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Dr Alejandro Panotto

Dr Alejandro Panotto

Medical Director, Fundación Visión

After several years of working in Public Health with the Ministry of Health, Dr Alejandro Panotto joined the Fundacion Vision in Paraguay to coordinate the activities of one of the clinics in the interior of the country. At the same time, he was the director of the Eye Health Program for several years. At this moment he serves as Institutional Medical Director, where he collaborates with the other health programmes of Fundacion Vision.

Ashley Mills

Ashley Mills

Chief Executive Officer, The Vision Council

Ashley Mills leads The Vision Council in helping people achieve better lives through better vision. As Chief Executive Officer, Mills is the voice for the Vision Industry in Washington, DC. Globally, Mills represents The Vision Council within the United Nations Friends of Vision, a group that secured a United Nations General Resolution recognizing vision as a catalyst to achieving the Agenda 2030. Mills started her career working for global public affairs agencies, where she gained extensive experience in media relations, consumer marketing and coalition building.

Mills served on the Board of Directors for the Optical Women’s Association (OWA) for five years. In 2017 she was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Optical by 20/20 Magazine and was honoured by the OWA with their Pleiades award, which recognizes exceptional action in advancing the leadership role of women in the optical industry.

Brandon Ah Tong

Brandon Ah Tong

Director, Policy & Advocacy, Fred Hollows Foundation, The

Brandon has 20 years experience in various policy and advocacy roles within the health, disability and international development sectors in Australia. He previously worked for the national peak body for eye health driving policy reform across prevention and early intervention, Indigenous health, disability and international development.

Prior to that, he spent eight years advancing the human rights of people who are blind or have low vision with Vision Australia, and was recognized with a Victorian Government award in 2014 for his leadership in disability advocacy. For the past eight years with The Foundation, Brandon has been responsible for helping shape the global agenda for eye health with the WHO and United Nations. He sits on the Board of Vision 2020 Australia and holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Policy and Research.

Bruna Gil Ferreira, MD

Bruna Gil Ferreira, MD

Ophthalmologist, Good Vision

Current head of ophthalmology at Good Vision International, Bruna is internationally awarded for her contributions to social ophthalmology. Bruna was awarded the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Award in ARVO 2019 (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) for the study “Ophthalmological Care and Eyeglasses Distribution in Brazil’s Countryside: Descriptive and Epidemiological Data of Nearly Five Thousand Patients”. This paper describes the largest ophthalmology social outreach known worldwide. For the same work, she was also awarded the 47 Varilux Prize in Brazil (the most important scientific prize in eye care in Brazil). It was presented in the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2019.Bruna funded the Center of Population and Innovation Studies (CIEP), transforming Renovatio’s campaigns into research and public eye care policies in Brazil, identifying and addressing health issues in vulnerable groups. Key findings include a significant rate of toxoplasmosis in Tocantins, leading to increased health authority focus on the topic.

Currently, CIEP is analyzing the data of a large-scale project from Juntos pela Visão Alliance to provide comprehensive eye care to all children from public schools in São Paulo city (420,000 children), set to be the largest child eyecare study by ophthalmologists worldwide. This project underscores its vital role in shaping effective public health policies for school eyecare practices.Despite her social work, Bruna is the most prominent youth name in Retina Surgery in Brazil. Bruna had her post-graduation in Retina Surgery at the University of Montreal, where she performed more than 2.000 complex surgeries in a two-year program. Bruna had her medical retina fellowship, ophthalmology residence, and medical graduation at UNICAMP in São Paulo, Brazil.

Caio Abujamra

Caio Abujamra

President, Instituto Suel Abujamra

Caio Abujamra assumed the presidency of the Suel Institute in early 2019, succeeding his father, the visionary founder of the hospital. At that time, the Institute served an average of 7,000 patients monthly, performing around 350 surgeries. Under the leadership of Caio and his brother, the hospital underwent a remarkable transformation in its management. Currently, the Suel Abujamra Institute is the second-largest ophthalmological hospital collaborating with the SUS (Unified Health System), serving an average of 23,000 patients, and performing approximately 1,200 surgeries per month. Additionally, it has become a national reference in education and research, offering highly esteemed residency programmes and fellowships.

