July 2020 Newsletter
This month our President recommends some reading, we call for nominations for our Humanitarian of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award -they are open to both US and international chapters-, we share an interview with an active intern and SVOSH member working in Alaska and the pre-COVID work of one of our Mexican SVOSH chapters, share the recently reviewed VOSH/International clinic guidelines and ask you to book the date for our online Annual Meeting that will be held in November. 
President's Insights

In July, President Twelker shares his thoughts on the book Hoping to Help: The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering and adapts the recommended principles for VOSH/International. A good read and plenty of food for thought.

Read the whole article here
Reviewed VOSH/International Clinic Guidelines

The Board of Directors of VOSH/International approved the reviewed Clinic Guidelines on July 7th, 2020. The reviewed guidelines incorporate considerations in view of COVID-19 and its impact in the implementation of our humanitarian clinics. You can access a copy of the guidelines here or in our website.
2020 Midyear Meeting- an online success thanks to you
The first online midyear meeting took place on Saturday June 27. Our sincere thanks to all our presenters and all those who participated in this long day of discussions and sharing. Of 106 registered participants, 38 came from international chapters and 54 to SVOSH US and international chapters. The sessions were recorded and the participants have been granted access to the videos of the sessions. Once the videos are uploaded in our YouTube account, these will be available more widely.   
News from our SVOSH Chapters and its members
Autumn in Bethel, Alaska

Autumn Killop is a fourth-year optometry student at Southern College of Optometry, a committed VOSH/International intern and SVOSH-SCO member. She is currently completing her rotation at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel, Alaska. In this interview Autumn shares her experience on a trip to one of the 58 rural communities that the hospital serves and reflects on the impact of COVID 19 on domestic and international humanitarian clinics. Read the whole interview here
Autumn Killop in Alaska
SVOSH-UAL Coahuila, Mexico

Before lockdown, our SVOSH-UAL chapter at the school of optometry of the Universidad de la Laguna (UAL), Coahuila State in Mexico supported the Rotary 2020 Day of community service and were able to serve over 100 patients.   
2020 VOSH/International Annual Meeting
2020 marks a key year for vision. The eye health sector’s preparations to celebrate achievements and develop new plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Annual Meeting "Envisioning a new world will explore the challenges and opportunities VOSH/International faces after such an unprecedented year. From the role of telehealth and innovation to vision rehabilitation through assistive technologies, ensuring inclusiveness through disability friendly eye care, the importance of school screenings and sharing of country experiences, the programme cannot be missed. There will be 2 hours of COPE accredited sessions.
Book the date
This year our Annual Meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday November 7th

We will miss the personal interaction that our annual gatherings offer but this format facilitates the participation of more US and international chapters. The programme will offer a rich diversity of presentations to get us ready for the challenges ahead. 

Registration will open on August 3rd and more details on the programme available in the website soon.


News from our partners
Update on funding for the US CDC’s Vision and Eye Health and Glaucoma programs
In February, Prevent Blindness secured the endorsement of 83 organizations to a letter to both House and Senate appropriators to secure $5 million for Vision and Eye Health surveillance. Unfortunately, the House proposes to continue funding levels at $1 million only. VOSH/International and some VOSH chapters supported this action. In response, Prevent Blindness has issued this statement  to emphasise the importance of having vision and eye health included in COVID 19 response efforts so that people with vision loss and eye disease or visual disability are not disproportionately affected. For more information contact Sara Br own, Director of Government Affairs, Prevent Blindness, sbrown@preventblindness.org
Calls for nominations: Harry I. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award and Humanitarian of the Year Award.

This is an invitation to all VOSH US and international chapters to consider nominating one of your members to our prestigious awards: the Harry I. Zeltzer Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2020 Humanitarian of the Year Award. 

The calls for nominations are here:


For more information please contact Neelam Patadia, OD, Secretary VOSH/International Board of Directors at secretary@vosh.org

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