VOSH/International Unveils Two New Programs at Annual Meeting


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—VOSH/International unveiled two new programs at their annual meeting held here on Oct. 10 to 11, 2013. The programs, VOSH Corps and Eye Tech, will accompany the organization’s goal previously established in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) – VISION 2020, or the elimination of preventable blindness by the year 2020.

VOSH Corps, modeled after the Peace Corps, is a program established in collaboration with the Brien Holden Vision Institute Public Health Division and Supported by Optometry Giving Sight (OGS). The program will recruit graduates from North American schools of optometry to serve in emerging optometric institutions around the world, where they will initially serve as faculty and program development assistants and progressively be inducted into teaching positions over a two year commitment. More details on the program are available here

Eye Teach, developed by the Brien Holden Vision Institute, is a teaching and mentoring program aimed to expand the quality of optometric education worldwide. Faculty of optometric institutions and clinicians participating in sustainable vision programs in developing countries will be trained in “the art and science of teaching and curriculum development through easily accessible seminars,” VOSH said.

Pictured above, Dr. David McPhillips (l) was sworn in as the new VOSH president by outgoing president Dr. Ellis Potter (r).

Also at the meeting:

• Dr. David McPhillips was sworn in as the new VOSH/International president by outgoing president Dr. Ellis Potter;
• Dr. Carl Sakovits was awarded with the VOSH Humanitarian of the Year Award, given to an individual distinguished by his or her leadership, invention and public health practice or by transitioning clinics to sustainable eyecare;
• Dr. Greg Pearl was recognized by ALDO, Latin American Association of Optometry, for his ongoing support of the development of optometry in Latin America;
• Dr. Greg Kane and Dr. Nelson Rivera became Fellows of VOSH/International; and
• Fourteen VOSH volunteers were inducted into the Franklin Harms Society, a membership bestowed to those VOSH volunteers who have completed 10 or more missions with a VOSH member Chapter.

The organization also noted that, prior to the meeting on Oct. 10, 100 eye exams and pairs of glasses were provided to the needy served by San Mateo Parish in Santurce, Puerto Rico at a free clinic held in honor of World Sight Day. Participants of the clinic included members of VOSH/International, VOSH Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Optometry Association, local Lions Clubs, the consul of the Dominican Republic, Franklin Grullon and his community, and students from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry.