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  • Together, We’re Preventing Blindness Globally

    Residents at the Thammasat Eye Center in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand, were delighted to receive the Academy’s highly regarded BCSC. Associate Professor Sakchai Vongkittirux said they look forward to using it to help prevent vision loss in Thailand and beyond.

    THE WORLD IS A BETTER, HEALTHIER PLACE when all communities have access to high-quality eye care. Through our Foundation-funded global outreach programs, the Academy equips our colleagues in developing nations who have limited educational resources. By having access to the latest books, online resources and live courses, ophthalmologists are able to provide a higher standard of care and more effectively prevent blindness in our global ophthalmic community.

    Many developing nations lack the resources to provide their ophthalmology residents with recent educational materials. Our Foundation donors help the Academy close this learning gap by providing hundreds of resources to ophthalmology residency programs through our Education Distribution Project. Rachele Amedee, MD, was one such beneficiary. She was able to take a suitcase full of books and DVDs back to her program in Haiti, where only 75 ophthalmologists serve a population of 10 million. With these new resources, Dr. Amedee and her colleagues will be able to more efficiently serve their communities.

    In the past year, the project donated more than 225 full sets of the 13-volume Basic and Clinical Science Course™ (BCSC®). Approximately half of the sets were provided in partnership with the International Council of Ophthalmology. AAO 2016 attendees from developing countries also took home a total of 400 bags of books and DVDs through the project.

    The Academy also partners with international ophthalmic societies to provide access to the ONE Network. Because these resources are available online, we’re able to reach a broader audience of ophthalmologists who can access content quickly and easily from their desktops or mobile devices. Last year, the Academy granted ONE Network accounts to 35,901 ophthalmologists in 61 developing countries, ensuring their access to the latest news and clinical education resources.

    Live experiences are immensely important in building hands-on skills. Through the Host an Ophthalmologist Program and the Rotary Club Host Project, the Academy helps ophthalmologists attend the Academy’s annual meeting. These opportunities provide invaluable educational, professional and networking experiences. The physicians learn new treatment methods and surgical procedures and have an opportunity to see the latest devices in the exhibition. Last year, the programs brought a total of 41 ophthalmologists to AAO 2016. Armed with new knowledge and perspectives, they were then able to share what they learned with colleagues at home, who were in turn able to use that knowledge when treating their own patients.