Harry I. Zeltzer, OD, DOS, FVI, FAAO served VOSH/International in its formative years from 2001 to 2013 as President, Executive Director and Webmaster. He practiced optometry in Waltham, Mass for thirty-five years where he invented and patented a contact lens for treating color deficiency known as X-CHROM. it is currently in production as a soft and hard contact lens. During private practice, he was a consultant to Helen Keller International for its development of the “Childsight” program. He also served at Natick Lab as a Lt Col (USAR) researching the effect of military stress on the visual system. After retiring from private practice and the military he committed to humanitarian service with VOSH/International.

Dr. Zeltzer’s VOSH experience began in 1985 as co-founder and president of the New England chapter (VOSH-ONE). He served more than 50 fifty missions in the Americas, Eastern Europe, Africa and in the Indian Health Service.

Dr. Zeltzer was recognized as the Essilor-UNESCO Humanitarian of 2003, the Honorary Doctor of Ocular Science of the New England College of Optometry in 2004 from where he graduated in 1952 and the VOSH/International Lifetime Achievement Award 2008. Since 2013, he is an Adjunct Professor of Optometry in the Department of Specialty and Advanced Care at the New England College of Optometry. Dr. Zeltzer lectured and published numerous articles of color deficiency which are referenced in the X-CHROM manual online portal for NECO faculty and students.

Dr. Zeltzer is a life member of the AOA, the American Academy of Optometry and the New England College of Optometry. He is a Fellow of VOSH/International (FVI) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO).  He is Director Emeritus of Friends of ASAPROSAR (Association of Salvadoran Rural Health). During WW11 he served in the occupation of Japan.

Dr. Zeltzer can be reached at zeltzer@vosh.org

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