New England College of Optometry and Orbis Announce Partnership

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Bob Ranck, president and CEO of Orbis International, (l), and Clifford Scott, president, New England College of Optometry.
BOSTON—New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Orbis International recently announced a formal partnership to address the global unmet need for refractive and low vision services, with the goal of reducing avoidable visual impairment in low-income regions of the world.

NECO prepares students for careers as eyecare providers, educators and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Orbis is an international non-profit committed to the elimination of avoidable blindness through health care provider training.

The partnership between Orbis and NECO will expand Orbis’ impact through its Flying Eye Hospital, hospital-based trainings, community partnerships and telehealth programs. Both groups will work together to help address the challenge of uncorrected refractive error, which experts estimate is currently responsible for 43 percent of the world’s visual impairment.

NECO president Clifford Scott, OD, MPH remarked, “the exquisite fit of these two respected organizations will provide a template for other vision and eyecare training programs across the globe.”

Commenting on the partnership, Bob Ranck, president and CEO of Orbis International said, “We’re looking forward to working with NECO to help address the enormous but solvable challenge of uncorrected refractive error that affects so many people around the world.”

Through this collaboration, NECO will develop and implement optometry training as part of on-site joint programs with Orbis and online learning through Cybersight, Orbis’s virtual training and mentorship portal. NECO faculty now volunteer with Orbis’s hands-on, global educational training programs in hospital settings. These outreach programs are designed to help local doctors learn new techniques, analyze and diagnose challenging patient cases, and improve the quality of care they provide.

Additionally, NECO faculty and volunteers will provide online mentoring, telehealth consultations, and education through Cybersight, which leverages cloud-based technology to provide eye health professionals access to expert educators from around the world and online training tools such as live lectures and interactive case management.