NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HelpMeSee, a global campaign to eliminate cataract blindness, has named Dr. Van Charles Lansingh as Medical Officer, Latin America. In this role, he will lead the campaign's work with surgical partners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean while also serving as the lead for blindness and public health research. Dr. Lansingh has written extensively in various areas of ophthalmology, especially on cataract blindness related topics. He worked for more than a decade as the Latin America Regional Coordinator for the IAPB.
"I am extremely impressed with the technology that HelpMeSee has developed, including surgical simulation and GIS-GPS systems," said Dr. Lansingh. "These will be paramount to reaching more patients and training more cataract specialists in a safe environment. HelpMeSee's systems provide a platform for evidence-based practice and follow up of patients to reach the highest levels of restored vision."
"We are delighted to have Van's expertise in ophthalmology and public health leading the HelpMeSee campaign to eliminate cataract blindness in Latin America," said Mohan Jacob Thazhathu, President & CEO, HelpMeSee. "Van will play a pivotal role in developing HelpMeSee learning centers and surgical partners in the region. His extensive research experience is critical to achieving the highest standards of patient care and quality assurance fundamental for the success of the HelpMeSee campaign."
Dr. Lansingh obtained his MD in 1987 from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico City, Mexico, with residency and postgraduate work in Mexico City (APEC/UNAM). In 2005, he was awarded a PhD in health sciences from the University of Melbourne in Australia after fieldwork with Aboriginal communities in Central Australia in which he studied the effects of the SAFE strategy for trachoma. He has held various positions in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Latin America and was the IAPB's VISION 2020 Regional Coordinator in Latin America for ten years, beginning in 2004. In 2012, he was named Voluntary Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and Director of International Outreach in the Department of Ophthalmology, Hamilton Eye Institute, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Dr. Lansingh is on the international Advisory Panel of the Ophthalmic News & Education (O.N.E.™) Network from the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) and ICO (International Council of Ophthalmology), a member of the Group of Experts of WHO (World Health Organization) / PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) since May 2006, a frequent lecturer at various international meetings and has authored or coauthored over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 11 chapters in books.
HelpMeSee is a global campaign to eliminate cataract blindness endemic in developing countries. To date, the campaign has delivered over 183,000 sight-restoring surgeries in India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Togo, Sierra Leone and Peru. HelpMeSee has designed and is now producing a virtual reality surgical simulator and training program to be implemented worldwide, adapted from extensive experience in simulator based aviation training.
Cataract blindness accounts for more than 60% of those suffering from treatable blindness in Latin America, most of whom do not have access to a relatively quick procedure that could restore their vision. HelpMeSee's global campaign will correct this imbalance. Through its growing network of MSICS surgical partners and the implementation of the HelpMeSee MSICS Surgical Simulator and training centers, HelpMeSee plans to graduate 30,000 cataract surgical specialists to address the global epidemic of 20 million people blinded by cataracts. This multi-national, multi-disciplinary effort is made possible through the work of simulator and engineering experts and highly skilled medical and surgical teams worldwide.
Contact: Steele Burrow, 1-212-221-7606 Ext. 115, [email protected]