Under Caio Abujamra’s direction, the Institute has not only expanded its capacity for care but also reinforced its commitment to social impact. Initiatives such as the teleophthalmology project in villages and the distribution of glasses in Sao Paulo’s municipal schools demonstrate its dedication to providing essential ophthalmic care to underserved communities and contributing to equitable visual health.

Dr Caroline Harper

Dr Caroline Harper

CEO, Sightsavers

Dr Harper has been CEO of Sightsavers since 2005, and in that time it has grown significantly in terms of impact, reach and income. Sightsavers is a leading player in the fields of eye health, neglected tropical diseases and disability rights.

Before joining Sightsavers, Dr Harper worked in the oil and gas industry, for British and US based companies, and as a consultant with her own business. Dr Harper was educated at Churchill College Cambridge where she obtained a PhD in Energy Studies, and Bristol University where she took a degree in Physics.

Dr Covadonga Bascaran

Dr Covadonga Bascaran

Clinical Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Covadonga Bascaran is a Clinical Research Fellow at the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She works in research and capacity strengthening in global eye health with a focus on improving eye health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Cova’s research focus is diabetic retinopathy in low and middle-income countries, including epidemiological research, evidence synthesis, implementation and health systems research.

She is the technical lead for the Diabetic Retinopathy Network (DR-NET) a network of 30 DR programmes in 17 LMICs. She co-chairs the DR Working Group at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

MSP. Daniel Paniagua Herrera

MSP. Daniel Paniagua Herrera

Maestro en Salud Pública y Licenciado en Optometría, AM Diabetes

Con Maestría en Salud Pública con especialización en Epidemiología del Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública y Licenciatura en Optometría de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, mi trayectoria profesional se enfoca en la epidemiología y la salud visual. He liderado iniciativas de promoción y educación en salud visual, así como la prevención y tratamiento de enfermedades oculares.

Laboro como coordinador académico en salud visual y diabetes en la Asociación Mexicana de Diabetes e Investigador en Departamento de Epidemiología y Salud Visual en el Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana, he diseñado e implementado estrategias de salud para mejorar la calidad de vida de la población. Reconocido como vocal y vocero de la Asociación Mexicana de Diabetes y miembro del Consejo Latinoamericano de Investigación en Optometría, he participado como ponente en foros nacionales e internacionales y he contribuido con publicaciones científicas sobre diabetes y salud visual.

Eng. Frank Hida

Eng. Frank Hida

Independent Social Entepreneur

Civil Engineer and independent social entreprenuer with more than 10 years experience in eye health expeditions in remote indigenous and riverside communities in Brazil. Coordinator on the Social Impact of Eye Health Symposium and also actively involved in implementing high-impact ophthalmology programs in NGOs. Also collaborates in community empowerment for sustainable projects.

Professionally works as independent consultant in Project Management in the filed of healthcare engineering and management.

Isabel Hinojosa Muñoz De Cote

Isabel Hinojosa Muñoz De Cote

Procuración de Fondos y Alianzas Estratégicas, APEC Hospital de la Ceguera

Isabel studied Political Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has a Diploma in Institutional Strengthening and Fundraising taught by Procura in conjunction with Indiana University; a Diploma in Social Leaders: Management Programme for Non-Profit Organizations from the TEC of Monterrey, Mexico City Campus and a Diploma in Public Policies from the UNAM. From 2002 to 2014 Isabel worked at the Association to Prevent Blindness in Mexico, I.A.P. in the area of Institutional Development.

In 2004 she joined the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mexico City Chapter. Isabel held the Presidency of this association from 2008-2009 and 2021-2022. She was also the Director of Assistance Programs of the Private Assistance Board of Mexico City from June 2014 to February 2020. Since March 2021, he has held the position of Head of Fundraising and Strategic Alliances at the Association to Prevent Blindness in Mexico, IAP.

