AAO Annual Meeting & USAID/ASHA Partners Conference

Highlights from important nonprofit and eye care industry events

Conferences and workshops are a way to learn, network ­and discover innovations to improve an organization. This month, Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) staffers attended two important events hosted by organizations that help us in our quest to cure needless blindness worldwide.

AAO Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting is a yearly conference that brings together the best eye care has to offer including eye care professionals, vendors and organizations. This year the meeting was held in Chicago and in attendance were HCP partners from Ethiopia, Ghana and Nepal; HCP Board of Director members, HCP Staffers and affiliated ophthalmologists.

The meeting is also a chance for us to meet with our partners in global eye care including SEE International, Orbis and SightLife, IAPB, ICO, Moran Eye Center, Seva Foundation and Helen Keller International. During this year’s meeting, Johnson & Johnson partnered with HCP and set up a photo booth for their #spotlightsight campaign. For each photo that was taken at the booth, $1 was donated to HCP or the Lions Club International Foundation’s, Sight for Kids program. 

Even HCP Co-founder, Geoff Tabin and Worldwide President, Surgical for Johnson & Johnson Vision, Tom Frinzi were able to get in on the fun and donated a photo at the booth. For more information on how you can donate a photo to make an impact visit: https://www.donateaphoto.com/en_US

USAID/ASHA Partners Conference

HCP staffers from our Programs, and Technology and Procurement departments attended the United States Agency for International Development office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) Partners Conference in Washington, D.C. This annual conference is an opportunity for partners around the nation to build connections, interact with USAID/ASHA staff, and discuss U.S. ideas and practices through speakers and workshops. 

For over a decade, HCP has utilized USAID/ASHA funds to construct and equip two modern and innovative eye centers in Nepal and Ghana. This partnership has contributed to the screening of hundreds of thousands of patients; restoring sight to tens of thousands in hospital and non-hospital settings; and providing over 100 training opportunities for surgical teams from low- and middle-income countries. Since 2003, HCP has received over $10M in funding from the USAID/ASHA program, including two recently awarded grants to strengthen subspecialty capacity in Nepal and establish the first refractive surgery unit in Ethiopia.

USAID/ASHA strengthens the impact of HCP programs by supporting innovative, environmentally-sound infrastructure projects that generate income; save money through efficiency; promote public diplomacy efforts; and provide space to support HCP’s mission of treating more patients and training future eye care leaders.

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“It was my first experience attending the ASHA Partner Meeting, and I found it to be both educational and inspiring. Funding from the USAID/ASHA program has been integral to building capacity at many of our implementing partner institutions, and it was fascinating to learn about the history of the program and the impact it has had around the world over the past 50 years.”

– Leahy Winter, HCP Program Manager