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Eye Health Hero: Jennifer Lyn G. Viñola

Jennifer Lyn G. Viñola

Dr. Viñola is a graduate and lecturer at Manila Central University and the faculty adviser of VOSH/International Student chapter (SVOSH-MCU) there. Jennifer thrives for excellency and besides being a top-quality clinician, her attitude to collaboration, networking, sharing and supporting students does not go unnoticed. In her quiet manner, Jennifer is always looking for more opportunities to engage her students in activities that can help them access knowledge, support their skills, engage with other students across the world and above all become more empathetic and show solidarity with their patients, especially those in vulnerable and disadvantaged situations. This sense of community service was recognized by the Best in Community Academic Achievement Award in 2014.

Throughout her career and volunteerism Jennifer has served communities that lacked the most basic eye health care in her country. She has witnessed the happiness of improving someone’s vision but also experienced the grief of having to communicate to a patient when nothing more can be done. When one listens to Jennifer talk, one understands her passion for the role optometry has in changing lives and the commitment she has for her people. By exposing her students to the inequities of eye health provision and the difference they could make through their profession, Jennifer helps combine the interest for professional success with the positive role optometry brings to society in a very convincing manner.

Jennifer is currently enrolled in Master of Arts in Education Major in Administration and Supervision at the Manila Central University. She is also a fellow candidate of Integrated Philippines Association of Optometrists Low Vision Society

Nominating Jennifer for this award recognizes the power of leadership by doing. She convinces, mobilises, mentors and achieves for the benefit of others. As a young female leader, we are certain that she will continue shaping hearts and minds of more community-oriented optometrists in the Philippines and engender collaboration at all levels.

“Since I was in College, I have been passionate about participating in community outreach programs. Unfortunately, many Filipinos lack knowledge of basic eye care and impairments that are either avoidable or amenable to cost effective interventions. As a lecturer and adviser of SVOSH-MCU, my goal is to inspire our students to go beyond what is seen by the naked eye. It is not only about helping others see better at one instance, but the impact and difference their work would make in the lives of people they encounter and on their own. A ‘Salamat’ (‘Thank You’) from our patients makes a difference in our lives and motivates us to continue improving. I would like all students to experience that uplifting feeling and sense of accomplishment that helping others give.”

– Jennifer Lyn G. Viñola