New England College of Optometry and Orbis Announce Partnership to Increase Access to Global Optometric Vision Services and Training

Bob Ranck, President & CEO of Orbis International and Clifford Scott, President, New England College of Optometry

We’re looking forward to working with NECO to help address the enormous but solvable challenge of uncorrected refractive error that affects so many people around the world.

New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Orbis International (Orbis) are pleased to announce their formal partnership to address the global unmet need for refractive and low vision services, with the goal of reducing avoidable visual impairment in low-income regions of the world. NECO prepares students for careers as an eye care provider, educator, and innovator through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Orbis is an international non-profit committed to the elimination of avoidable blindness through healthcare provider training.

This partnership between Orbis and NECO will expand Orbis’s impact through its Flying Eye Hospital, hospital-based trainings, community partnerships, and telehealth programs. Both groups will work together to help address the challenge of uncorrected refractive error, currently responsible for 43% of the world’s visual impairment. Refractive errors are caused by the shape of the eye preventing light from focusing correctly on the retina. Often, refractive errors are easily treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery to improve vision.

Through this collaboration, NECO will develop and implement optometry training as part of on-site joint programs with Orbis and online learning through Cybersight, Orbis’s virtual training and mentorship portal. NECO faculty now volunteer with Orbis’s hands-on, global educational training programs in hospital settings. These…

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