2020 October Newsletter
This month President Twelker reflects on the importance of eye health care for older persons, we announce the recipients of VOSH/International and IAPB awards, highlight the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) report Flatten Inaccessibility on the experiences and impacts of Covid-19 on blind and low vision people, feature the second volume of the Journal of Optometric Clinical Practice and some of the World Sight Day chapters' activities and share an invitation from our VOSH chapters relations committee. Please do not forget to register for our Annual Meeting. We hope you will enjoy reading this issue and share it with your members.
President's Insights
This October we mark the 30th anniversary of International Day of Older Persons. There are many reasons to highlight the lives of older persons, and when it comes to vision and ocular health it becomes even more important. As eye care providers and volunteers, we know that older people are especially affected by age-related changes. Read the whole article here
Announcing the 2020 VOSH/International Awardees
VOSH/International is thrilled to announce the 2020 recipients of our most important Harry L. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards. Let us congratulate our colleagues for this achievement and join them on November 7th when they receive their awards during our annual meeting.
Harry L. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award
Matthew Blondin, OD, MPH and Audrey Blondin, Esq., MPH

Leaders of VOSH-Connecticut, USA

"We are both very honored and humbled to receive this award, especially in honor of such a wonderful and distinguished leader and humanitarian,Dr. Harry Zeltzer. This award is not about us. It's about the devoted and dedicated volunteers, who have given so generously of their time and efforts over the years to leave the world a little better place than they found it." Read the full announcement by clicking here
Humanitarian of the Year Award
Marina Roma-March, OD and Derrick March

Leaders of VOSH-TWECS, British Columbia, Canada

"We feel honoured and are very grateful and appreciative of this acknowledgement from VOSH/International, recognizing our 26 years of providing restored vision to over 100,000 of the world’s poor". Read the full announcement by clicking here
SVOSH-NSU-Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry is chapter of the month
In these trying times, VOSH members show their solidarity and empathy in different ways. SVOSH -NSU put their creativity to work and fundraised to help with the reconstruction of the offices of the Lebanese Society of Optometrists and Opticians (SOOLB) which was badly affected by the blast in Beirut. They are chapter of the month because their hearts and commitment know no boundaries and they are willing to take the extra step to help fellow colleagues wherever they are.
Do not forget to register to our Annual Meeting
We are days away from our Annual Meeting. Join fellow VOSHers and friends for a day of sharing and virtual networking. This year our meeting is a COPE accredited event and held via Zoom. Do not miss the chance to attend this unique event.
First bi-annual US VOSH Chapters Symposium announced
US VOSH chapters are cordially invited to attend the first VOSH chapters symposium on December 3rd at 8:00 pm EST via Zoom. You can register here. More details will follow on a separate email.

The VOSH Chapter Relations Committee co-chairs, John Larcabal, OD and Vicki Weiss, OD are also interested in updating our chapters' leadership contacts database. The chapters that provide contacts for all their leadership team by December 3rd, will enter a prize draw of an Eye Netra Phoropter and a $50 Amazon gift card. Please help us keep in touch with you and participate.
News from our chapters
Faculty Adviser of SVOSH-UNAN Nicaragua is recognised as one of 2020 IAPB’s Eye Health Heroes
In Nicaragua eye health needs are significant and eye health professionals insufficient. As a young optometrist teaching at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), Dr Jairo Antonio Mercado offers his clinical and leadership skills to inspire and guide the new generations of Nicaraguan optometrists. We were thrilled to nominate Jairo and are very proud for this deserved recognition. Felicidades Jairo!!!

VOSH-Arizona and its Mexican partner get recognition by Sonora's Social Development Secretary
The Hermosillo PITIC Rotary Club- VOSH-AZ long-time local partner in Sonora- won a first place for their work with VOSH AZ providing free eye health services. Since 2002 VOSH-AZ organises an annual clinic in collaboration with this Rotary Club. To date more than 60,000 people have been supported through this collaboration.  Congratulations!
VOSH-Virginia launches its new website!
Congratulations to the VOSH-Virginia team for launching their new website. Take a look!

World Sight Day Celebrations
Taking all safety precautions, several of our chapters organised activities in celebration of World Sight Day and also supported the World Sight Day Challenge. Thanks for sharing your news with us.
VOSH-FUMVISION-Dominican Republic with colleagues of the Hospital Francisco Moscoso Puello organised a clinic offering free eye examinations and glasses to 60 patients. More info here.
SVOSH-Eurohispano-Peru is offering free eye examinations and glasses every Thursday during October.
Optometry students at the Universidad Autonoma de La Laguna, Mexico participated in a photo contest and Zamantha Thais Goytia Chavarria won first prize with this picture entitled “Through the eyes you live the experience. Take care of your eyes”. Congratulations Zamantha!.
Publications you cannot miss
The Journal of Optometric Clinical Practice is a peer reviewed free online journal that is open to anyone and housed in the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry library. It is an excellent source of interesting material that is relevant to the optometrist in practice. It allows other professionals to share what they have learned either through case reports, literature reviews, or research they have conducted. Volume 2, Issue 2.has been released. It contains 4 peer-reviewed manuscripts, a new column called “Expanding the Box” and features the American Optometric Association’s Evidence-Based Clinical Guideline: Comprehensive Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination. We hope you enjoy this resource and look forward to participating in your lifelong education.
Flatten inaccesibility-Impact of Covid19 on blind and low vision adults
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has released the Flatten Inaccessibility research report, which surveyed 1,921 U.S. participants who are blind or have low vision to investigate their experiences during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they were affected in areas including transportation availability, healthcare, access to food and supplies, employment, education, and voting. The research focused on the quality of life for those most affected by community and public policy responses, such as reduced public transportation options, the quick transition to work from home, and school closings. This is a valuable report that could help us consider implications for similar patients in the countries we operate. More information is available here
The voting is still on
Thanks for the submissions to our photo contest. Do not forget to vote for your favourite photo. Submissions are in our FB page and voting will end this Friday, October 30th at midnight EST.
Monthly Observance

US Contact Lens Safety Month
Approximately 46 million U.S. residents wear contact lenses Contact lenses are classified as medical devices and it is important for consumers to use them safely and under the direction of an eye care professional. 
More information on contact lens safety here and the press release here