What is a fellow of VOSH/INTERNATIONAL?

The Fellowship Program was authored by Dr. Stuart Frank and a committee for the purpose of acknowledging the skills and experience necessary for a member of VOSH to advise on the global challenge of preventable blindness; to foster the development of future leaders to meet the challenge of VISION 2020 and to prepare individuals who may be asked to consult with governmental agencies, educational, private, or public institutions, and the media on issues related to the mission and vision of VOSH/International.

Fellows of VOSH/International are expected to exemplify those characteristics which are deemed important for achieving the primary mission of VOSH. Among those characteristics deemed important are:

(a) Demonstrated understanding of the worldwide need for eye care, including: demographics; basic epidemiology; major causes and geographic patterns of vision loss worldwide; specific challenges for the prevention and remediation of vision loss; the role of VOSH, WHO, and other non-governmental organizations.

(b) A basic understanding of the philosophical constructs underlying volunteer, charity, and humanitarian programs.

(c) A knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural considerations in the delivery of health care to underserved populations.

(d) A demonstrated level of commitment to the primary mission of VOSH / International, as set forth by the fellowship committee, through participation in a variety of activities listed below.

(e) Knowledge of the history and organization of VOSH.

(f) Demonstrated understanding of a VOSH mission, including mission preparation, logistics, the roles of various team members, and philosophy and approach to delivery of care during a mission.

(g) Membership in good standing of VOSH/International. However, a non-member may be awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of VOSH/International in exceptional cases.

(h) Successful completion of an oral interview to be given at the annual meeting of VOSH / International.

(i) A completed application for fellowship.

Why become a fellow of VOSH/INTERNATIONAL?

The primary mission of the VOSH/International Fellowship Program is to acknowledge and honor those individuals who have successfully met the criteria set forth for fellowship, and to assist those who wish to achieve the fellowship designation. The fellowship program is designed to encourage the acquisition of knowledge, skills and experience necessary to meet the global challenge of eliminating preventable blindness, and to foster the development of future leaders prepared to carry on the mission of VOSH/International. The primary mission of VOSH/International is to facilitate the provision of eye care worldwide to people who can neither afford nor obtain such care.

Walter Branson
Christine Chmielewski,OD
Dale Cole, OD
Charles Covington
Michael DeRosier, OD
Ann Edmonds, OD
Bud Falkenhain, OD
Stuart Frank, OD
Patti Fuhr, OD
Charles Gray, OD
Thomas Henley, OD
Jim Hess, OD
Larry Hookway, OD

Phil Hottel, OD*
Greg Kane, OD
David Krasnow, OD, MPH, MBA
Michael Listenburger, OD
Cheri Lodl, OD
Jeffrey Marshal, OD
Tracy Matchinski, OD
W. Howard McAlister, OD, MPH, FAAO
Ruth McAndrews, OD
David McPhillips, OD
Robert Merriam, OD*
Bruce Moore, OD
Mel Muchnik, PhD
Albert Nemiroff, OD

Greg Pearl, OD
C. Ellis Potter, OD
Nelson Rivera, OD
Marina Roma-March, OD
Stephen Rose, OD
Richard Ryan, OD
David Stacy, OD
J. Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD
Wayne Vanderlees, OD
Natalie Venezia, Esq.
Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD, MBA, MS, FAAO
Carl Weiss
Ellen Weiss, OD
Victoria Molnar Weiss, OD, FVAO
Harry Zeltzer, OD*


Larry Hookway, OD, FVI

Chair, Newsletter Committee, Past President

Ruth S. McAndrews, OD, FVI

Chair, VOSH Fellowship (FVI) Committee

Ann Slocum-Edmonds, OD, FVI

Larry Hookway, OD, FVI



Chair, Newsletter Committee, Past President

Ruth S. McAndrews, OD, FVI

Dr. McAndrews is currently in private practice in Davenport, Iowa. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa and a Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry. She is a member of the American Optometric Association and the Iowa Optometric Association. Dr McAndrews was a recipient of the Iowa Young O.D. of the Year in 1982, the Iowa O.D. of the Year in 2002 and Heart of America Award 2012. She has also served on the Iowa Board of Optometry Examiners (1988-1994) and the Mississippi Valley Optometric Association (past president). Dr. McAndrews is involved in community service through the Grace Lutheran Church, community band, local business organizations, and the Iowa City Noon Lions Club. She has been involved in VOSH International, serving as its President in 2005-07. Dr. McAndrews is a Fellow of VOSH International. Dr. McAndrews has served as the treasurer and past president of VOSH/Iowa and has participated in over 30 VOSH missions.

Chair, VOSH Fellowship (FVI) Committee

Ann Slocum-Edmonds, OD, FVI

Dr. Slocum-Edmonds received her Doctorate in Optometry in 1989 from the New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA. Dr. Edmonds held positions as a clinical instructor at Pacific University College of Optometry and City University, London, England. As President of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, Oregon Chapter and Co-founder of Oregon Vision Coalition, Dr. Edmonds has coordinated and lead vision care missions in Oregon, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Albania, Peru and El Salvador. Dr. Edmonds is a three time Humanitarian Service Award recipient from Pacific University Amigos Student VOSH Organization. She has lived and practiced in Oregon since 1989 and spends her free time with her husband and two boys.

If you are interested in becoming a STUDENT FELLOW of VOSH/International, please click here to learn more information

How to become a fellow of VOSH/INTERNATIONAL?

A candidate has 5 years in which to successfully complete the requirements for fellowship.

1. Complete the Application for Fellowship;
2. Demonstrate commitment to the mission of VOSH/International;
3. Study the suggested materials;
4. Complete a Written Examination (Study the Sample Exam Questions);
5. Complete an Oral Interview to be given at the Annual Meeting of VOSH/International.

Admittance and Induction: Upon successful completion of the written and oral examinations, new Fellows are formally presented and welcomed into the Fellowship by the VOSH/International President during the Annual Meeting.

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, 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 is 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.

Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.

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

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

July 2021