Jans Fromow-Guerra. MD, MSc, PhD.

Jans Fromow-Guerra. MD, MSc, PhD.

Chief Retina Department-APEC, APEC – Hospital de la Ceguera

Ophthalmologist specialized in Retina. Dr Fromow-Guerra holds a Master and Doctor Degree in Medical Sciences. Chief of Retina Department at the Association for The Prevention of Blindness in Mexico. Professor of Ophthalmology and Mentor in the Master and PhD Degree Program at the National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM. Dr Fromow-Guerra has published more than 80 original scientific papers. His main topics of interest and research are focused on the clinical and surgical aspects of retina diseases especially in the fields of molecular biology, clinical epidemiology, nutrition and imaging.

He co-chair the first population probabilistic study of prevalence of ocular diseases and a study of validation of Telemedicine for the early diagnosis of blinding diseases in Mexico. Vice President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW- Nobel Peace Prize 1985) NGO founding member of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN- Nobel Peace Prize 2017)

João M. Furtado, MD PhD

João M. Furtado, MD PhD

Associate Professor, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo

Associate Professor at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Certified RAAB trainer, and member of the Vision Loss Expert Group and The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health. Awardee of the inaugural ARVO Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award in 2020.

Arq. Juan Francisco Yee

Arq. Juan Francisco Yee

Chief Executive Officer, Visualiza

Arq. Juan Francisco Yee, an Architect, is the CEO of Visualiza, an NGO devoted to the prevention and cure of blindness, established in 2002. Visualiza was recognized as a regional demonstration centre by the International Eye Foundation in 2006. Arq. Yee has spent a substantial amount of time observing first-hand the operations of the Aravind Eye Care System in India.

In addition to his role as part of the board of AGEXPORT a private non-profit institution with more than 30 years of being an engine for the growth of Guatemalan exports and plays an important role as a mentor for the global sight initiative programme.

Dr. Katie McMillan

Dr. Katie McMillan

Product Manager, Technology, India Vision Institute

Dr. Katie McMillan is an innovative and award-winning manager, who joined Seva Foundation in May, 2023, to manage and advance the worldwide technology portfolio for Seva Foundation’s 100 hospital, 22 country footprint serving over 6 million individuals annually. Working closely with regional colleagues on the programme team, Katie will bring the world’s best technology to the hardest-to-reach communities around the world.

Katie has a doctorate in Medical Physics (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and her post-doc (Vanderbilt) was focused on multi-parametric MRI neuroimaging in oncology; She worked for 10 years at GE Healthcare in research and development and product management for the Global MRI business before managing the healthcare segment for Internet-of-Things sensors for 5 years at a small company in southeast Wisconsin.

Luz Marina Melo Sanmiguel

Luz Marina Melo Sanmiguel

Head of Ocular Community Health Department (Fundación Oftalmológica del Caribe) Clinical Bioethics, Clínica Oftalmológica del Caribe

Specialist in ophthalmology with 30 years of experience, with surgical and clinical skills. Supraspecialist in Cataract Surgery, Ocular Plastic Surgery, Teaching in Medical-Surgical Specialties and Diplomate in Clinical Bioethics. National and international speaker at various conferences and publications in journals and book chapters. Responsible, proactive professional, with a high sense of commitment, respect, human quality and social sensitivity.

Ability to interact at all levels, ability to work in teams and leadership. Constant scientific interest and updating in my working areas with emphasis on teaching, prevention of blindness and research. Inclination towards communications with domain of English and knowledge of French. Lover of the arts, especially dance, sports and pets.

