Dr. Van Charles Lansingh, Chief Medical Officer for Latin America at HelpMeSee, has been selected by the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) to receive the Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award for 2017.
First awarded in 1987, the Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award recognizes PAAO members or significant individuals who participate in charitable activities, indigent care, community service and humanitarian activities through a program of public service. The award is given by the PAAO every two years and will be presented to Dr. Lansingh during the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Lima, Peru.
Throughout Dr. Lansingh’s three-decade career, he has worked to reduce blindness and restore vision around the world. Between 2004 to 2015, he served the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) as regional coordinator for Latin America, and in 2016, he accepted a position as the Director for Advocacy at the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO). Starting in 2015, Dr. Lansingh joined HelpMeSee’s campaign to eliminate cataract blindness as their Chief Medical Officer for Latin America, where he was recently awarded the International Blindness Prevention Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
Thanking PAAO for this recognition, Dr. Lansingh said, “For me, this reflects a true spirit of cooperation and education. I work in several capacities, primarily as HelpMeSee’s Medical Officer and also with the IAPB and with the ICO as Director of Advocacy, as well as serving on the board for several ophthalmology organizations. My efforts are to get many organizations working together towards one common goal: making blindness a thing of the past.”
Announcing the award, Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., PAAO President and Chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami, said, “The Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award could not be going to a more deserving person. Dr. Lansingh has dedicated his life to community service, prevention of blindness programs and other humanitarian activities. The Bascom Palmer family is extremely proud of Dr. Lansingh, where he serves as a voluntary assistant professor of ophthalmology.”
HelpMeSee President & CEO Jacob Mohan Thazhathu commented, “Dr. Lansingh’s work and accomplishments in prevention and elimination of blindness have significantly advanced education, training, and community ophthalmology and public policy support. We applaud the PAAO for this well-deserved recognition of Van, and in our common mission to end cataract blindness.”
Most recently Dr. Lansingh completed a HelpMeSee campaign to eliminate pediatric cataracts in Peru, partnering with Instituto Damos Vision (IDV) with support from USAID as part of the Child Blindness Program to screen for pediatric cataracts and restore sight to children.
For more information about PAAO, please visit at http://PAAO.org