Working with SVOSH Chapters

Student VOSH chapters are present at almost every optometry school. They are engaged and energic, looking for ways to provide VOSH services, just like VOSH Chapters. It is ideal for VOSH Chapters to develop a relationship with their local SVOSH chapter.

Some ways to connect:

  • If you live in a state where there is an optometry school, connect with the SVOSH chapter
  • Look to connect to a nearby optometry school, even if not in the same state
  • Connect with the SVOSH faculty advisor at your nearby optometry school
  • Sponsor events with local SVOSH club
    • Pizza party with a presentation of your VOSH Chapter activities, clinic trips
    • Donate to the SVOSH chapter to support their activities
  • Work with local SVOSH chapter on World Sight Day (WSD) activities. WSD is an annual event to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. WSD is held on the second Thursday of October and this year it will be on October 11th.
  • Make it easier for students to participate
    • Find out from the SVOSH chapter when their school breaks are, it is easier for students to participate in trips during academic breaks. Take a look at the SVOSH calendar of breaks:
    • Avoid the month of March (and a few months leading up to March) due to National Boards part 1.
    • Many SVOSH students that participate go during their 3rd year and during their 3rd year is when they are preparing for and taking National Boards part 1.
  • Attend VOSH midyear or annual meetings to meet up with students
  • Connect with VOSH/International Board of Directors SVOSH liaison Dr. Michael Ciszek,
  • If you have ideas of how to involve an SVOSH chapter, let us know

If you have never had optometry students on your trip, please consider it. SVOSHers add incredible value, enthusiasm and excitement to VOSH clinic trips. They are also the future of VOSH.


Tracy Matchinski, OD, FAAO, FVI

President VOSH/International

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:


US Government Travel Advise:

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