Dear Volunteers,

We are once again looking for eyecare volunteers for Grundy,Virginia October 3 &4,2015.

The area is absolutely beautiful to visit in October and you will love the people and the place. I usually request for the eye care volunteers to stay at the Breaks as it is such a special place; but you can probably stay closer in town if you prefer. We need Optometrists, Ophthalmologists,  Ophthalmic Techs and Paraoptometrics.

Below are the volunteers that I have committed for Grundy so far.

Sandy Stiltner and Frannie Minton are the Co-Chairs once again.

If you would like to volunteer ( please do!) please complete the following:

1. Go to  www.ramusa.org and go to register. If you have volunteered with RAM previously just log in a register for the Grundy clinic. If you have not volunteered before register as a volunteer and then as a separate task register for the Grundy Clinic . If you have any questions about registration please contact Oriane from RAM Inc. Orianeleake@ramusa.org

2, For out of state volunteers you will need to complete an out of state form, send in $10 to the Virginia Board or Optometry or Medicine, and have a sponsor form sent. This will need to be done by mid September. Contact Oriane Orianeleake@ramusa.org  so we can get this taken care of if needed.

3. If you need lodging please let me know so I can get a room secured for you. If you register and then cannot attend you must let me know so we can cancel the rooms.

4. If you are volunteering for the Eyecare team please let me know as well so I know who will be there. dvcclear@aol.com

5. S,S means volunteering Saturday and Sunday. Lodging Friday and Saturday nights. F=setup on Friday at2 pm

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