Glenn Strauss, MD, cataract specialist and Chief Subject Matter Expert at HelpMeSee, has been named by The International Society of Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgeons (ISMSICS) as the first recipient of the Albert Lee Ueltschi award for Simulation in Ophthalmology.
The award was presented to Dr. Strauss during a ceremony at the Comprehensive Cataract Conference 2017 (CCC 2017) in Chennai, India in recognition of his numerous contributions to developing simulation-based training for cataract specialists around the world. Named after Al Ueltschi, a pioneer in simulation training for aviation as founder of FlightSafety International, this award was given in recognition of Mr. Ueltschi's decades of philanthropic work on blindness. In 2010 Al Ueltschi co-founded HelpMeSee, whose mission is to use simulation technology to train the thousands of cataract specialists needed to perform sight-restoring cataract surgery for the millions of blind around the world.
For the past 3 decades, Dr. Strauss has dedicated his life to ophthalmology and treating cataract blindness. In 1997, he began volunteering with Mercy Ships as an eye surgeon and provided training for their medical missions. Shortly after HelpMeSee was founded in 2010, Dr. Strauss joined its simulation-based training project as a medical leader. Throughout development of the Eye Surgical Simulator, Dr. Strauss served as a subject matter expert by providing guidance to HelpMeSee and its partners to assure that the simulator accurately replicates the realism of a live cataract surgery.
Jim Ueltschi, son of Al Ueltschi and Chairman of HelpMeSee, said, "Glenn exemplifies the spirit, dedication and inspiration of those few people who make miracles happen. He is obviously a very talented ophthalmologist, but he also can write complicated surgical descriptions for simulator engineers, a truly remarkable and rare gift, believe me. Glenn is also a world-class humanitarian. My father would be very proud of him and his contributions to ending cataract blindness. It is fitting that he is the first recipient of this award."
Dr. Amulya Sahu, co-founder and chairman of the ISMSICS said "Dr. Strauss is an inspiration for all ophthalmologists. He follows Al Ueltschi's example by paving the path to fighting blindness through training. Thanks to Dr. Strauss' lifelong dedication, millions of poor and needlessly blind people around the world have hope for a brighter future."
Upon accepting the award, Dr. Strauss provided his statement, "For me the life of international work in ophthalmology training has been a walk of faith from the beginning. I hope for each of you, this award is an encouragement to continue to strive to work for something that is bigger than all of us: the challenges of global blindness."