ICO Host Designation: A Step Forward in Moran’s Fight to End Global Blindness

Jun 05, 2018 9:00 AM

Tags: vision, global outreach, global blindness, ICO Host, Observer Program

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) has named the John A. Moran Eye Center as an official ICO Fellowship Host—a designation which brings both an honor and a boon to Moran’s work creating sustainable eye care systems in low-resource countries. 

The ICO Fellowship Program helps promising young ophthalmologists from developing countries improve their skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology by training at host sites around the world. ICO fellows are expected to take their acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in programs to preserve vision and prevent blindness.

Moran’s new host designation means candidates who apply through the ICO can now be accepted for a three-month fellowship at Moran in one of 10 ophthalmic subspecialties and may also apply for up to $6,000 in ICO funding. 

“With 36 million people blind people worldwide—90 percent of them living in developing nations without access to modern eye care—the need for trained ophthalmologists is dire,” says Alan S. Crandall, MD, senior medical director of the Moran Eye Center’s Global Outreach Division. “That’s why teaching and training doctors who can then return to their countries to train others is at the heart of our outreach work. While we have our own, ongoing International Observer Program, it is 100 percent reliant on donor funding.”  

“Without the partnership and generous funding component of the ICO, we wouldn’t be able to broaden our applicant pool to this extent, notes Jeff Pettey, MD, co-medical director of the division. “The ICO expands our ability to find potential observers with the most opportunity to make a difference in their home countries and give them access to our competitive program.”

ICO represents over 130 member societies, working to enhance ophthalmic education and improve access to the quality eye care. Since the ICO fellowship program began in 2001, more than 950 fellows have completed three-month or one-year training in one of 20 subspecialties.

Moran’s Global Outreach Division is funded solely by individual, foundation, and corporate donations. Call 801.581.9700 or visit moraneyecenter.org to donate and learn how you can help preserve and restore sight.