SUNY Optometry Students Join VOSH International Mission to Grenada


SUNY Optometry’s student chapter of VOSH International (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) traveled to Grenada this July to help provide eye exams to 1,286 Grenadians alongside optometrists from the organization’s North Carolina chapter.

Many patients visit VOSH vision clinics every year and rely on these services for their eye care.

“We could not be more proud of [the students’] work ethic, compassion and clinical skill,” said Dr. Jill Scullion, president of VOSH North Carolina and director of health policy for Envolve Vision. “We have had many students join us on these missions over the years. They should be proud of the way that they carried themselves and how they represented SUNY.”

Clinical highlights and feedback included:

Amanda Crane helped a patient with advanced retinal disease from diabetes, and navigated the difficult conversation of irreversible vision loss with empathy and confidence.

Tara Damani epilated more than 40 eyelashes from a young man misdiagnosed with a persistent eye infection. Now that he knows the true cause of his eye problem, he is able to return to work and understands how to take care of the condition.

Kim Fung’s clinical skills allowed her to independently diagnose a branch retinal vein occlusion. She educated the young man regarding his eye health and overall condition with grace.

As Rebecca Heaps is nearsighted herself, she has the skillset to calm those who need glasses the most. Her kindness and empathy for these patients will not be forgotten.

Laura Karle displayed confidence beyond her clinical years. She carries herself as a leader and patients inherently trust her.

McKenzie Symons worked in a hot gymnasium to prep patients for their exam on the last day of the clinic. When asked if she would like to switch roles, she indicated that she enjoyed this task as it allowed her to interact with and meet every person instead of just those who came to her exam lane.

SUNY Optometry president David A. Heath commended the College’s six participants. “We’re very proud of our students not only because of the knowledge and skills they develop during their training, but also their compassion, humanity and commitment to treating every patient with dignity and respect.”

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