Dear IGR readers,
As we all adjust to the new ‘normal’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Glaucoma Association is continuing to provide education and support to all of you who care for glaucoma patients. Under the leadership of Drs. Robert Weinreb and Fabian Lerner, the first WGA Global Webinar was held on October 10, 2020. The topic was Glaucoma Surgery, and there were over 9,000 live views on YouTube, the internet, and Facebook. Our next WGA Global Webinar will be on Glaucoma Diagnostics and take place on December 19, 2020. Please mark your calendar now for this exciting educational webinar. The start time will allow a worldwide audience to participate.
Our speakers and moderators will be some of the world’s experts in glaucoma diagnostic technology.
Please join and learn, as well as participate in the discussions. If you already have a WGA#One account and are subscribed to our e-mail communications, you will receive e-mails with the details on how to join in the Webinar. Also keep an eye on our social media channels or visit the WGA website to get more information. We are looking forward to seeing you online!
Those with intellect, education and energy have the unique privilege of having the capacity to help make the world a better place. To realize this, we need like minds and organizations that facilitate achieving our common goals.
Eliminating glaucoma-related disability worldwide was the goal that first drew me to the WGA. I joined the WGA as Chair of the Associate Advisory Board a little over a decade ago after being honored with an International Clinician-Scientist award at the inaugural World Glaucoma Congress in 2005. My research background is rather diverse but is currently focused on the interaction of cell biology and genetics with epidemiology and public health. This background gave me the opportunity to help lead the 5th WGA Consensus on Glaucoma Screening and participate in all the WGA’s Congresses and Consensus meetings to date.
After serving on several WGA Committees, I joined the WGA Executive Committee and Board four years ago as Treasurer. Since that time, I have been proud to have managed our most successful Southern Hemisphere Congress in Melbourne in 2019 and our most successful Congress ever in Helsinki in 2017. These successes have not only facilitated our existing initiatives such as IGR and the Consensus series, but also new expansions including an association with the Journal of Glaucoma and a heavy investment in information technology which has led to WGA#One, a worldwide online learning and communication portal for glaucoma.
Being a global organization, the WGA has global reach. There is no better example of this than World Glaucoma Week, during which the world sees thousands of events which engage the general public with our mission. We have also reached out to all our glaucoma patients, bringing them inside the WGA through the Patient Committee. After educating and motivating our patients, the best way we can help them is to ensure they have access to welltrained glaucoma doctors. While many countries are blessed with outstanding glaucoma clinicians, other areas have little opportunity for glaucoma training. The WGA has partnered with the International Council of Ophthalmology to develop the WGA-ICO Fellowship which targets key areas of need. Although in its infancy, it has already trained eight Fellows from sub-Saharan Africa, all of whom have had enormous impact on their communities. In 2019, I made the commitment on behalf of the WGA to double the number of Fellowships each cycle, allowing us to expand to other key areas of need around the world.
The true power of the WGA is the power of like minds and common goals. I am proud of my small achievements in the bigger task of eliminating glaucoma-related disability worldwide and grateful to my mentors and colleagues for their friendship and support. Every volunteer involved in the WGA started their journey with a desire to make the world a better place. If you share this desire, please volunteer to join our global family.