An estimated 500,000 children worldwide become blind every year. Seventy-five percent of these children live in developing countries. Yet nearly half of all blindness in children could be avoided.With increased access to ophthalmic education, physicians will be better equipped to manage existing conditions, take preventive measures and even educate their own communities for preventive care.
To help address this critical need for education, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) built on its strong commitment to reduce childhood blindness by making a $1 million gift to the Foundation. This generous contribution was used to establish the KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network and an endowment fund to support it.
"Since 1955, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation has always given special attention and emphasis to pediatrics, with the goal of producing the greatest good for humanity. We are excited to participate in this cooperative effort to advance science and practice for the young people of today and future," says KTEF President Duane L. Vaught, who also serves on the Foundation Advisory Board.
The first of its kind, this virtual skills-transfer center launched at AAO 2015. It enables U.S.-based and international pediatric ophthalmologists to access a single online source of high-quality clinical resources, vetted by subject-matter experts in pediatric ophthalmology. In combination with an extensive surgical media library, the center addresses the needs of residents and fellows, mid-career practitioners and international training programs in less-developed countries.
Visit the KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center to experience:
- The interactive strabismus simulator, which lets physicians explore eye deviations and use a virtual motility exam and cover test to differentiate and diagnose disorders. Innovative tools like this help physicians acquire hands-on skills and provide better care to their patients.
- Case-based training for retinopathy of prematurity
- Surgical videos featuring more than 40 techniques for muscle surgery from the world’s leading strabismus surgeons.
- Diagnostic and treatment recommendations for ocular disorders in children.
“This is an extraordinary gift for ophthalmology,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO. “It allows the Academy to aggregate in one location the best in pediatric ophthalmology educational resources. Most important, it is an on-demand from any device that can access the web. I have no doubt that it will truly impact the care of individual children. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is a tremendous partner for our profession and our patients.”
KTEF is a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, a Masonic fraternal organization. Its mission is “to improve vision through research, education and supporting access to care.” KTEF has been a key supporter of EyeCare America® and the Foundation for the last 20 years. Their generous contributions, totaling more than $4.7 million, have enabled EyeCare America to provide sight-saving services to the medically underserved across the United States.
Since its inception, KTEF has spent more than $140 million on research, patient care and education, and has provided more than $23 million in grants for researchers working in pediatric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics. “We are pleased to support the Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center as it provides a real opportunity to make a difference and improve the outcomes in eye care for children worldwide,” said Vaught.