The International Eye Foundation News
IEF News: IEF People In The News
The IEF's many active board members, staff members, and representatives in the field are frequent recipients of special honors and recognition. We celebrate their achievements and share them with you in this section. To receive an IEF newsletter by email, please sign up. [ Get the Newsletter ]
IEF People In The News Reports
Passing of Carl Kupfer, MD
Dr. Carl Kupfer, the first Director of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH), passed away April 7 at the age of 83. In 2000, IEF presented Dr. Kupfer with its Promotion of Peace and Vision Award for his lifelong commitment and dedication to "Helping People See."
Appointed as NEI's Director in 1970, Dr. Kupfer was at the leading edge of phenomenal advances in ophthalmic technology and research. Through his active leadership in numerous eye care organizations and consultative bodies, Dr. Kupfer helped shape and guide the expansion and delivery of quality eye care services throughout the world. From 1982 to 1990, he served two terms as President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. The IEF mourns the passing of a visionary leader in eye care.
National Eye Institute Mourns First Director, Dr. Carl Kupfer
Victoria Sheffield Honored by Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology
Victoria M. Sheffield, President & CEO of the International Eye Foundation (IEF) was presented with the prestigious Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Al Saud Prevention of Blindness Award for her substantial contribution to the Global fight against Blindness and Visual Disability. The presentation was made Sunday, October 17th, 2010, during the opening session of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) joint meeting held at the McCormick Center, Chicago. Click below for the complete press release.
Press Release for MEACO Award to Victoria Sheffield
Dr. Floyd L. Wergeland, Jr. and Kathryn D. Leckey, Esq.
Promotion of Peace and Vision Awards for 2010
Ophthalmologist -- Dr. Floyd L. Wergeland, Jr. received the 2010 Promotion of Peace & Vision Award for an Ophthalmologist at the joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology in Chicago last October.
Dr. Wergeland’s distinguished career as an ophthalmologist in the US Army Medical Corps began in 1959 with his ophthalmology residency at what was then called the Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC.
As Chief Ophthalmologist at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco during the Viet Nam war, he later served in Germany & Pakistan. Dr. Wergeland served in President Eisenhower’s “People to People” program providing eye care to the underserved in Peru, and conducted educational trips to Australia and New Zealand, China, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, and Viet Nam.
Community Member -- Kathryn D. Leckey, Esq. is the recipient of the 2010 Promotion of Peace and Vision Award for a Community Member. An attorney, Ms. Leckey pursued her pre-law studies at Queens College, Oxford University in England. After receiving her law degree from George Mason University School of Law, she served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Philip Crane.
A partner since 2003 in the Magee Law Firm. PLLC in McLean, VA specializing in Family Law, Ms. Leckey is active in community affairs. She is a member of Child Help/USA, and a board member of the International Eye Foundation, the International Opera, and the Beethoven Society. Her service in support of the IEF extends over two decades, including twice Chair of the Eye Ball® and over 12 years as a member of the Board of Directors.
Promotion of Peace and Vision Awards for 2009
The inaugural IEF Promotion of Peace & Vision Award to a Corporation was given to Merck & Co., Inc. by Victoria M. Sheffield, President & CEO of the International Eye Foundation. Merck received the award for its outstanding commitment to controlling and eliminating onchocerciasis (river blindness) worldwide. IEF has partnered with Merck since 1988 when Merck began donating the drug Mectizan® to control the parasites that cause river blindness.
"Through the MECTIZAN Donation Program, and the commitment of partners such as the International Eye Foundation, significant progress is being made to control and even eliminate river blindness around the world," said Michael Rabinowitz, Global Brand Leader of Ophthalmics, Merck & Co., Inc., who accepted the award on behalf of Merck. “More than 80 million people are now treated with MECTIZAN every year, a testament to Merck's commitment to putting patients first."
The Award was presented during an October 25, 2009 reception held in San Francisco during the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.
Photo: Victoria Sheffield presenting 2009 Corporate Promotion of Peace and Vision Award to Michael Rabinowitz
Merck & Co., Inc. Press Release
Honoring Commitment and Dedication -- Promotion of Peace and Vision Awards for 2008
The IEF is pleased to announce the recipients of the Promotion of Peace and Vision Awards for 2008.
The recipient of the Ophthalmologist Award is Dr. Scott Peterson of Connecticut. Highly respected in the ophthalmic community, Dr. Peterson is dedicated to the expansion of eye care services to those who are underserved. He has volunteered at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti, and is very active in his community, serving on numerous boards, societies and trusts. Currently serving as IEF's Senior Medical Director, Dr. Peterson has been instrumental in securing several grants to support IEF programs.
Co-honorees for the Community Member Award are Nancyfaye Autenzio and Rowland Bradley. Nancyfaye and her husband Brad have shown extraordinary commitment to the IEF for over 10 years. Both serve on IEF's Board of Directors, Ms. Autenzio as the current Vice Chair, while Mr. Bradley was Vice Chair in 2004. Marketing and development consultants in technology and software, they have strengthened IEF with their expertise and by getting their colleagues involved. Beginning in 2000, they founded and co-sponsor the DC Ambassadors' Wine Tastings to generate funds for and awareness of IEF's sight saving programs.
IEF Elects New Chairman of the Board
21 June 2007 -- Ophthalmologist and public health specialist, Dr. Jim Ganley, takes over as Chair of IEF's Board of Directors for FY 2008. New trustees this year are Allen Beach, an independent consultant; Roger Jantio, a global venture capitalist; and Martha Fallgatter Walda, a public relations and political consultant.
