September SVOSH Chapter of the Month

SEPTEMBER SVOSH CHAPTER OF THE MONTH: THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY Another SVOSH chapter undertook the incredible task of organizing a trip to Africa on its own. Typically SVOSH-OSU travels to Central or South America for its annual trip. Traveling to Africa this year was a huge undertaking . But they report the experience was well worth the challenge. The 14 students and 3 doctors who attended this year’s trip are all so thankful to have met our Ghanaian patients! Read on for the report submitted by OSU’s Carolyn Chakuroff. And look for their photos in the SVOSH Photo contest below. ——- This year, Ohio State’s SVOSH organization traveled to 8 rural communities within the Eastern Region of Ghana. We provided full, dilated eye examinations to 691 patients over 4 days of clinic. Our partner, the St. Theresa Eye Clinic did an incredible job recruiting patients from these villages to our clinics and it was a true pleasure meeting the village chiefs and assembly coordinators who often got the first eye exam of the day as an example for their people.In addition, we worked closely with Dr. Emmanuel Owusu – a Ghanaian native who recently graduated with his Ph.D. from Ohio State. It was a special priveledge to work beside him providing eye care and education in his home country. We referred 25 patients for cataract removal. Dr. Tom Mauger from the OSU Ophthalmology department and his resident completed 41 cataract procedures, including our referrals, the week after we left. Thanks to the support of our donors and VOSH International, we were able to leave behind a collection...

VOSH-Virginia is the September Chapter of the Month

We are pleased to announce VOSH-Virginia as September’s Chapter of the month!  Working in remote and rural areas, providing quality eye care across its home state, and so much more, VOSH-Virginia is selected by VOSH/International as the September 2018 VOSH Chapter of the Month. Read on for their dynamic approaches: VOSH-Virginia partnered with Remote Area Medical (RAM) Virginia to increase access to quality vision services. Over 6,000 individuals in rural and remote areas in Virginia gained access to volunteer optometric services. Services included eye exams, dilation, follow-up services for cataracts and glaucoma, and prescription eye glasses. As a result, over $5,000,000.00 in free services were provided to individuals across Virginia. (NB: this selection was made prior to the passing of RAM’s founder and magnificent leader Stan Brock memorialized at https://www.ramusa.org/remembering-stan-brock/ ) VOSH-Virginia works throughout the year to grow and facilitate high quality eye professional volunteers. Through Remote Area Medical of Virginia, volunteers were provided with equipment, medications, frames and lenses to operate larger scale 2-3 day events. VOSH-Virginia volunteers were able to perform 2,239 eye exams and provide 3,232 pairs of prescription glasses. Each volunteer is provided with an enriching experience. Volunteers have a personal connection with the patients and culture of specific clinic locations and return each year to help that community. VOSH-Virginia is also dedicated to the overall health of the patients. As such, the optometrists are able to connect patients with high quality medical services to treat contributing diseases such as diabetes. Over 10% of patients treated at these clinics are found to be new onset diabetics who were unaware of their conditions. Screening for such disease help...

VOSH-Illinois is Chapter of the Month

VOSH-ILLINOIS AUGUST CHAPTER OF THE MONTH – LEADERSHIP ON PARADE … AND MUCH MORE   A momentous year for VOSH-Illinois and the SVOSH-ICO chapters. Recognized for leadership and marvelous activity, VOSH-Illinois is the August 2018 Chapter of the Month, the second time it has been so recognized. Chapter President Andrew Kohn provided the description below:   In October 2017, long-time VOSH Illinois president, Dr. Tracy Matchinski, was sworn in as the new VOSH International president. Another long-time VOSH Illinois member and board member, Dr. Sandra Bury, was selected as the VOSH International Humanitarian of the Year. We are enormously proud of both of these amazing women.   In November, VOSH Illinois sent a group to Mexico City where over 1500 patients were examined over the course of a week. Another international trip to Bolivia took place in March of 2018. Active also in local clinics, are planned for 2018 as well.   Of particular humanitarian note were local clinics for the LGBTQ community whose eye care needs are too often ignored or put on hold for many reasons. Broadway Youth Center caters to housing insecure LGBTQ youth and Howard Brown Health Center offers low cost health care to anyone but particularly serving the LGBTQ population. We examined 81 patients and accepted outside prescriptions from 8 additional patients. Almost everyone needed glasses and a total of 81 pair of glasses were made and dispensed. The need is obvious in this community as we had to turn away 70 patients and therefore we are in the initial stages of planning a second clinic.   In new elections for VOSH-Illinois, faculty members...

VOSH-KANSAS RECOGNIZED AS THE VOSH CHAPTER OF THE MONTH FOR JULY 2018!

For their commitment, dedication and activities including their continuity in visiting Panama every two years, their collaboration with new partners such as HELPS, numbers of patients served and robust membership, VOSH/International is delighted to select VOSH-Kansas as the July, 2018 VOSH Chapter of the Month.      Chapter President Jenee Barth, OD, provided the detail below. Read on: VOSH Kansas is a highly active chapter. Our current active membership is over 50 doctors and we average 2-3 trips per year to help the underserved. We continue to help the people of Colon, Panama every ot her year as an ongoing mission. Kansas VOSH serves multiple villages all over the country of Guatemala. In 2017, VOSH joined forces with HELPS international on their first ever combined mission trip. This trip included the optometry team of VOSH Kansas and the surgery team of HELPS international. Over 1200 patients were seen and treated with either glasses, meds or surgery including cataract surgery, strabismus surgery, lacrimal duct repair surgery, levator lid surgery, removal of neurofibromas and enucleations. Our VOSH team just returned from Panama and saw over 3,200 patients. Another VOSH Kansas team is headed to Guatemala again the first week of May with HELPS International to complete the second mission of this kind. VOSH started in Kansas and is still a live an active chapter to date!    ...

June Chapter of the Month: VOSH-Nebraska

For its repeated and marvelous support of the people of the Dominican Republic, and its many activities, we are proud to recognize VOSH-Nebraska as the VOSH June Chapter of the Month.  Lindsey Behrendt, O.D. Nebraska-VOSH Chapter Member submitted the following report. Ellen Weiss, OD, FVI is the VOSH-Nebraska’s marvelous President: ——— On January 8-11, 2018, Nebraska VOSH and associated VOSH members provided vision care to the people of Santiago and the surrounding communities in the Dominican Republic. The clinic was held at the Creighton University ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern) Mission.  Twenty-one volunteers from Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, and Oklahoma participated in the trip, including six optometrists and eight optometry students.  The group saw 812 patients throughout their four-day clinic, and they dispensed 564 pairs of glasses on-site, not including sunglasses, lens cases, and other supplies dispensed. They custom ordered 57 pairs of glasses for patients that had prescriptions that were not able to be provided on-site and these will be dispensed to the patients in the following few weeks after their departure. The team referred 191 patients for further care and treatment, including cataract surgery, retina, strabismus, and glaucoma consultation.  A team of surgeons will be at ILAC in March to perform surgeries and provide follow-up care for those patients in need. The trip was an extremely rewarding experience for all those involved and the group was met by thankfulness and grace from the Dominican community!  Video link...