Friday, October 28, 2011

Honoring Dr. Paul Steinkuller

On Sunday, October 23, the International Eye Foundation honored Dr. Paul Steinkuller of Houston with its 2011 Promotion of Peace and Vision Award for an ophthalmologist. IEF President & CEO Victoria Sheffield presented the Award assisted by Dr. Larry Schwab, a past recipient and IEF Board member. The presentation was made during a reception held during the 2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Orlando.

Dr. Steinkuller received the Award in recognition of his over three decades commitment to international blindness prevention. In the 1980s, he and his family worked in Kenya on behalf of IEF. His life work is testament to his dedication to the ideals of Dr. King's vision of "...the promotion of peace through the prevention of blindness."

Pictured above (L to R): Dr. Paul Steinkuller, Victoria Sheffield, Dr. Schwab

Friday, September 30, 2011

World Sight Day 2011 - October 13, 2011

Cost-Effectiveness of Blindness Prevention Activities

Join the International Eye Foundation on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 12 noon-1:15pm for a Capitol Hill briefing in the House Rayburn Building B-340. Held on World Sight Day, the event will discuss groundbreaking, cost-effective health interventions that have prevented vision loss, such as vitamin A supplementation and cataract surgery. Featured speakers are:

· Kevin Frick, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Center for Global Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

· Louis Pizzarello, M.D., Columbia University, IAPB, Vision 2020/USA (host)

International Eye Foundation is a founding member of Vision2020/USA and is a co-sponsor for the World Sight Day briefing.

To attend, RSVP your attendance to Dina Beaumont at or (202)530-4672.

World Sight Day is an international day of awareness held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Party Pictures - 50th Anniversary Celebration

The weather and ambiance were perfect on September 18th for guests attending our 50th Anniversary Celebration and Wine Tasting at Julia Hopping's home in Bethesda. Sipping and supping, spending time with old friends and new, talking with Ambassadors from countries where IEF has programs and at the same time raising money for the newest sustainable eye clinic currently underway in Managua, Nicaragua.

A wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of preventing blindness and saving sight in the developng world.

Photos courtesy of long time friend and supporter

of IEF - Jo A.S. Carpenter

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nicaraguan Delights at IEF's 50th Celebration

The date for IEF's 50th Anniversary Celebration and Ambassadors Wine Tasting is fast approaching. Join old friends and new at the beautiful home of Dr. & Mrs. Stephen Hopping in Bethesda, MD for an exciting afternoon tasting fine wines and festivities marking our Golden Anniversary.

Tantalize your taste buds at the buffet of wonderful dishes from Nicaragua prepared by Ambassador Eduardo Sevilla and Julia Hopping. You will be welcomed to the party by young people in brightly colored traditional Nicaraguan dress.

Enjoy a selection of fine wines offered by David and Helen Choi of Pearsons Wine and Spirits of Georgetown.

Joining us will be Ambassadors from countries where IEF is working to save sight

Our Golden Anniversary marks a half century of preventing blindness and restoring sight worldwide. Help us celebrate because you are all part of the IEF family and have helped us be who we are today!

View the Invitation here and make your reservations now!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

IEF Organizes Childhood Blindness NGO Meeting

On 25 and 26 July, more than 60 participants from eye care organizations around the world (11 countries not including the US and Europe) met in Washington, DC for final reports and the official closing of the A2Z Childhood Blindness Program. IEF's Director of Programs John Barrows assisted in the designed of the curriculum with FHI Development 360 (formerly AED) staff and participated in the workshop.

Dr. Khumbo Kalua, Director of the Blantyre Institute for Community Ophthalmology (Malawi), presented results for IEF's A2Z funded research project “Finding Community Solutions to Improved Blind and Visually Impaired Children’s Access and Acceptance to Cataract Surgery in Southern Malawi.” Representatives from eye care organizations in 11 countries reviewed the objectives and accomplishments of the program whose primary aim was to reduce childhood blindness by creating greater awareness, acceptance and use of refractive error, rehabilitation and ocular surgery. After sharing the gains made, discussion moved to translating research into action, exploring new innovative strategies, identifying gaps in services and priority actions to inform future efforts.

