VOSH Connecticut, a History of Caring

VOSH Connecticut, a History of Caring

VOSH-Connecticut held its first eye care clinic here in San Juan del Sur in January 2002.

Although this was the first mission for VOSH-Connecticut, three previous missions had been held at the same site under the auspices of VOSH-NECO (New England Council of Optometrists).

Local Doctor, Rose Elena Bello (now Mayor Elect) has been involved in the clinic since that first visit when a total of 2,392 residents of San Juan del Sur and the surrounding received a free eye exam.

The VOSH-Connecticut mission is managed by Optometrist Dr. Matthew Blondin & Clinic Director ‘La Jefa’ Audrey Blondin who are both from Torrington, Connecticut.

Months before the mission arrives, a team of volunteers in San Juan del Sur work on the logistics and paperwork of bringing in the VOSH team as well as the glasses and all important medical supplies.

These last few years, that would not have been possible without help from Jane Mirandette at the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca as well as Kathy Knight from Pelican Eyes Resort.

For the mission itself, local bi-lingual translators assist with the examinations throughout the week and countless other volunteers provide help in the six clinics, with refreshments, security, transport and yes ‘crowd control’ – this is a popular mission and for most patients this is the only eye care they will receive in the year.The main format hasn’t changed much over the years and this year is no exception. The clinic will be set up at Centro Escolar Enmanuel Mongalo y Rubio for four days: Monday 7th January to Thursday 10th and will have about 6 separate examinations rooms serving patients from 8 am – 1 pm and again from 2 pm – 5 pm for each of those 4 days. Adults and children are welcome and the services are free on a first come first served, no appointments basis. There should be enough glasses for each patient to receive a new pair right there and then as well as free sunglasses for those who need them.

2012 Mission Results:

Monday 555

Tuesday 700

Wednesday 759

Thursday 758

Total 2,772 Patients seen