mozambique, Eritrea, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, and two Optometric Technician programs in Malawi and Eritrea. Add in to that list two optometry schools in Vietnam, in the Western Pacific region. Collectively the new schools currently have 730 students enrolled and studying, and so far have produced over 466 new graduates, a number which is conservatively projected to increase by at least 5 times by 2020, and more thereafter when local systems are consolidated. Through its supportive programs, most of which emerge from collaborative initiatives, more than 60 other emergent schools around the world have been supported.  

Andrea Haymore and Kirstin Jones, Essilor Vision Foundation


The mission of the ESSILOR VISION FOUNDATION is to empower children to reach their full potential by giving them the ability to see clearly. Ms. Haymore and Ms. Jones will speak about EVF Programs which work with the mission of VOSH and its chapters, such as the New Vision Generation Mission program, providing vision services through Ready2Clip prescription eyewear, the Changing Life through Lenses Program, and The AOA Foundation’s Healthy Eyes Healthy Children Community Grants program. 

Andrea Haymore leads Partnerships at Essilor Vision Foundation and has been with the organization since 2013. She works to develop resources and support vision non profits and charitable eye doctors to off set costs and extend their outreach. Ms. Haymore previously worked at the American Heart Association’s National Center leading programs to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and enhance doctor engagement and quality improvement.






Kirstin Jones is a Program Manager who develops and implements strategic initiatives in support of Essilor Vision Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of children across the US by improving their sight. Through creative problem solving and dedicated project management, Ms. Jones helped launch the Changing Life through Lenses program, an innovative online charitable ordering platform for no-cost glasses.  Additionally she continues to drive EVF’s mission and success through the development of industry best practices, continuous program improvement, and enhancement of EVF’s infrastructure through various projects. 

Dr. Jordan Kasselow, VisionSpring

Dr. Jordan Kassalow is the Founder of VisionSpring, a high-impact social enterprise that expands access to eyewear by selling radically affordable, durable, attractive glasses into emerging and frontier markets.  Jordan is also the co-Founder of the EYElliance, a coalition of multi-sector experts including public, private, academic, and NGO partners.  EYElliance functions as a leader, convener, and coordinator to channel collective efforts and bring clarity and clear action to address the global unmet need for eyeglasses.  Jordan also founded Scojo New York and the Global Health Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Prior to his position at the Council, he served as Director of the River Blindness Division at Helen Keller International.  Jordan is a fellow of Draper Richards Kaplan, Skoll, Ashoka, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He was named one of Schwab Foundation’s 2012 Social Entrepreneurs, was the inaugural winner of the John P. McNulty Prize, and was recognized in Forbes Impact 30. VisionSpring has been internationally recognized by the Skoll Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and the World Bank; is a three-time winner of Fast-Company’s Social Capitalist Award; and a winner of Duke University’s Enterprising Social Innovation Award.  Additionally, Jordan is a partner at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, a leading contact lens and laser specialty practice in Manhattan.  Jordan earned a Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry (NECO), received an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters from NECO in 2016, and a Fellowship in Preventive Ophthalmology and Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins.


Catherine Lamorena and Yatzie Ponce, Surgical Eye Expedition

SEE International provides sustainable medical, surgical, and educational services through volunteer ophthalmic surgeons with the objectives of restoring sight and preventing blindness to disadvantaged individuals worldwide.

At the invitation of eye surgeons in developing countries, and with the approval of local health and civic authorities, SEE International recruits, organizes, and deploys numerous small surgical teams worldwide to restore sight to underserved populations. Since being founded in 1974, SEE’s eye surgeons have examined more than 3.8 million patients and performed over 460,000 sight-restoring operations. Interested in becoming a SEE Doc? Click here for more information!

SEE International is the link that connects volunteer ophthalmologists to host clinic sites that are in desperate need of help alleviating the overwhelming numbers of people living in states of blindness, both in Santa Barbara County, California and around the world. SEE International organizes the clinics and provides most of the equipment and supplies that are needed. SEE’s volunteer eye surgeons donate their time and pay for all their own travel expenses. During each clinic (approximately five days long), sight is typically restored to 50 to 200 people. Locally, SEE is the only nonprofit in Santa Barbara County that provides free eye care to uninsured individuals who otherwise may not have access to affordable vision correction.

To make this extraordinary work both far-reaching and sustainable, SEE relies on donors. We have created a network of in-kind donors, including Alcon, Allergan, Johnson & Johnson, and Bausch & Lomb, who donate most of the supplies that are used for the clinics. The remainder of the cost—less than $100 per surgery—is covered by generous individuals and foundations around the world.

For more information: https://www.seeintl.org/

Dr. Asa Morton, Helps International

Asa Morton, MD, HELPS International

Dr. Asa Morton is the director of ophthalmic and facial plastic surgery, Eye Care of San Diego.  In addition to serving on HELPS International missions to Central America for the past 21 years, he has also recruited and led the San Diego team for the past 10 years. See https://helpsintl.org/

In addition to his work with Eye Care of San Diego, Dr. Morton is affiliated with Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Rady’s Children’s Hospital and Complexions RX.  He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  He is also a recent past President of The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Morton served a distinguished career in the United States Navy, as the Director, Oculoplastics and Orbital Reconstruction at the Naval Medical Centers in San Diego, Calif. and Bethseda, MD; and an F-14 Tom Cat Pilot at NAS Miramar, among other positions. 

