Award recipients will present at the 11th Annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit (virtually) on July 13-14, 2022

CHICAGO (April 12, 2022) Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, has announced the recipient of the 2022 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health as VOSH/International (V/I).

The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is presented annually to an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national and/or international level. The award is named after Jenny Pomeroy, who served as CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia from 1996 until 2013, in recognition of her substantial work in advocating for funding and expanding public health programs and services for vision and eye care.

Founded in 1972, VOSH/International, a volunteer-based organization, was selected for the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health for its commitment to providing access to quality eyecare for underserved communities. The mission of V/I is to facilitate the provision and the sustainability of vision care by supporting eye clinics, optometry schools and optometric educators in geographical areas lacking sufficient eye care. The core programs include sharing U.S. optometric expertise with international schools of optometry through lecturing, mentorship, donating equipment and technology, and organizing educational and networking events to nurture collaboration to strengthen optometry globally. V/I also collects data from clinical work to generate the evidence and public health policy action to integrate eyecare within local health care systems worldwide. As of 2022, there are over 98 VOSH regional, state and school chapters globally.

The award recipients were chosen by an all-volunteer selection committee. The committee consists of leaders and professionals in the ophthalmology, optometry, advocacy, public health and scientific communities.

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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:


US Government Travel Advise:

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