Alcon celebrates World Sight Day through its corporate giving and company-led initiatives focused on improving access to quality eye care. In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Hope in Sight,” Alcon associates will help spark donations to global nonprofit organizations that advance eye health. The goal is to support people around the world in need of eye care, particularly as eye health issues, including vision loss, myopia, cataracts, refractive errors and more, have emerged or worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, our Alcon team has seen firsthand how the COVID-19 pandemic has made access to quality eye care even more challenging for communities across the globe,” David J. Endicott, Chief Executive Officer, Alcon, said in a company news release. “Now more than ever, Alcon is proud to partner with nonprofit eye health organizations who are working toward a common goal of improving access to eye care, including offering free eye surgeries and eye care resources to patients, as well as providing training and education to eye care providers across the world. Through these impactful initiatives, we can help improve people’s vision and inspire hope in sight.”
Celebrated annually, World Sight Day—coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)—is an international day of awareness to bring attention to the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Alcon has a long-standing history of donating surgical equipment and medical supplies to NGOs and hospitals providing care to underserved patients. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many necessary eye surgeries and treatments were delayed, causing a backlog of surgeries and leaving people’s vision at risk for worsened conditions. Cornerstone Assistance Network’s Cataract Clinic— the nation’s first free cataract facility for the uninsured, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area—saw an uptick in patient requests for cataract surgeries since the pandemic began. This World Sight Day, Alcon continues to lend support to Cornerstone Cataract Clinic by supporting surgical services for uninsured patients.
Around the world, Alcon associates are also participating in a variety of activities that support eye health awareness for World Sight Day. Most notably, the Steps for Sight Challenge is a global company initiative that challenges 2,020 associates to take 10,000 steps on World Sight Day to raise a total of $25,000 for three global eye health nonprofit organizations—long-time partner Orbis, Optometry Giving Sight and one surprise recipient to be chosen by an Alcon site.
This year, Alcon has created a video trailer as a public service announcement (PSA) to remind people of the importance of eye health and encourage scheduling eye exams. During this year’s AAO Academy 2020 meeting, delegates will be encouraged to view the video and share it on their social media channels, with a call-to-action to generate more than 2,020 views to trigger a $25,000 donation to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. The video can be viewed on the Alcon Corporate YouTube channel.
Beyond World Sight Day, Alcon’s Corporate Giving efforts, including the Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares, help people around the world see brilliantly year-round by increasing access to quality eye care and driving eye care provider training and skills transfer. In 2019, Alcon supported more than 500 missions to 69 countries, where volunteer surgeons performed 38,000 eye surgeries and contributed $63 million in product and equipment donations.