VOSH CHAPTER OF THE MONTH – January 2020
VOSH-NE (Rhode Island)

Congratulations on an amazing trip and thank you for your continued service!
VOSH-Northeast’s last trip to Panama involved a multidisciplinary team of more than 150 students and doctors, helping over 4,000 patients!

Here are some words from Chapter President Dr. Carl Sakovitz:

“Our Panama 2019 mission was our sixth consecutive mission to Panama working with The Dorado Rotary Club of Panama City. This was one of our largest and most diverse missions regarding the number of missionaries and specialities offered to our patients.

For the first time in Panama we ran two simultaneous missions. Our main clinic was in a university in Penonome, roughly two hours from Panama City. It was a unique experience sharing the halls and cafeteria with some of the students taking winter session classes. Our second clinic site was in the remote mountain town of San Roquito roughly two hours from our primary clinic. We set up in a small agricultural school with the intent of serving the surrounding communities. We had no shortage of very needy patients and the biggest challenge was dealing with the intermittent power outages. The missionaries that worked in San Roquito found it to be some of the most rewarding VOSH work they had ever experienced.

We are returning to Panama this January to once again work with our friends at The Dorado Rotary Club. Dr. Rocco Robilotto and I are honored to lead Northeast VOSH along with the guidance of our outstanding advisory board. We are proud of the 33 year longevity of our chapter and the dedication of our members. Our chapter stands organized, motivated, and prepared to serve the needy of Central America now and for years to come.”

One Comment

  1. January 16, 2020

    Carol Peltier

    Wonderful work!
    Wonderful people

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