Unite For Sight
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2010)|
|Area served||more than 1.2 million people and 43,000 surgeries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America|
|Mission||Empowering communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness|
Unite for Sight is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Jennifer Staple-Clark specializing in healthcare delivery to communities around the world to eliminate patient barriers to care. Partnering with local clinics in Ghana, India, and Honduras, Unite for Sight invests human and financial resources in the social ventures of the local healthcare professionals. On a daily, year-round basis, eye care is brought to remote villages by the local eye doctors. As of July 2011, Unite for Sight has assisted more than 1.2 million people, including over 43,000 vision-restoring surgeries.
The Global Impact Corps is a volunteer abroad program that places students and professionals with Unite For Sight’s local eye clinic partners. After completing global health training, Global Impact Fellow volunteers travel to one of the three country locations to support and assist the local eye doctors as they deliver eye care to patients living in extreme poverty.
Global Impact Fellows can also work with Unite For Sight to design and implement a global health research study in the Global Impact Lab. Primarily students, these research volunteers work with Unite For Sight, the partner eye clinic, and a university mentor, and they also are required to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Global Impact Fellows complete and receive a Certificate in Global Health Research, preparing them for critical issues with research in the developing world. Many fellows go on to publish and present their findings at research conferences and in academic journals.
In India, volunteers have the option of participating in either Dhenkanal, Orissa, or in Patna, Bihar. In Dhenkanal, Global Impact Fellows work with Kalinga Eye Hospital and Research Centre (KEHRC), which was founded by social entrepreneur Sarang Samal. Kalinga Eye Hospital provides healthcare to the seven districts of central Orissa, which has a population of 7 million people. In Dhenkanal, Global Impact Fellows partake in NGO management programs while directly learning about sustainable health care. In Patna, fellows work alongside Dr. Satyajit Sinha (a cataract and glaucoma specialist), ophthalmologist Dr. Ajit Sinha, and Dr. Pooja Sinha (retina specialist) in the A.B. Eye Institute to provide free eye care to poor patients, free surgery at the charity clinic, and help at the Bihar Netraheen Parishad school for blind girls.
The Ghana program with Unite for Sight includes three eye clinics in Accra, one in Kumasi, and one in Tamale. Global Impact Fellows work with ophthalmic nurses and optometrists of the eye clinics to provide eye care in rural villages that are located 1–8 hours from each eye clinic. The patients receive eye care from the local eye doctors.
In Honduras, Global Impact Fellows work with Centro de Salud Integral Zoe, which is based in Tegucigalpa. Eye care outreaches are provided in remote villages, and Global Impact Fellow volunteers work alongside the local eye doctors to provide eye care to approximately 100 patients each day.
In August 2012, Unite For Sight finalized a partnership with Global eyeglasses, an online eyeglasses retailer. As part of this partnership Global Eyeglasses would provide Unite for Sight with 50 new prescription eyeglasses every month. Monthly donations of prescription eyeglasses will benefit those who live in poverty and have access to care through Unite For Sight’s programs.
Global Health University
Global Health University is an online library of certificate programs, as well as in-person workshops, social enterprise counseling, fellowship and internship opportunities, and online courses of topics ranging from Global Health Practice to Responsible NGO Management. GHU also includes the Global Health Leadership Society, which brings together professionals and students involved in public health, providing a platform for individuals committed to excellence in global health to network.
Global Health and Innovation Conference
The Global Health & Innovation Conference is Unite for Sight's annual conference bringing together more than 2,200 participants from over 55 countries. The conference is the world’s largest global health conference and largest social entrepreneurship conference.
Chapters across North America are led by college, graduate, and high school students serving as advocates for reducing barriers to healthcare. Volunteers can opt for a Community-Based Chapter Track or a Global Health Chapter Track.
Community-Based volunteers partner with local teachers to help the teachers identify visual issues among their students. Chapters work to inform teachers about resources that provide free eye care for children. Volunteers also train staff at local community centers to arrange for free eye care from professional organizations like the American Academy of Ophthalmology (EyeCare America) and American Optometric Association (VisionUSA). Community-Based Track Chapters also fundraise, and 100% provides eye care for patients living in extreme poverty.
Global Health Chapter Volunteers focus on fundraising to provide sight-restoring surgeries by Unite For Sight’s partner eye clinics. Chapters also hold informative global health events and activities.
Social entrepreneur Jennifer Staple-Clark founded Unite for Sight in 2000 as a sophomore at Yale University. The organization has received weekly coverage on CNN in 2007 and 2008, and has been featured in The New York Times, Yale Daily News, among other outlets. Staple-Clark has garnered multiple accolades including the coveted BRICK Award and the American Institute of Public Service's 2009 Jefferson Awards for Public Service, the Nobel Prize equivalent in public service. In addition, she frequently gives presentations and keynote addresses. Her most recent audiences include Harvard School of Public Health, Yale Law School, Yale College, Yale School of Public Health, Stanford, Duke, MIT, New York University School of Medicine, Miller School of Medicine of UMiami, Northwestern University School of Medicine's American Medical Student Association Conference, and American Academy of Ophthalmology's Women in Ophthalmology Leadership Institute. She has also been featured in the book Our Time is Now: Young People Changing the World, as well as in many other publications. She is the author of journal articles and book chapters about social entrepreneurship, practices in global health, and community eye health.
- "Volunteer Abroad"
- "Global Health University"
- "Global Health and Innovation Conference"
- "National Chapters"
- "Be the Change" CNN 2007-2008.
- Nicholas Kristof. "The Age of Ambition" New York Times 27 January 2008.
- Sannya Hede. "Unite for Sight sets global goals" Yale Daily News 14 April 2008, received 20 August 2008.