New World Medical has announced the winners of their annual Humanitarian Project Award and Fellowship Award. The Humanitarian Project Award is designated for a non-profit or academic institution that provides ophthalmic care and skills-transfer. The Fellowship Award provides medical mission travel support for an incoming or current glaucoma fellow dedicated to humanitarian work. These recipients, who will be honored at a New World Medical EyeWorld event on Saturday, April 14, represent the company's mission to preserve and enhance vision by delivering innovations to all of humanity.
- The University of Colorado Ophthalmic Global Outreach Program was selected to receive the Humanitarian Project Award to provide advanced surgical glaucoma training in the Dominican Republic.
The Humanitarian Project Award will provide $50,000 to the University of Colorado Ophthalmic Global Outreach Program. This program seeks to combat worldwide blindness from glaucoma, with focused efforts in the Caribbean and South America. The award will benefit the Elias Santana Hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This hospital provides care to the impoverished throughout the region, averaging 600 patients a day, half of whom are being seen for glaucoma-related issues. The funding will be utilized to educate faculty, fellows, and residents on the most advanced and up-to-date ab interno glaucoma surgical techniques.
"We are grateful for New World Medical's support of our mission to develop world-class physicians abroad. You would be hard pressed to find a brighter, more talented group of surgeons than at Elias Santana Hospital," said the program's director, Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA. "This award will allow us to propel them to the forefront of glaucoma care. The outcome will be countless ophthalmologists fully trained and capable of tackling a crippling disease like glaucoma. Because Elias Santana Hospital trains ophthalmologists from many different countries, this is truly an opportunity to elevate glaucoma care throughout the world."
- Avni Shah, MD, a skilled and passionate glaucoma fellow committed to humanitarian work, was selected to receive the Fellowship Award to support her upcoming medical missions.
The Fellowship Award of $10,000 in travel support will be given to Avni Shah, MD, a glaucoma fellow at Tufts Medical Center & Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. Dr. Shah, who has been accepted to the Moran Eye Center's International fellowship program next year, has a passion for both medicine and service. Her interest in outreach was sparked early in medical school through her involvement in urban community glaucoma screenings. "My draw to ophthalmology as a specialty was in the context of teaching and service," she said. "My experience during medical school and exposure to individuals who dedicated their time and energy to helping cure preventable blindness led to a deep and urgent sense of what I wanted to devote myself to, and laid the foundation for my eventual career goals."
Dr. Shah has made two trips to the Elias Santana Hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is planning a visit to the Aravind Eye Hospital in India where she will train in manual small-incision cataract surgery and study one of the most successful models of sustainable eye care delivery in the developing world. As part of her Moran fellowship, Dr. Shah will travel to several international sites, including Tanzania and Ghana. "In Tanzania, I plan to provide the first glaucoma-specific surgical training to the only ophthalmologist at the University of Dodoma."
"As we recognize World Glaucoma Week, New World Medical could not be more excited and proud to announce this year's Humanitarian Project Award and Fellowship Award winners," said Bilal Khan, President of New World Medical. "We sincerely thank the members of our selection committee that had the tough task of choosing the recipients from a large pool of world-class applications, which doubled in size from last year. Our selection committee included Hunter Cherwek, MD, Wendy Hofman, MD, Scott Lawrence, MD, Oluwatosin 'Tosin' Smith, MD, and Malik Kahook, MD."
"The University of Colorado Ophthalmic Global Outreach Program is well positioned to effectively and efficiently enhance eye care in one of the poorest barrios of Santo Domingo—consistent with our humanitarian mission. We are also honored to support young ophthalmologists like Dr. Avni Shah. Her commitment and passion have already driven her to secure a coveted international fellowship," said Mr. Khan. "We seek to provide eye care where it's needed most, which often means developing nations and underserved populations. This can only be achieved through collaborations with like-minded organizations and eye care professionals who are dedicated to alleviating the burden of blindness around the globe."
The 2017 Humanitarian Project Award recipient was Sight for Souls, a US-based charity dedicated to catalyzing blindness alleviation and building capacity through residency and subspecialty training of ophthalmologists in Ethiopia. Jeanie D. Ling, MD, glaucoma fellow at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, was the winner of the 2017 Fellowship Award.