Friday, July 8, 2011

50th Anniversary Celebration Update

IEF will celebrate 50 years of Saving Sight Worldwide on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hopping in Bethesda, MD. As this will also be the Ambassadors' Wine Tasting, ambassadors from countries where IEF is active will be joining in the celebration.

We are very pleased that David and Helen Choi of Pearsons Wine and Spirits of Georgetown will be offering a selection of fine wines for tasting. With hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction the afternoon promises to be one you won't want to miss.

Reservations are $100 per person and may be made online at the IEF website or by email. Sponsorships are also available, contact Calvin Baerveldt.


Sponsorships or Further Information

Friday, June 24, 2011

IEF Elects New Board Members and Officers for 2011-2012

The IEF's Annual Board of Directors meeting took place on Thursday, June 23 at the home of Director Shahin Mafi. During the meeting, the Board elected new and returning Directors to the Governing Board. Elected for a second three year term was Paul T. Gavaris, MD. Newly elected to the Board were Ralph J. Helmsen, PhD - a retired researcher at the National Eye Institute, Her Excellency Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar - Ambassador from Tanzania to the US, Frances Pierce - Chairman, President & CEO of Data Systems Analysts, Inc., and A. Raymond Pilkerton, MD - retired Ophthalmologist, founder of the Retina Group of Washington.

The Board also elected Officers to lead the IEF for the 2011-2012 year. Elected were: - Chairman - Frank S. Ashburn, Jr., MD - Vice Chairman - Frances P. Legon - Treasurer - Roger Jantio - Secretary - Kathryn D. Leckey - Senior Medical Director - Mary Catherine Fischer, MD

Photo: IEF Board members in action during Annual meeting

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sipping Wine at the Pearl to Save Sight

Last Sunday, June 5, a crowd of 35 gathered on the outside deck of the Cultured Pearl Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to enjoy some fine wines and fantastic hors d'oeuvres. Sipping and noshing were the order of the day, yet it was all to benefit the IEF and its sight saving work.

The wines, carefully selected to complement the Cultured Pearl's outstanding hors d'oeuvres, were provided by Vintage Imports through Bin 66 Wine and Spirits. A great success, we hope to make this an annual event.

The IEF wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Rob Wood, Donna Welsh, and Nick of the Cultured Pearl, Paul Zientek of Vintage Imports, Tom Poor of Bin 66 Wine and Spirits, and Brent Mundt of CAMP Rehoboth.

Photos: Above L-R: Howard Pyle, Victoria Sheffield, Cathy Nowack, Calvin Baerveldt, Kathryn Leckey, William Madden and Kathleen Madden.

Right L-R: Brent Mundt, Victoria Sheffield, and Richard Legon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

2011 John Harry King Memorial Lecture - Professor Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD

Prof. Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami presented the John Harry King Memorial Lecture today at the annual Walter Reed Army Medical Center ophthalmology meeting. Dr. Flynn, a distinguished retina surgeon, spoke specifically on endophthalmitiis, a devastating inflammatory infection that can follow severe injury to the eye; certainly a risk in severely injured military fighters. He has conducted major studies on endophthalmitis, its variations and treatments, and is an expert in this area.

Dr. Flynn served at the Brook Army Hospital in Texas in the 1970’s. In his comments, he expressed his great regard for the work of military ophthalmologists, the challenges they face, and the critical research they produce given their patient base. Dr. King would have been very proud of Dr. Flynn’s presentation given in his name and the tremendous work being carried on at Walter Reed. He would be just as proud of the work carried on by IEF today.

