FLYING HIGH WITH VOSH-CALIFORNIA
JUNE VOSH CHAPTER OF THE MONTH

For its high and sustained level of activity as well as its leadership,
VOSH-California is selected as the June VOSH Chapter of the month.

VOSH-CA President Dr. Greg Pearl submitted this report:

VOSH/CA primarily organizes campaigns with SVOSH chapters at SCCO, Western Univ. and Xochicalco Univ in Mexicali. We try to offer enough opportunities so that every optometry student can have a VOSH experience.

We conduct a Saturday clinic once a month with the Flying Samaritans organization at their clinics in Tecate and Tijuana area of Baja, Mexico. Typically we have one supervising VOSH/CA optometrist and 5-6 SVOSH members.

John Larcabal, Corina Van de Pol and I also organize about five or six weeklong campaigns to Central and South America with SVOSH members during their school vacations (i.e. Thanksgiving, Spring Break and Summer).

VOSH/CA volunteers also provide eye care at about a dozen pop-up clinics throughout California organized by California CareForce, Healing California and Care Garbor. These clinics provide homeless and low income patients with free medical, dental and vision services.

WILL YOUR CHAPTER BE NEXT?
Nominate or self nominate at:
https://voshinternational.wufoo.com/forms/q1paqnag0vy6yad/

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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: 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 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