FedEx Corp.-Sponsored Program Aimed at Strengthening Pediatric Ophthalmology and Building Awareness of Eye Care Related Conditions
New York, NY, August 21, 2012 – Alongside its longtime global sponsor FedEx Corp., ORBIS is excited to announce the return of its Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) to El Salvador, to conduct a two week comprehensive skills exchange program aimed at strengthening the field of pediatric ophthalmology and raising awareness of eye care related conditions in El Salvador.
Bringing together diverse members of the El Salvador eye care community and doctors from a wide range of institutions, the FEH program is designed to offer skills exchange opportunities and continuing medical education not only to local ophthalmologists, but also to nurses, biomedical engineers and anesthesiologists. The primary thematic component of the FEH program is pediatric ophthalmology, aimed at addressing significant gaps in the diagnosis, management and advanced treatment of childhood blindness, particularly in the public sector. Ultimately, the skills exchange is aimed at strengthening the comprehensive referral network and rural management of leading causes of blindness.
“We are excited to bring the Flying Eye Hospital program back to El Salvador to continue to strengthen our efforts to treat preventable blindness in Central America,” said Dr. Carlos Solarte, Medical Director of the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital. “With the generous support of FedEx and working together with our local hosts and partners, the program will offer skills exchange opportunities to a wide range of eye health care professionals, while focusing on the development of pediatric ophthalmology, an area of great need in El Salvador.”
As part of a global initiative to combat preventable and treatable blindness, and in support of ORBIS's skills exchange approach, FedEx will continue their fellowship program and award and sponsor a fellowship to a promising ophthalmologist to study at a leading global eye institute.The FedEx Fellowship began in 2006 and has since awarded fellowships to ophthalmologists from Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Peru, Kenya, the Dominican Republic and China.
“For the past 30 years, FedEx has been committed to work alongside ORBIS and the Flying Eye Hospital to provide resources to fight treatable and preventable blindness worldwide,” said Juan Cento, regional president of FedEx Express LAC. “ We feel proud to work together with ORBIS to train and enhance the skills of eye care professionals in developing countries and to continue to support local ophthalmologists who will benefit from the FedEx Fellowship.”
ORBIS and FedEx Corp. – Delivering Sight Worldwide
FedEx Corp. has supported ORBIS for 30 years, providing millions of dollars of cash and in-kind contributions. In 2011, FedEx renewed a USD $5.375 million, five-year commitment made to ORBIS in 2006. It includes the extension of the FedEx Fellows Program that provides an opportunity for talented local doctors to receive the continuing medical education needed to address leading causes of avoidable blindness within their countries.
ORBIS benefits from the unparalleled FedEx global network and their aviation expertise to help the Flying Eye Hospital remain aloft. FedEx Express pilots volunteer to fly the ORBIS DC-10 to many of its medical programs and train other volunteer pilots, FedEx Express mechanics provide maintenance support, and FedEx Express team members around the world volunteer as part of the ORBIS humanitarian team as interpreters, welcoming and escorting patients to and from their surgeries, and assisting with patient screenings. FedEx also provides complimentary transportation services to move critically needed medical supplies to ORBIS clinics and programs worldwide, makes the FedEx Express flight training simulator available to train volunteer pilots, and supports annual safety checks for ORBIS' flagship Flying Eye Hospital.
ORBIS is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. ORBIS prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, and partnerships with local health care organizations. By building their long-term capabilities, ORBIS helps its partner institutions take action to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable. To learn more about ORBIS, please visit www.ORBIS.org.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services.With annual revenues of $43 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand.Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
1. WHO (2010). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/blindness/en/
2. WHO (2011). Factsheet N°282 Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/