VOSH-Northwest Named Chapter of the Month for February 2020! Congratulations to This Amazing Chapter!

Chapter Changes Lead to VOSH-NW Serving More Patients Locally and Abroad in the “Year of the Eye Doctor”

VOSH-Northwest has been very busy this past year. In January 2019, we participated in the Kitsap Homeless Clinic which served approximated 200 local people. In May, 2019, VOSH-NW traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, completing a 5 day mission clinic, serving 2300 local citizens. VOSH-NW also serves the Millionaire’s Club in Seattle during the year along with the Union Gospel Clinic in Spokane, WA. We look forward to a mission trip to Lima, Peru in September 2020 as well as continuing to participate in the local charities in Washington State.

2019 has been a year of change for us. Following the lead of VOSH/International, we have decided to restructure the way we run international clinics with a push to use new glasses. That meant a major clean out and reduction of our used glasses, a very huge undertaking to say the least. We have continued to update our logo to the new VOSH-Northwest logo to follow suite with VOSH/International,  replacing our 3 banners in November.

We look forward to a great 2020, the year of the Eye Doctor!!!

Debbie McDonald, Pres.
VOSH Northwest

Leave a Reply

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