April 2020: VOSH-NE SELECTED AS THE VOSH CHAPTER OF THE MONTH as they are commended for working towards a sustainable domestic clinic to serve those within local communities.

VOSH Nebraska is an active group both domestically and internationally. For more about their work here is a message from VOSH-Nebraska President Lindsey Behrendt:
Our chapter completed an international clinic serving the people of Santiago and the surrounding communities in the Dominican Republic on January 6-9, 2020. This is the fifth consecutive year our chapter has traveled to Creighton University ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern) Mission and provided eye and vision care. Our group of volunteers saw 950 patients and dispensed 750 pairs of glasses throughout their four-day clinic. The team referred 168 patients for further care and treatment, including cataract surgery, retina, strabismus, and glaucoma consultation. Additionally, the team donated 10 boxes of readers, frames, and lens blanks to a non-profit in the DR which can serve these patients throughout the year.

A small group also went to an orphanage to expand the reach of vision care in this community.  Our chapter has our yearly international trip planned for the same location on February 8-11, 2021.
The VOSH-Nebraska chapter is developing a sustainable domestic clinic to serve those within our own community. This clinic will be established in association with Heart Ministry Center in the downtown area of Omaha, Nebraska delivering vision care to those in need. The clinic plans to provide comprehensive eye examinations one day weekly and proposes patient care to begin in September 2020. VOSH-Nebraska is utilizing the VOSH International Technology Transfer Program to help equip their exam lane.
You can find out more about this busy chapter on their website at https://vosh-nebraska.org/

Leave a Reply

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