VOSH participants have volunteered thousands of hours of service to the vision care of the unfortunate. To honor those who have aided those missions, VOSH/International has created The Franklin Harms Society, named after it’s Founder, Franklin Harms. This honor recognizes those optometrists, volunteers and others who have served on 10 or more domestic or foreign VOSH mission trips.

The requirements are:
To have participated in a minimum of 10 mission trips, domestic or foreign.
To be a current member of a VOSH chapter.
Complete an application listing the missions, date, destination, name of chapter, address and email address.

A Franklin Harms Society member will be:
Honored with a personalized certificate.
Recognized at the VOSH/International Annual Meeting.
Listed on the website as having received this honor.

Be Recognized in the Franklin Harms Society

Members of the Franklin Harms Society

Jenifer Ambler, OD (ONE)
Roy F. Anderson, OD, FAAO (MN)
Rocco Andreozzi, OD (NE)
Robert Arnold, OD (KS)
Jerry Arvidson (MN)
Joni Arvidson (MN)
Cindy Bachrodt (IN)
Chris Barry, OD (NW)
Geoffrey Burns, MD (NE)
Mary Berthelot, RN (NE)
Audrey B. Blondin (CT)
Mathew Blondin, OD, FAAO (CT)
Robert (Bob) Boeding, OD (MN)
Elsa Branson (TX)
Walter Branson, FVI (TX)
Paul Caletti, OD (NW)
Christine Chmielewski RN, OD, FVI (PA)
Catherine Mauro Chickos, OD (NE)
Dale K. Cole, OD, FVI (KS)
Brent Crandon, OD (KS)
Glenda C. Denham, OD (CO)
Mitch Dobrzelewski, OD (MI)
Suzy Bamberg Eberle (SE)
Mark Ebben, OD (WI)
Bud Falkenhain, OD, FVI (MO)
Lisbeth Faulstich, OD, FAAO (NW)
Derek Feifke, OD (ONE)
Robert A. Foote, OD, FVI (MN)
Jeffrey A. Forrey, OD (NW)
Christina Fox, OD (OH)
Michael Frische, OD (IN)
Gene Frogge (NW)
John Gehrig, Esq. (SE)
Lawrence Ginsberg, OD (NE)
Jimmy Gwillim (IL)

Robin Hamm-Lavalley, OD (OH)
Linda Heath, FNO, ABOC (NW)
Jim Hess, OD, FVI (MN)
Margie Hess (MN)
Larry Hookway, OD, FVI (OH)
Gregory Kane, OD, FVI (SE)
David Krasnow, OD, MPH, MBA, FVI (CA)
Pierre Labine, CSC (Santa Cruz)
Lee Lerner, OD (ONE)
Willa K. Lieberman, MS (CA)
Herb Lippman (NW)
Michel Listenberger, OD, FVI (IN)
Derrick March (TWECS/BC)
Jeffrey C. Marshall, OD, FVI (IN)
Tracy L. Matchinski, OD, FVI (IL)
Ruth S. McAndrews, OD, FVI (IOWA)
David McPhillips, OD, FAAO, FVI (PA)
Caryl Mikrut, OD (SE)
W. Donner Mizelle, OD (IN-Honduras)
John Moats, MD (OH)
Mel Muchnik, PhD, FVI (IL)
Albert M. Nemiroff, OD, FAAO, FVI (CA)
Nancy Patterson (NW)
Edward Lee Paul, Jr., OD (NC)
Greg Pearl, OD, FVI (CA)
Arils Plaugher (OH)
Barbara Plougher, RN (OH)
Darlene A. Pohlman (OH)
James D. Pohlman, JD (OH)
C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO, FVI (KS)
Thomas Pruett, OD (TX)

Carole S. Rich (NW)
Edward P. Rich (NW)
Nelson Rivera, OD, FVI (SE)
Marina Roma-March, OD, FVI (TWECS/BC)
J. Rocco Robilotto, OD (NE)
Mark Rakoczy, OD (PA)
Jean Rose, (IA)
Stephen Rose, OD, FVI (IA)
Alfred A. Rosenbloom, OD (IL)
Sarah Rosenbloom (IL)
Dietrich Ruehrmund (IL)
Joan Ruehrmund (IL)
Kurt Ruehrmund (IL)
Stanley Sagara, OD (SE)
Severo Sanchez, OD (Peru)
Dale Simmons (MN)
Ann Slocum-Edmonds, OD, FVI (OR)
David R. Stacy, OD, FVI (AZ)
Dave Stockdale (NW)
Kirk R. Thomas (MN)
Christina Thompson, DMD (NE)
Harlan Vander Griend, OD (IA)
Natalie Venezia, Esq. FVI (IL)
Julie Walsh, OD (MN)
David Weigel, OD (IN)
Carl Weiss, FVI (NE)
Ellen Weiss, OD, FVI (NE)
Doug Weiss, OD, FVAO (VA)
Victoria Molnar Weiss, OD, FVAO, FVI (VA)
Laurie White, OD (KS)
Diane G. Wilson, OD (MO)
Edward M. Worthen, OD (NW)
Deborah Wright (CA)
Harry I. Zeltzer, OD, DOS, FAAO, FVI (ONE)

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 and boosted, 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 and its variants are 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 or 2022.

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 Organization: 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 hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

Michael Ciszek, OD, dipl ABO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

December 2021