Dear Friends/Volunteers,
We are looking forward to our third RAM Virginia clinic in Smyth County, Virginia May 4,5 & 6. This is held at the Mountain Empire Airport alongside 81 in Marion near Wytheville, Virginia.
Thanks to all of you who have signed up and volunteered already! We still need Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Opticians and Dentists.
We see many patients over the 3 days who are in great need of our services.
You can register at volunteer.ramusa.org 
for most of the rest of the clinics for the year. I am attaching the 2018 schedule as well as our most recent newsletter.
 
I am holding block of rooms in Wytheville if any Optometrists/Ophthalmologists/Opticians need a room for 109$ a night with a bagged breakfast. If you would like a reservation there let me know. 
 
If you are volunteering for the eycare team please let me know at vickiweiss@ramusa.org
 
Gratefully,
Vicki
Dr. Victoria Molnar Weiss, F.V.A.O.
Optometrist
President of the Board of Directors for RAM (Remote Area Medical) Virginia
Vice President VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) -Virginia
RAM (Remote Area Medical) Board of Directors
Virginia College of Optometry Board of Trustees
Board Academy Graduate 2016 Center for Non Profit Excellence
Ken Studer Friend of the Virginia Rural Health Association Award 2016
Humanitarian of the Year VOSH International 2015
Adjunct Faculty SUNY State College of Optometry
RAM Virginia Vision Director
The Franklin Harms Society Member-VOSH
United Way of Southwest Virginia Volunteer of the Year in Health 2015
Lion’s Club Member

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