As the Community Engagement Specialist for Operation Eyesight, Kristin has been at the forefront of discovering and creating new ways to engage with staff, partners and stakeholders across all of the organization’s countries of work. She is a tireless advocate for universal eye health coverage and works hard to share her passion by running unique events to raise awareness of this critical issue. With the onset of COVID-19, she rose to the challenge of continuing to keep her team connected to promote eye health in safe, virtual and/or socially-distanced ways. With her compassion, positive attitude and creativity, she motivates others to embrace new possibilities and brings great energy to her team.
Kristin has been instrumental in executing innovative, virtual events to facilitate conversations about eye health, international development and universal health coverage. A recent example was an interactive “Health for Humanity” webinar to discuss the integration of eye health care into universal health coverage, which included a uniquely-built online platform, speakers from four different continents and participants from many different time zones.
For the last three years, Kristin has spearheaded engaging World Sight Day campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and to foster collaboration across Operation Eyesight’s various teams and departments. During the week of World Sight Day 2021, Operation Eyesight’s global team screened nearly 4,500 people, performed or booked 270 cataract surgeries, provided 297 pairs of prescription eyeglasses and trained 28 community health nurses in primary eye care – with Kristin providing support to the team and showcasing the organization’s collective impact every step of the way. She led a digital awareness campaign that reached over 46,000 people, encouraging everyone to take the #LoveYourEyes pledge and to learn more about why Everyone Counts.
While she might not be the “boots on the ground” in Operation Eyesight’s communities of work, Kristin is a champion for eye health and her contributions to her organization and to the eye health sector have been appreciated by many. She continues to find innovative and creative ways to drive her organization forward in pursuit of its vision of the elimination of avoidable blindness – For All The World To See.
“Eye health is something that is often overlooked. However, when we prioritize eye health and provide access to those most in need, profound results can occur. My role at Operation Eyesight has allowed me to work closely with all departments, from finance to programmes and everything in between. This unique opportunity has truly opened my eyes to the importance of eye health and makes me proud to work alongside some of those most influential in the sector. Together, I know we can end avoidable blindness for everybody, no matter who they are or where they are from.”
– Kristin Poch