Alcon is committed to helping people everywhere see better and live better
Dec 05, 2016
Giving the gift of sight
Anita Pandurevic, a compounder at Alcon’s ASPEX manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, used to say the proudest moment of her life was landing her first job. Today her answer is different. “My proudest moment now is joining an amazing, fantastic group of Alcon volunteers in a little town called Perquin, El Salvador. I feel blessed I was given the opportunity to be part of a team that saw 2,180 patients and performed 42 successful eye surgeries,” said Anita.
Anita was among a small group of employees who won the company’s Medical Mission Trip Contest in 2015 and traveled on a life-changing experience with one of Alcon's non-profit partners, SEE International. In addition to Anita’s trip to El Salvador, other associates traveled to the Ivory Coast, Cambodia, Peru, and Jamaica this year for missions with our partner.
As the global leader in eye care, Alcon works to preserve, restore and enhance vision for people everywhere. Through our Alcon Corporate Giving efforts, we support eye health education, help improve the quality of eye care, and promote patient access to eye care within underserved markets and our local communities. The Medical Mission Trip Contest allows our associates to personally participate in one of many ways Alcon is bringing the gift of sight to those in need around the world.
Alcon expects to support 600 medical missions in more than 70 countries before the end of the year; 546 have already been completed. In addition, in 2016 the company provided $5.4 million in cash grants, and product donations valued at $54 million. As a result, Alcon helped nearly 420,000 patients, including 492 patients in the United States who received free cataract surgery through the Indigent Patient Surgery program.
Our partnerships with non-profit organizations are a vital way Alcon addresses the needs of patients who would otherwise go without care.
The sky is not the limit
Since 1982, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital has traveled to more than 90 countries, providing eye care to patients in underserved and remote areas where treatment is generally unavailable, too expensive, or unsafe. Once it lands, the plane functions as a fully equipped training hospital outfitted with Alcon equipment. While patients benefit from the care administered onboard the plane, Orbis’s primary mission is training eye care professionals in these underserved areas. Through training, the effects of an Orbis trip are long-lasting. This summer, the newest eye-flying hospital made its maiden voyage to China, where volunteers treated 124 patients and provided hands-on surgical training to 18 doctors.
It’s hard to overstate the impact quality eye care has on society. When someone’s sight is restored, they can go to school, earn a living, and take better care of their loved ones. This improves families, communities, and local economies. By training the next generation of practitioners, we ensure the gift of sight continues to spread and transform lives.
Engaging and educating patients … with a hedgehog!
Alcon continues to look for innovative and unique ways to reach patients. The Alcon Foundation and the American Optometric Foundation (AOF) are partnering to support pediatric eye health through Howard and the Amazing Eye Exam, a free children’s interactive e-book. The book tells the story of Howard, a young student who excitedly tells his classmates about his visit to the eye doctor. The book increases parents’ awareness of the importance of comprehensive eye exams for their kids. It also prepares kids for a visit to the eye doctor.
The Alcon Foundation donated $25,000 to the AOF after 2,020 conference attendees downloaded the book at this year’s American Academy of Optometry annual meeting. “Nearly 30 million children in the U.S. have vision problems, which often go undetected and could interfere with their learning and development,” said Dr. David Kirschen, President, AOF. “The Howard and the Amazing Eye Exam download challenge and donation demonstrates The Alcon Foundation’s strong commitment to raising awareness around vision education, and will have a lasting effect on pediatric eye health.”
If you’d like to help bring the gift of sight to those in need, we encourage you to support our global partners. In addition to the non-profit partners like SEE International and Orbis listed above, consider a donation to: