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Eye Health Hero: Sang Mi Lee

Ms. Sang Mi Lee, MPH is a Project Manager of the “Project BOM affiliated with Yonsei University Severance Hospital”. She has been in charge of implementing comprehensive community eye health project utilizing the ‘EYELIKE™ Platform’ in Vietnam.

The Platform is an innovative mHealth approach focusing on task-shifting the roles of ophthalmologists to health professionals at community level to expand the accessibility to eye health services to the marginalized areas. It is composed of three major parts: 1) a portable, easy to use, digital ophthalmoscope at an affordable price range, 2) Artificial Intelligence based Clinical Decision Supporting System for blindness causing eye diseases; and 3) web-based dashboard for the collection, analysis, and visualization of patient information. Project BOM is very excited to offer Ms. Lee’s profile, with the organization’s full confidence based on its association with her for the last two years.

Sang Mi is truly an exceptional scholar and a thoughtful leader who is deeply concerned with mastering theoretical backgrounds of her tasks, interrogating professional ideas, and- more importantly, applying those ideas to the real-world problems. Ms. Lee has an inordinate passion for social services, and she sees her pursuit of research, providing sound evidence for policies and guidelines to increase health accessibility as an important calling of her life.

A fine example of her commitment is how natural it was for Ms. Lee to translate her concerns for the health equity of those who are not able to access proper eye health care services into a transitional research in Quang Tri Province, one of the most impoverished regions in Vietnam. Ms. Lee understands health related needs of LMICs and unpredictable nature of the field in wide variety of situation, which paradoxically depicts her personal strength of consistency in performance under pressure. During her professional career with Project BOM, she has always put her utmost efforts to find the most appropriate solutions for the problems, and at the end, she always found one. Moreover, her skills to communicate with each and every stakeholder of the implementation are esoteric in someone at her stage of career. Her professional ability, and also her personality is best described as pleasantly infectious. This nature of her is best suited for a profession that is increasingly emphasizing issues related to teamwork with other scholars, professionals, and most importantly, the people of the community she is working for.

“With Project BOM, I am engaging the act of “Evidence Generation” for the betterment of eye Health in rural Vietnam, and it is a fascinating experience for me. Through thorough process of planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of eye health projects, I try to collect data to generate sound evidence for eye health related decision- making process of governments, multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, NGOs, and other concerned organizations in the private sector. I hope these evidences enable us to conduct each and every step of our operations in the most effective and efficient manner possible.”

– Sang Mi Lee