(PRESS RELEASE) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - The Global Board of Optometry Giving Sight announced that it will merge its operations into the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation. The decision was based on a desire to ensure that by working more closely together, the entities could achieve more significant and sustained outcomes to benefit the millions of people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired simply because they can’t access an eye exam and glasses from a qualified optometrist.
“Support for public eye health has changed enormously since 2003 when Professor Brien Holden first established Optometry Giving Sight in partnership with the World Council of Optometry and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon, chair of Optometry Giving Sight. “Optometry Giving Sight has done an incredible job over the past 14 years in mobilizing resources from the global optometric profession and industry to support more than 117 high impact eye and vision care projects in 39 countries around the world.
“Our goal is to ensure the campaign can continue to grow and develop. The Board feels this can be done most effectively as part of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation.”
Aragon said all current Global Board members have been invited to continue to support the campaign as part of a newly formed Advisory Board, and that he will join the Board of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation. All current agreements with Optometry Giving Sight project partners will continue and the Optometry Giving Sight brand will be maintained.
Clive Miller finished up as Optometry Giving Sight CEO in December 2017 and has since accepted the newly created role of global head of philanthropy for the foundation. All other Optometry Giving Sight staff will remain working in the merged organization.
“We have always regarded Optometry Giving Sight as a part of the Brien Holden Vision Institute family,” said CEO Kovin Naidoo. “By merging our operations, we become more effective and gain the opportunity to maximize the resources that we can dedicate to key program areas.
“These include the Our Children’s Vision campaign, education and training for new and established Optometrists in emerging communities, and a range of advocacy activities with organizations including the World Council of Optometry and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.”
Naidoo said he believes that the late Professor Brien Holden would have been enormously proud of what Optometry Giving Sight has achieved, and incredibly grateful for all the support provided by donors, sponsors, staff and the various global and national boards.
“I know it would be Brien’s fervent wish that our current donors and sponsors continue to support Optometry Giving Sight as we move forward and focus on the growing impact of myopia on children throughout the world, and the need to train and equip many more optometrists to be able to provide services in areas of great need,” he said.