Bernell … Serving Eyecare Professionals since 1954!

Offering unique and necessary solutions to assist you in treating your patients so that they may achieve their maximum visual potential. We offer over 2,000 ophthalmic products for vision testing and evaluation, as well as the largest selection of vision therapy, visual rehabilitation, and vision enhancement products in the world.  More information here

Bernell is kindly donating prizes for our Photo and Video contests.  Joe Villari, VP of Business Development of Bernell will be in attendance and looks forward to meeting you during the meeting.

PlenOptika designs and produces tools to help vision professionals perform their best care anywhere. Inspired to solve the global burden of poor vision, PlenOptika developed QuickSee™, the world’s most accurate handheld autorefractor. The company and device have been recognized in international health and technology competitions, including Beazley Designs of the Year, Essilor See Change, Silmo D’Or, and IAPB Eye Health Heroes. Vision professionals and NGOs have used QuickSee on over 2 million patients at least 25 countries to transform their lives with clear vision.  Visit the virtual booth of Plenoptika during the breaks at our Annual Meeting.  More information here

Everyone for Veterans (E4V) works through volunteer dentists around the US offering pro-bono dental care to qualifying low income veterans and their families.  Since its establishment, E4V has worked with almost 500 dentists from 30 US states providing needed dental care making a significant difference to these veterans’ lives. VOSH/International has started a collaboration with E4V to offer eye health care to qualifying returnee combat veterans and their families. Interested VOSH chapters can meet E4V founder and CEO, Dr Theresa Cheng during the breaks and find out more about the collaboration. More information here

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