Unite For Sight
Unite For Sight is a non-profit organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness.
Donate online at http://www.uniteforsight.org/give
From the About Unite For Sight Page
Unite For Sight’s unwavering commitment to creating real, lasting impact involves four program divisions.
- International Eye Care Programs: Unite For Sight supports eye clinics worldwide by investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care. Unite For Sight applies best practices in eye care, public health, volunteerism, and social entrepreneurship to achieve our goal of high quality eye care for all. The programs are locally led and managed by ophthalmologists at Unite For Sight’s partner eye clinics. Unite For Sight’s international eye care services with partner local eye clinics are comprehensive, including examinations by local eye doctors, diagnosis and care for all treatable conditions, education, and prevention. This full range of services is delivered to the popuation year-round. Outreach services are brought to the people in their villages, in some cases including villages seven or more hours from the clinic. These patients are provided with follow up care by our outreach teams regularly throughout the year. To date, we have provided eye care services to more than 900,000 people worldwide, including more than 30,896 sight-restoring surgeries.
- Patient Barrier: Patients are usually unaware that their blindness may be curable or preventable (lack of education and awareness)
Our Solution: We bring local eye doctors and quality care to the patients in the villages
- Patient Barrier: The nearest eye doctor can be 8-10 hours away
Our Solution: The local eye clinics’ outreach teams bring eye doctors and on-site eye care to the patients in the villages
- Patient Barrier: Distance and transportation to an eye clinic
Our Solution: If a patient needs surgery, they are transported to the eye clinic for surgery by the local ophthalmologist, and they’re then brought back to their home village the next day.
- Patient Barrier: Cost
Our Solution: We fund every patient’s surgery.
- Patient Barrier: Fear of doctors
Our Solution: We engage local community leaders, community members, and previous surgery recipients to educate the community.
- Patient Barrier: Eye doctors lack professional development opportunities.
Our Solution: Our visiting volunteer ophthalmologists provide one-on-one mentoring and skills transfer opportunities to local eye doctors. We also sponsor several of the local eye doctors to attend professional development and training opportunities in the U.S.
- Community Fellows Program: Unite For Sight’s chapter volunteers are trained to reduce barriers to care by serving as advocates for community members. Chapter volunteers train teachers to identify visual issues among their students, and they also inform teachers about how to coordinate free eye care for any uninsured students. The chapter volunteers similarly train the staff at community centers (i.e. soup kitchens, homeless shelters, free clinics, etc.) about the resources available for their clients to receive free eye care through professional organizations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology (EyeCare America) and American Optometric Association (VisionUSA). Each chapter eliminates blindness in their community by enabling thousands each year to be connected with free eye care by eye care professionals.
- Global Health & Innovation Conference: The conference annually convenes more than 2,200 participants from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. The conference participants represent a great range of diversity, including students, nurses, doctors, policy-makers, nonprofit directors and volunteers, public health professionals, health educators, community health workers, researchers, social scientists, social workers, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, teachers, lawyers, and business executives. The goal of the conference is to exchange ideas and best practices across disciplines in order to improve public health and international development. Participants are encouraged to attend presentations in fields that may be outside of their existing expertise so that they can learn about successful strategies in other fields and apply those ideas to their own work.
- Global Health University: Unite For Sight’s Global Health University is designed to develop and nurture the next generation of global health leaders. Global Health University helps to effect widespread innovative change in global health through comprehensive training workshops and idea incubators, a Global Health Certificate Program, fellowship and internship opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, and online courses. (source www.uniteforsight.org)
Some Unite for Sight Highlights:
- Unite For Sight was founded by Jennifer Staple-Clark in her dorm room when she was a sophomore at Yale University. Now Jennifer is 28, and she has grown the organization to be a global nonprofit organization that has provided eye care to 1,000,000 people in North America, Africa, and Asia. A visionary and social entrepreneur, Jennifer Staple was featured in Nicholas D. Kristof’s “The Age of Ambition” article in The New York Times on January 27, 2008, and she received the American Institute of Public Service’s 2009 National Jefferson Award For Public Service, which is regarded as the “Nobel Prize” for public service.
- Since 2003, Unite For Sight has trained more than 6,800 fellows to eliminate preventable blindness in their local community and abroad. These fellows annually contribute 80,000 volunteer hours of service to eliminating preventable blindness and restoring sight. The work of these fellows is vitally important, and the result of their work is profound. In addition to Unite For Sight’s measurable impact, there is an equally compelling achievement. The organization has found a way to unite doctors, students, and other people, especially younger people, across borders, across economic status, and across professional lines.
- Unite For Sight has provided eye care to 1,000,000 people worldwide and coordinated and funded more than 31,865 sight-restoring surgeries for patients living in extreme poverty in Africa and Asia. The Unite For Sight international programs are locally led and managed by ophthalmologists at partner eye clinics. The patients go from being completely blind to having their sight entirely restored by a 15-minute operation. 80% of all blindness is preventable, and 36 million people worldwide are needlessly blind. Unite For Sight’s goal is to create a lasting impact and reduce the number of people living with unnecessary blindness. Unite For Sight sponsors all of the eye care programs, including providing patients with free surgery, so that no patient remains blind due to lack of funds.
- Unite For Sight applies best practices in eye care, public health, and volunteerism to achieve our goal of high quality eye care for all. The programs are locally led and managed by ophthalmologists at Unite For Sight’s partner eye clinics. Unite For Sight’s international eye care services with partner local eye clinics are comprehensive, including examinations by local eye doctors, diagnosis and care for all treatable conditions, promotion, and prevention. This full range of services is delivered to the popuation year-round. Outreach services are brought to the people in their villages, in some cases including villages seven or more hours from the clinic. These patients are provided with follow up care by our outreach teams regularly throughout the year.