On active duty in the Navy till November 2003, Dr. Morton performed his volunteer work with HELPS International while on military leave.  In addition to his annual work with HELPS International, Dr. Morton has performed humanitarian work in other capacities, including Hepatitis B vaccine research in Rawalpindi, Pakistan; and as a Paul Kayser International Scholar in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico.

Dr. Morton has served as a lecturer, presenter and teacher at a variety of medical colleges, institutions and medical conferences, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the Department of Ophthalmology, Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Michigan; the LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India; the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons; and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland.

In addition to his teaching work, Dr. Morton has been published in numerous medical journals, including as lead author on various publications in Archives of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 

Dr. Morton has received numerous accolades for his work and service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Department of Defense; the Lester Jones Award for Outstanding Contributions In Anatomy, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Surgeons General Award for Academic Excellence in Medicine, Point Loma High School Hall of Fame, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor and Life Service Award.?

Dr. Morton received his M.D. degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland;  Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at San Diego.  He served as a Fellow, Oculoplastics and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center from 1994 – 1996 and an Ophthalmology Resident at the Naval Hospital San Diego from 1988 – 1992.


Dr. Yogita Rajgandhi, Consulting Optometrist, India

Yogita L Rajgandhi is a Consulting optometrist, faculty and External examiner at various colleges and Universities in India. She was ASCO-INDIA National Representative and also Ex-head of the low vision centre, NAB workshop for the blind (Mumbai) She has been on the Optometry Faculties of the colleges which are mainly affiliated with YCMOU University. After a period in private practice, she took up an academic up gradation and fellowship from India.

She has published more than 35 articles-reports widely in journals and publications in optometry, visual science and low vision, community optometry and contact lens. Yogita has a vast experience in teaching subjects like Low Vision Rehabilitation, Sports Vision, Contact Lenses and Community Optometry. She has presented scientific papers/posters in many national and international conferences and has participated as faculty in many national and international practitioner education programs in contact lenses and Low Vision, Clinical Optometry.

Yogita takes active interest in celebration of World Optometry Day and World Sight Day annually along with World Disability day and Diabetes day, Tobacco Day. 

Besides Optometry Yogita Rajgandhi has also Pursued M.D. in Alternative Medicine from Srilanka, Indian Sign Language from NIHH-Mumbai and Diploma in Philosophy of Jainism from University of Mumbai, Yoga and Meditation from Mumbai. She was selected for the Mater Teacher Training course -Disabled category from Ministry of Social welfare and justice -Laxmibai Physical Education University associated with Special Olympics Bharat representated All India Sports Council for Deaf. She has also pursued Professional photography course from British Institute-Mumbai.

She plays Key board and can also play National Anthem in sign Language as she believes patriotism does not have any language. She has learned Art of living, Reiki and meditation, she is a firmly follower of Vegetarian and Jainism. 

Yogita believes that if there is dedication then nothing is impossible. Even though there were a lot of people who tried to dissuade her from the path she has taken, she never gave up on it. Being positive can help one achieve great things and that the desire to help people should come naturally. She has found that if you want something to work it is extremely important that your heart be into it.

Dedication, passion, hard work, self motivation, implementation and success are key points for any Human being to dream and live a life……

Dr. Victoria Molar Weiss, O.D, F.V.A.O., VOSH-VA and Remote Area Medical

Dr. Victoria Molnar Weiss has an undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary and graduated from the State University of New York College of Optometry in 1989. She joined SVOSH at SUNY in 1985 and traveled to Central America with now Northeast VOSH.

She began her career working at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center in New York City, which is a landmark federally based clinic which has served as a model for many other clinics in NYC and elsewhere. Simultaneously, Vicki was an associate in the practice of Dr. Lawrence Forgacs a contact lens specialty practice in Manhattan.

After relocating to Central Virginia, Dr. Molnar Weiss helped to establish VOSH-Virginia (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and is the current Vice President of VOSH-Virginia. She helped to found the now well established RAM (Remote Area Medical) mission held in Wise, Virginia each summer and has also continued to serve as the Vision Director for both this program in Wise for the past 18 years and a similar mission in Grundy, Virginia for the past 15 years. She also led 3 Clinics in New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina and in all has participated in over 80 RAM Clinics.

 Dr. Weiss was President of the Board of Directors for RAM (Remote Area Medical) Virginia 2014-2018 and help increase Virginia Clinics to 10 clinics a year.

Currently she has a private practice in Fluvanna County in Virginia. She examines patients in over 15 nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Dr. Weiss is currently a member of the Remote Area Medical Board of Directors, on the Virginia College of Optometry Board of Trustees,an Adjunct Faculty at SUNY State College of Optometry , The Franklin Harms Society Member-VOSH and a Lion’s Club Member.

 Dr. Weiss is a Board Academy Graduate 2016 Center for Non Profit Excellence, received the Ken Studer Friend of the Virginia Rural Health Association Award 2016 , the United Way of Southwest Virginia Volunteer of the Year in Health 2015 and was Humanitarian of the Year VOSH International 2015.


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Deborah Wright DeMaderios wright@vosh.org

Natalie Venezia, Executive Director venezia@vosh.org