Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International to Join Forces as Lighthouse Guild International Merged Organization Will Offer the Broadest Array of Services in the World for People who are Blind or Vision Impaired

NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International, two of the most well respected not-for-profit vision care organizations in the world, today announced plans to join forces and operate as one organization under the new name Lighthouse Guild International.  Together, the merged organization will offer the broadest array and most comprehensive scope of services currently available for people who are blind, vision impaired or multi-disabled, ranging from physical and mental health to rehabilitation, long-term care and education.

Lighthouse Guild International will be governed by a 41-member Board of Directors led by James M. Dubin as Chairman, and Joseph A. Ripp as Vice-Chairman. All current members of the Boards of Jewish Guild Healthcare, formerly known as The Jewish Guild for the Blind, and Lighthouse International will join the newly constituted Board.

"With our decision to join hands as Lighthouse Guild International, the two Boards of Directors are creating an exceptional partnership that brings together the deepest management and vision care experience and expertise to benefit the people we serve – the blind and visually impaired, and those with multiple disabilities," said James Dubin, who currently chairs the Board of Jewish Guild Healthcare.  "We believe this is a milestone event that will, over time, open a world of possibilities for improved service delivery, access to care, and knowledge sharing. We hope it will also serve as a model for vision and health organizations around the world."

"We're excited that the generous supporters of both organizations will now have the opportunity to maximize their positive impact on the lives of individuals with vision loss or impairment," stated Joseph A. Ripp, the current Chair of the Lighthouse International Board.  "We share an unwavering commitment to meet the new and emerging challenges in vision care and education head-on by enhancing our overall advocacy and continuing to champion the work of professionals dedicated to advancing new treatments for eye disease and rehabilitation."

Lighthouse Guild International will be led by the current CEOs of each organization, with Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD serving as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Mark G. Ackermann as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.  Together, they will run the combined organization with the support of a proven management team to be comprised of executives from both organizations.

Drawing on the strengths and resources of each organization, a combined two centuries of service and a shared orientation toward advancing treatments, Lighthouse Guild International's mission will be to significantly expand access to innovative, best-in-class programs and solutions for people with vision challenges.  The merged organization will offer people who are blind, vision impaired or multi-disabled a uniquely comprehensive continuum of compassionate services through the integration and coordination of services across delivery systems.  This broad array of services includes medical, rehabilitation, educational, vocational, long-term care and social services, all specially designed to enhance physical, emotional, social and intellectual functioning.

The leadership of the combined organization will immediately begin planning a full and effective integration of programs and services ahead of the completion of the merger, which is expected to occur by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

About Jewish Guild Healthcare
Jewish Guild Healthcare's origins date back to 1914.  Its mission the and now is to help people with vision loss live with independence and dignity.  The Guild is a leading not-for-profit, nonsectarian, healthcare organization.  It provides a wide range of programs and services that include clinical services, low vision rehabilitation, adult day health care, mental health services, education and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities as well as vision loss, all designed to help people live as independently as possible.   The Guild also offers health plans, in which it provides, manages and coordinates healthcare services so that people with long-term care and other special needs can live safely at home.

About Lighthouse International
Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. It achieves this through clinical and rehabilitation services, education, research and advocacy.  In 2005, Lighthouse International celebrated its centennial.  Today, the organization continues to offer new and innovative ways to help people who are blind and visually impaired overcome the challenges of vision loss and to enjoy productive, active and independent lives.  The Lighthouse relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations, organizations and foundations to support programs and services.

SOURCE Lighthouse International




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