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About Us

Our Staff  |  Our Board  |  Who We Are  |  Our Mission  |  Our Vision  |  Where Have We Been  |  Our Calendar

Vision Outreach International has a compassionate ministry aimed at serving the blind in under-served areas of the world. 

Background

Vision Outreach International began in 2001 through short-term mission endeavors. Since that time VOI has grown into a MAJOR advocate for helping the blind poor in under-served regions of the world. Not only do we send teams abroad, we develop ophthalmological surgical trainers and ancillary leaders who are encouraged to train others in the International MSICS (Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery) technique.

Through our "Global Sight Alliance" (globalsight.org) web portal, we develop  a network of like-minded organizations, connecting  quality eyecare professionals with the greatest needs around the world. In addition, we have created an international network for collaboration and education through this web portal, which provide learning through multiple articles, webinars, and videos.

The groundwork was laid well before David N. Brown, M.D. (OPH, 95), took his first trip to Kenya in 1998. After completing his ophthalmological residency at the Cleveland Clinic in 1995, he joined Great Lakes Eye Care, a Christian Ophthalmological group practice in St. Joseph, Michigan. If not for the group's "like-mindedness" and support, Dr. Brown says that he would not have been able to go to Africa.

"The physicians at Great Lakes Eye Care have been a major factor in what I have been able to do," Dr. Brown says gratefully. “I've taken long leaves of absence, working overseas in the developing world. They have been a major support for me to being able to do that.”  Vision Outreach International was birthed several years later.

Key Elements of Change

1998

  • Great Lakes Eye Care in Saint Joseph, MI begins taking yearly mission trips to Honduras to help with refractive errors and surgical needs.

2001

  • Vision Outreach International, Inc. is awarded 501(c)3 status.

  • Tom Fisher, David Brown, M.D., and David L. Cooke M.D. become lead volunteers.

  • Jodi Fisher becomes first part-time employee serving in financial bookkeeping.

  • Tom Fisher begins coordinating 2-4 international trips a year.

2002

  • Roger Cabe develops first VOI website after returning from a eye trip to Kenya.

2006

  • Jim Vlasicak becomes volunteer CEO of Vision Outreach and helps launch MSICS training camps.

  • Robyn Bryant becomes a strategic volunteer helping in mission endeavors, web data entry, and international training camp coordination.

2007

  • Michael Seward, M.D. serves as a long-term missionary in Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea

  • Vision Outreach adopts Mission Eyes Network – a networking and educational portal developed by Stan Pletcher, M.D.

2010

  • Stan Pletcher, M.D. serves as a long-term missionary in Shell Ecuador for two years.

  • Ibet Saucedo becomes the first long-term ancillary staff missionary.

2011

  • Roger Cabe becomes the first paid Executive Director.

2012

  • Vision Outreach retools Mission Eye Network and launches Global Sight Alliance (GSA) with support from ASCRS – “American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.” Multiple resources are offered on-line including videos, webinars, articles, and Mission Matching.
  • In a partnership between Global Sight Alliance, ASCRS, and the Aravind Hospital, the digital MSICS manual was launched. A free digital resource with interactive videos for MDs wanting to serve internationally.

  • Stan Pletcher, M.D. a strategic volunteer and web developer begins developing other digital resources such as an MSICS Classroom and YO2GO – a digital resource for young ophthalmologist wanting to serve abroad.

2013

  • VOI and Glenn Strauss, M.D. form relationships and teach MSICS at Elias Santana residency program in the Dominican Republic. Sessions are filmed and loaded for future viewing on the Web.

2014

  • Roger Cabe begins a Master’s in Non-Profit Administration at the University of Notre Dame with hopes of improving the administrative structure of Vision Outreach.

  • VOI forms a relationship and launches their first MSICS training program in the Dominican Republic with Carlos Gomez, M.D.

2015

  • VOI host their first STATE-SIDE MSICS training conference in Texas in collaboration with Glenn Strauss, M.D. and Cornerstone Assistant Network.

 

Organizational Structure

Vision Outreach International has a ten-member board of directors that meets yearly and collaborates monthly on issues concerning the organization. These directors are connected via email and receive all agendas and minutes created by the Executive Team. The board of directors appointed an Executive team, with limited powers, to handle the on-going oversight of the work of VOI. This team meets regularly and is composed of three board members, the executive director, financial personnel, and administrative assistants.


Roger W. Cabe serves as the full-time Executive Director of Vision Outreach International (VOI) and all its departments, including Global Sight Alliance. He oversees all the aspects of the organization such as: (1) Strategic Planning, (2) Mission Endeavors, (3) Leadership Training, (4) Networking, and (5) Growth.


Other paid staff includes one part-time financial officer and one part-time administrative assistant. These individuals, in coordination with the executive director and the executive team, work to recruit regular volunteers to assist in international endeavors, surgical training, networking, education, web development, and ongoing administrative duties.


Stan Pletcher, M.D., a board member, is a strategic volunteer for VOI. He has led the efforts in launching Global Sight Alliance and continues to be a KEY component in its ongoing success.

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