Dr. Mary Gonzalez Suriel

Dr. Mary Gonzalez Suriel

Head of Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department / Coordinates the Teleophthalmology Project in APEC, Asociación para Evitar la Ceguera en México

Dr. Mary González Suriel is a Dominican ophthalmic surgeon, specializng in Cataract Surgery, Oculoplastics and ophthalmic pathology. She currently practices at the Association to Prevent Blindness in Mexico (APEC), where she leads the comprehensive ophthalmology department and coordinates the Teleophthalmology project. Dr. González Suriel is recognized for her professional excellence and has been nominated for the National Youth Award in the Dominican Republic multiple times.

She is a co-author of an emergency and ocular trauma manual distributed in Latin America and is an adjunct professor at the University of La Salle in Mexico. Dr. González Suriel is certified by the Mexican Council of Ophthalmology and actively participates in associations such as the Pan-American Society of Ocular Trauma and the Mexican Society of Orbit and Oculoplastics. She aims to collaborate with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to expand visual health services and promote youth involvement in the fight.

Dr May Ho

Dr May Ho

Optometry & Primary Care Adviser, The Fred Hollows Foundation

Dr May Ho is an Australian optometrist working in public health and international eye health. She is currently an Optometry and Primary Care Adviser at the Fred Hollows Foundation where she supports the development of sustainable eye care, refractive error, and cataract quality improvement programs. May has worked extensively in the development and implementation of eye care and education programs in the Asia Pacific and Africa regions. She developed and delivered refraction, low vision, primary eye care, training of trainers‚ and advocacy courses for mid-level eye care personnel, optometrists, nurses, and ophthalmologists.

Her biggest achievement is the introduction of optometry education in Vietnam. More recently she was part of the team that delivered the Scaling Up of Refractive Error Services project in Cambodia funded by ATScale. May is also part of a research team at the Foundation working on the Quality of Refractive Error Care (QREC) and financing of spectacles.

MSc Olivia Gomez

MSc Olivia Gomez

Master es Gerencia Hospitalaria y Salud Publica, Fundación Visión

Directora del Programa Vision en Fundación Vision, Paraguay y Vicepresidente del CONAVIP, Comité Nacional de la Vision en Paraguay. Desde el rol en el que me encuentro actualmente creo con firmeza que la colaboración de experiencias entre Instituciones y el trabajo en equipo nos ayudan a reducir el tiempo y hacer más provechoso el camino hacia la mejora de la salud ocular en nuestros países.

Oteri Okolo (MD, MSc. FWACS, FMCoph)

Oteri Okolo MD, MSc. FWACS, FMCoph

Director/National Coordinator, National Eye Health Programme, Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health Abuja

Dr Okolo was appointed the National Coordinator at the National Eye Health Programme , Federal Ministry of Health to coordinate the national drive for blindness prevention in 2018 in recognition of her excellent service and dedication to improving eye care services in the Nigeria. A public health ophthalmologist with an MSc from LSHTM, Public Health for Eye Care, she is passionate about improving access to comprehensive eye care services in Nigeria. She coordinated the development of Nigeria’s first eye health policy document in 2019. Since assuming office till date, Okolo and her team have strengthened the governance structure and eye health information system at national and subnational levels.

Other areas that have received unprecedented attention is the integration of Primary Eye Care (PEC) into the Primary Health System by training of national/state level master trainers and over 300 Primary Health workers in 6 states. She is a key figure in obtaining a presidential commitment to the improvement of eye care services in Nigeria and since then key documents have been developed under her supervision and launched in Nigeria’s first ever high-level commemoration of World Sight Day on October 12th, 2023. At the event three key national documents (The National Eye Health Strategic Development Plan 2024-2028, the Nigeria Glaucoma Guideline & Toolkit and National Guidelines for Screening and Management of Diabetic Retinopathy) and a national initiative to increase spectacle coverage were launched.

She is presently coordinating the dispensing of the highest donation of reading glasses to Nigeria through the Primary Health Care System. She has also served as a board member of the foremost tertiary eye care Centre in Nigeria, National Eye Centre, Kaduna, contributing to strengthening its capacity in service delivery, training of manpower for eye health and research.She is married with 2 boys.