Saving Children's Sight in Eritrea
A child facing a life of blindness just breaks your heart. “Blind children have so many challenges and become a substantial burden on their families and community” notes Dr. Judy Newman, a senior pediatric ophthalmologist from Texas who travels the world sharing her skills and expertise. In April, she visited Asmara, Eritrea, a tiny country in the horn of Africa surrounded by the Red Sea, Sudan, and Ethiopia with a population of only 3 million, but with more than its share of children facing blindness. IEF’s Victoria Sheffield noted that “Dr. Desbele, the Chief Ophthalmologist at the Birhan Eye Hospital in Asmara, has been asking us to help find a pediatric ophthalmologist to work alongside his wife Dr. Ghenet ‘because she is the one who takes care of the children.’” Taking along suitcases full of clinical and surgical supplies generously donated by Valleylab, Alcon, New World Medical, Marchon Eye Wear, Ronald and Marla Rushing and Dietz McLean Optical, Dr. Newman made the lengthy journey to Asmara for a two week visit.
They worked as a team to address each child’s eye problem. She summed up her experience this way, “The two doctors with whom I worked are really dedicated to their people. They are eminently trained and certified ophthalmologists and have a special clinic day just for children, unusual for a poor hospital in a developing African country. I was impressed by how much pediatric eye disease, inherited, acquired and traumatic that we saw such as congenital cataracts, glaucoma and squint. The daily number of serious eye injury cases in children, which Dr. Desbele repairs, astounds me. Impressive was Dr. Ghenet's quick grasp of pediatric ophthalmic concepts and the skill with which both doctors maximized their sparsely equipped but well maintained facility to practice a high level of ophthalmology.”
Dr. Ghenet’s beautiful smile and Dr. Desbele’s innate kindness reassure the patients that everything possible will be done for their loved ones. They were an inspiration to me... ” Dr. Desbele said in a phone call to IEF, “She really taught us a lot and the children of Eritrea will benefit so much.” Dr. Newman exemplifies IEF founder Dr. John Harry King’s vision of “the promotion of peace through the prevention of blindness.”
Eye Care in Developing Nations, 4th Edition
Dr. Larry Schwab's 4th edition of his very popular text for general and eye health workers is now available in African and Asian versions. The new Chapter 2, "Sustainable eye programs" written by IEF describes our approach to sustainability programming. With a grant from Merck & Co., Inc., the 4th edition commemorates 20 years in the fight against onchocerciasis through the Mectizan Donation Program 1987-2007. An "IEFer" for over 35 years, Dr. Schwab has dedicated his life to preventing blindness and improving the quality of eye care worldwide. Available from Manson Publishing Ltd, 73 Corringham Road, London NW11 7DL, UK, Tel: +44 (0) 20 8905 5150, Fax: +44 (0) 20 8201 9233, www.mansonpublishing.com . Also from the ICEH in London www.iceh.org.
IEF recognizes departing Board members
15 June 2006 -- IEF Board President Susan Fritschler (second from left) recognized four Members for their distinguished service to the IEF. Rolling off the IEF Board after serving two consecutive terms were Dr. Frank S. Ashburn, Jr., Elizabeth Aiken Burt, COT, Vladimir Ossenov, and Dr. Larry Schwab (not pictured). The IEF is grateful for their dedication and commitment to helping people see.
Executive Director and Senior Medical Director Honored by Order of St. John
On November 12, 2005 in New York City, IEF Senior Medical Director Frank S. Ashburn, Jr. MD was invested into The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. On the same day, IEF’s Executive Director Victoria M. Sheffield, was promoted to the rank of Commander. The Order, more commonly known as the Order of St. John, is a serving order of chivalry under the British Crown, the honor of which is bestowed by warrant of its Sovereign Head, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Established in 1888 by Queen Victoria, the Order traces its origins back more than 900 years to the Knights Hospitallers of the First Crusade. The Order supports both the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and the St. John Ambulance Service worldwide. IEF’s founder, Dr. John Harry King, Jr. and founding Board member, the late Mr. David P. Close, were Knights of the Order of St. John. A number of IEF’s Board members are also members of the Order of St. John or its sister organization, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Both Orders are dedicated to the care of the poor and the sick and IEF is honored to have such dedicated servants within its ranks.
IEF Executive Director Victoria M. Sheffield Honored [June 2005]
While participating in a meeting of the second South-East European Congress of Ophthalmology (SEECO) in Bulgaria, IEF Executive Director Victoria M. Sheffield received an honorary membership in the Union of Bulgarian Ophthalmologists. Read about Ms. Sheffield's honor online. [ Full Story ]
IEF Board Member Receives Honorary Degree from Dickinson College [May 2005]
His Excellency Jerome Mendouga, who serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the International Eye Foundation for the fiscal year 2005 - 2006, received an honorary degree from Dickinson College for his 50-year relationship with the United States. The honorary degree not only recognized Mendouga, who is also Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Cameroon, but also the people of Cameroon themselves, who have served as hosts, friends, and teachers to more than 250 students who visited Cameroon from Dickinson College. The full story is available as an Acrobat PDF download:
MendougaDegree.pdf [1Mb Acrobat PDF]
The IEF's blindness prevention and sight saving programs are funded by governmental, foundation, and corporate contributors, as well as individuals like you who generously donate online. Our website showcases our successes and our breadth of services to the developing world. Feel free to contact us with specific questions or requests. [ SightReach Surgical® News ]