ORBIS International Brings World’s Only Flying Eye Hospital to
Fort Worth, Texas October 21-23 As Part of North American Goodwill Tour
Alcon, 30-Year ORBIS Partner, Welcomes ORBIS to Fort Worth
Ft. Worth, Texas – October 20, 2011 – Alcon, the global leader in eye care, and FedEx will host ORBIS International in its North American Goodwill Tour at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport from October 21-23, 2011. ORBIS International is a global nonprofit humanitarian organization that works in developing countries to save sight worldwide.
The ORBIS International flagship Flying Eye Hospital is a converted DC-10 aircraft, flown by volunteer pilots, and is a state-of-the-art surgical and teaching facility. The Flying Eye Hospital will be showcased at the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. Alcon has partnered with ORBIS for more than 30 years to support sight-saving programs and initiatives worldwide, including the Flying Eye Hospital.
Alcon provides grants as well as medical gifts in-kind such as ophthalmic equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies. The Goodwill Tour provides the Fort Worth community a unique opportunity to experience how Alcon and ORBIS partner to improve sight across the globe. To further showcase Alcon’s partnership with ORBIS, volunteers from Alcon will be onsite to support the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital.
“There are almost 20 million people worldwide who are bilaterally blind from cataracts. To eventually eliminate preventable blindness, our joint focus must be to establish sustainable eye care on a local level through well trained eye care professionals,” said Sara Woodward, director of Corporate Giving at Alcon.
The Flying Eye Hospital brings eye care professionals and a fully functional eye hospital to developing countries to provide two-to-three weeks of training and state-of-the-art surgical demonstrations. ORBIS uses the Flying Eye Hospital to conduct intensive skills-exchange programs for ophthalmic practitioners, medical personnel and the local eye health community aboard this unique aircraft. ORBIS volunteer doctors, local doctors, nurses, biomedical engineers and technicians impart the skills necessary to provide high-quality eye care to their communities that will prevent and treat avoidable causes of blindness such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Since 1982, ORBIS’s Flying Eye Hospital has visited 77 countries and conducted 275 training and service programs in 154 cities.
“Our plane is the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital. It brings specialized training programs directly to eye doctors and nurses in developing countries. We are proud to showcase this part of our work at the Alliance Fort Worth Air show,” said Bruce Johnson, Director, ORBIS Aircraft Operations and Maintenance. “This is an exceptional chance to share our mission and the important alliance we have created between the eye health and aviation industries with thousands of aviation enthusiasts.”
In 2010, Alcon confirmed its commitment to ORBIS by renewing its global sponsorship. Alcon’s grant supports its training initiatives in developing countries through a combination of the Flying Eye Hospital and the India Childhood Blindness Initiative. Over the years, Alcon has donated state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies for the Flying Eye Hospital and its partner hospitals around the world, making it possible for ORBIS volunteer ophthalmologists to teach advanced surgical techniques to doctors in the developing world. Additionally, the Alcon Volunteer Biomedical Corps, a dedicated group of Alcon biomedical technicians, participate in ORBIS training programs and share their skills with those in developing countries.
As the aviation sponsor of the Goodwill tours, FedEx and its employees also strongly support the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital. FedEx is a major sponsor, donating the unparalleled FedEx global network and their aviation expertise to help the Flying Eye Hospital fly. FedEx pilots volunteer to fly the ORBIS DC-10 to many of its medical programs and train other volunteer pilots; FedEx mechanics provide maintenance support; 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 checkups, canvassing neighborhoods and assisting with patient screenings. The company also provides complimentary transportation services to move critically needed medical supplies to ORBIS clinics worldwide; makes a FedEx flight training simulator available to train volunteer pilots; and manages the cost and performance of the annual safety checks for ORBIS's flagship Flying Eye Hospital.
About ORBIS International
ORBIS International is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works in developing countries to save 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 in an effort to eliminate avoidable blindness. For more information on ORBIS, please visit www.ORBIS.org.
Alcon Laboratories, the global leader in eye care, provides innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people worldwide see better. Alcon’s three businesses - Surgical, Pharmaceutical and Vision Care - offer the widest spectrum of eye care products in the world. Over the next five years, Alcon plans to invest approximately USD 4 billion to discover and develop new and innovative treatment solutions for vision conditions and eye diseases. Alcon is the second largest division of the Novartis Group with sales of more than USD 9.4 billion in 2010. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A, Alcon has 22,000 employees worldwide, operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets. For more information, visit www.alcon.com.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $39 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 290,000 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.