M.A. Rita Kotov

M.A. Rita Kotov

Chief Executive Officer, MATIZart

CEO of MATIZart, Energy Coach, Consciousness training for companies international Speaker, trainer and academic teacher in System Theory and System thinking with integral concepts. International Facilitator for multi-stakeholder processes for strategy- and politics building with systemic and integral approaches. The former Regional Director for the German International Cooperation in the Andean Countries.

Since 1998 career in the international cooperation and diplomatic sector. From 2012 on, the private and academic sectors. German nationality, with more than 30 years’ experience in several countries of Latin America, currently living in Colombia.

Dr Rainer Brockhaus

Dr Rainer Brockhaus

Chief Executive Officer, CBM Christian Blind Mission

The human rights based approach of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their principle to leave no one behind make it mandatory for signatory states and consequently for all organisations in health care to include persons with disabilities in their considerations.

We are called to design our work in a way that offers inclusion, participation and benefits to all in an accessible and affordable way. Yet, this is still not the norm in too many cases. We need to understand the why and co-create the what and the how of a truly inclusive offering in our work.

Ryan Toews

Ryan Toews

Chief Executive Officer, Fundación Visión

Currently the CEO of Fundación Vision Paraguay. Previously Ryan Toews have served as member of the council of Fundación Vision, for the last 5 years prior being appointed as Board Representative and supervising the companies related to the institution.

For 7 years he was CEO of Meister, an Optic Store Chain, Pharmacy and Laboratory and before he was involved in different companies/businesses from different sectors as i.e. hardware/construction import, grains and charcoal export, organization of an international event related to church and as consulter for different institutions.

Stuart Cockerill

Stuart Cockerill

Head of LCM for Myopia Management, CooperVision

Stuart has been in the contact lens industry for over 30 years and is one of the early commercial pioneers in the need to manage the myopia pandemic. He was instrumental in establishing the longest continuous contact lens study for the control of myopia in children which is now in its tenth year which has shown that it can slow myopia to reduce the future risk of sight loss from high myopia.

He is passionate about the wider adoption of vision screening for the early detection of refractive error issues.

Dr Ving Fai Chan

Dr Ving Fai Chan

Lecturer, Queen’s University, Belfast

Dr. Ving Fai Chan, a Lecturer in Global Eye Health at Queen’s University Belfast, passionately advocates for global eye health through his MAD4VISION research group. With 17 years of experience in refractive error program design across Sub-Saharan Africa, he has established optometry education programs, spearheaded eye health initiatives, and influenced policies locally and internationally.

Dr. Chan’s dedication to data-driven decision-making is evident in his development of innovative tools for health data monitoring and intervention evaluation. His research focuses on integrated school eye health programs, women’s empowerment through eye health, and arts-based eye health education initiatives. Presently, he is exploring the use of behavioral economics to develop a cross-subsidization spectacle scheme to tackle delivery challenges related to refractive errors. Dr. Chan’s work underscores ethics, equity, and sustainability, prioritizing the needs of vulnerable populations and advocating for gender and diversity balance within research teams

Vinod Daniel

Vinod Daniel

Chief Executive Officer, India Vision Institute

Vinod Daniel is the CEO and Managing Trustee of the India Vision Institute (IVI) not-for-profit, established in 2012. IVI‚ Äôs initiatives have benefited one million Indians across 22 states. IVI works through two flagship programs: Eye See & amp; I Learn for school children and Eye See & amp; I Work for adults. IVI also works in creating awareness, advocacy, and helps develop and build the Optometry sector, vital for India which has a shortfall in human resources to take on the challenge of public eye health.

He is also a leader in heritage and museums and has worked with partners in over 55 countries on museum related projects. He was on the board of the global museum peak body ICOM and has worked in key museum roles at the Getty (Los Angeles) and the Australian Museum (Sydney). He has won several awards and recognitions including the Order of Australia Medal.

In Partnership with:

Global Event Host:

The Association to Prevent Blindness

Global Strategic Partner:

Fred Hollows Foundation