In July this year we launched the IAPB Eye Health Heroes programme, which is supported by Allergan, an AbbVie company. To mark the launch, we were joined by IAPB Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex and previous Eye Health Heroes at a virtual meeting to hear about the experiences of these Heroes and what winning the award meant to them.
Although the Eye Health Heroes awards have been running for eight years, this year we wanted to raise the profile of the awards by turning it into a programme. The 2020 Heroes get access to a year-long programme that will raise the Heroes’ profiles and help build a network of tomorrow’s leaders. The programme aims to provide opportunities for the Eye Health Heroes to learn new skills and connect them with senior leaders within the health and development sector.
We were delighted to receive a record number of nominations for young professionals across every spectrum of eye health including clinical, public policy, NGO and corporate in all three categories; Future Leaders, Change Makers, Innovators. We opened the awards to our Valued Suppliers too this year and the larger eye health sector.
In October, we celebrated the extraordinary achievements of these Eye Health Heroes at our first ever virtual awards ceremony. Although we could not meet in person as we would have usually done, it was still an incredibly special ceremony. Everyone dressed for the occasion; the Heroes shared stories of their work and demonstrated how they were all deserving of being nominated for and winning this award.
The winners will now embark on the Eye Health Heroes development programme. They have already participated in Communications and PR training which was delivered by senior communications specialists at Allergan. Over the next eight months, they will have the opportunity to attend exclusive events with senior leaders such as Caroline Harper, CEO, Sightsavers; Jag Dosanjh, Sr. Vice President, Eye Care, Allergan; James Chen, Founder, Clearly; to understand more about the challenges and successes faced by our guests in high profile roles. They will also be invited to create content focusing on topics of their expertise which we will publish across our media channels and will showcase their communications skills.
Keep an eye out for these future leaders – they are the young voices of the sector!