Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH)-Minnesota has elected Dr. Stacy Hinkemeyer, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO, ABCMO as President during their organization’s recent annual meeting. Hinkemeyer owns PineCone Vision Center in Sartell, where she is the CEO/Clinic Director.

Dr. Hinkemeyer is a long-standing member of VOSH-Minnesota and has participated in two missions to Panama and Mexico. VOSH-Minnesota is a chapter of VOSH/International and is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the vision needs of people around the world who cannot afford or do not have access to vision care. Since 1979, VOSH-Minnesota has organized one or more eye care mission trips per year to various countries around the world. “Vision and access to quality vision care is something we sometimes take for granted. Providing this service for those in need is rewarding and humbling at the same time.” says Hinkemeyer. All year-round members of VOSH-Minnesota sort, catalog and pack donated eyeglasses which are taken on these missions to distribute to those in need after a thorough eye exam. “We are so thankful for the donated eyewear we have received, it is amazing to place a pair of donated glasses on someone and see their face light up. It is something you don’t forget.” says Hinkemeyer of her experience.

If you wish to support VOSH-Minnesota’s mission, used eyeglasses and monetary donations can be dropped off at PineCone Vision Center or for more information on volunteer opportunities, please visit voshminnesota.org.

FOR INFORMATION CALL: Jennifer Novak, Vice President of Operations, PineCone Vision Center (320) 258-3915

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

Due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections, a new variant that is more contagious, and these being early days in the vaccination distribution, VOSH/International DOES NOT recommend that chapters participate in domestic or international eye and vision clinics at this time.

We reiterate that at a time when the coronavirus continues to spread quickly in many parts of the world and vaccinations are not yet available to local populations, the risk of close contact with patients in a crowded outpatient environment remains high.

If a VOSH Chapter or VOSH volunteer chooses to hold a clinic against our best guidance, this is done at your own risk, by your own decision and should be in line with current local/national government rules.  VOSH/International would like to reiterate that 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.  You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here

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 CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times, hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

January 2021