HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Honor Your VOSH Colleagues

The HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD is presented at the V/I Annual Meeting to honor an individual who has distinguished him or herself during the year by bringing eye care to underserved populations. The award recognizes a VOSH member who, during the year, has improved visual welfare through leadership, invention, public health, the development of sustainable eye care and the further understanding and correction of refractive error. To nominate an individual please complete form below by May 1. The VOSH/International Humanitarian of the Year Award will be decided on or about June 1 and will be presented at the V/I Annual Meeting. (The recipient of this award is required to be present at the Annual Meeting to accept the award (or a representative in select circumstances). If the recipient cannot be present in the year for which they are nominated, then their nomination will automatically be considered for that award for the following year.)

HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PAST RECIPIENTS

Jordan Kassalow, OD (Vision Spring) 2018
Sandra Bury, OD (VOSH-IL) 2017
Bina Patel, OD (VOSH-NECO and VOSH-ONE) 2016
Victoria Mollner Weiss, OD (VOSH-VA) 2015
Jeffrey C Marshall, OD (VOSH-IN) 2014
Carl A. Sakovits, OD (VOSH-ONE) 2013
Fr. Pierre Labine (VOSH-SANTA CRUZ, MONTREAL) 2012
Don Kuehn, OD (VOSH-KS) 2011
Joseph D’Amico, OD (VOSH-ONE) 2010
Max Bruss (VOSH-SE) 2009
Edwin Tuhy Sr, OD* (VOSH-AZ) 2008
Alfred Rosenbloom Jr, OD* (VOSH-IL) 2007
Howard J. Charles Jr * (VOSH-ONE) 2005
Philip Richmond, OD* (VOSH-ONE) 2005
Robert* and Mrs. Shirley Merriam* (VOSH-KY) 2004

*Deceased

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