To honor IEF’s 50th anniversary, a certificate was presented to Dr. Flynn. Dr. Marcus Colyer at Walter Reed was pleased to have IEF present as it bridges the old Walter Reed now closing to the new Walter Reed being built at Fort Belvoir. The end of one era and the beginning of another. Interestingly, the lecture was established in 1986, the year of Dr. King’s death, so it’s 25 years on. Dr. King was Walter Reed’s very first ophthalmology resident in 1948. Serving in both the Pacific and European theaters in World War II, Dr. King ended his Army career as Chief of Ophthalmology at Walter Reed in 1955. He was the personal ophthalmologist to Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Pictured to right is a photo of framed spectacles belonging to Presidents Truman (12K gold plated trifocals) and Eisenhower (gas mask glasses) presented to IEF by the late Suzanne King Clark and Susan Eisenhower in 1997. IEF hopes that when the new Walter Reed Army Hospital is completed, the John Harry King Memorial Lecture will continue.

The Lecture and presentation served as a powerful way of honoring Dr. King, his contribution to military ophthalmology, eye banking, and his contribution to international ophthalmology through the International Eye Foundation.

Photo at top: Dr. Flynn on the left followed at right by Dr. Paul Gavaris, Victoria M. Sheffield, and Dr. Howard Cupples. Drs. Gavaris and Cupples represented the IEF Board.

Photo at bottom L-R: Thomas H. Price, III, Suzanne King Clark, Susan Eisenhower, Victoria M. Sheffield, Prof. R. Sagdeev (Mrs. Eisenhower’s husband)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Congressional Record - Honoring IEF's 50 Years

US Representative Chris Van Hollen honored the International Eye Foundation in the Congressional Record on May 2, 2011. We are thrilled and grateful for the recognition by Congressman Van Hollen of IEF's 50 years of saving sight worldwide.

In his statement, the Congressman noted "Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize the International Eye Foundation for its 50 years of extraordinary work and wish it continued success in making a difference in the lives of millions of people throughout the world."

Read the Complete Statement

Thursday, May 12, 2011

We've Changed the Date to Celebrate

We've changed the date to celebrate IEF's 50th Anniversary! Instead of a Gala, we are having a party and wine tasting - Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Join old friends and new at the beautiful home of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Hopping in Bethesda, MD for an exciting afternoon of tasting fine wines and festivities marking our Golden Anniversary.

For half a century, IEF has been fulfilling it's mission of preventing blindness and restoring sight worldwide. Come party with us as we celebrate past achievements and look forward to new and exciting challenges on the horizon.

Invitations and details will follow, but mark your calendar NOW for September 18th. For more information, call: 1 (240) 290-0263 or email:

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Last Thursday, April 28, Patricia de Arzu, wife of the Mayor of Guatemala City along with members from the Mayor’s Office and representatives from the media, spent time at Visualiza where she was welcomed by the Board of Directors and led on a full tour of the hospital. Accompanied by Visualiza’s staff, Mrs. de Arzu then traveled to 8 public schools in Guatemala City to observe the VENTANITAS DE LUZ (Windows of Light), Visualiza’s eye care program for children. Prior to the visit, 1800 children were screened, 220 needed glasses and 4 children required sight-restoring surgery; which Dr. Mariano Yee performed. Mrs. de Arzu was delighted to be present and to see at first hand the children receiving their new spectacles.

In Visualiza’s Outreach Coordinator, Carlos Balcarcel own words "She saw perfectly how this amazing Program benefits all those poorest kids in Guatemala."

Read More

Photo caption: Patrica de Arzu, the Mayor’s wife (far right) observing as a child receives her new spectacles

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IEF Celebrates 50th Anniversary - The Beginning

International Eye Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! In 1961, Dr. John Harry King, Jr., a corneal transplant pioneer founded the International Eye Bank under the arm of CARE/Medico at the urging of Dr. Tom Dooley, the missionary in Thailand. After a distinguished military medical career, Dr. King retired as Chief of Ophthalmology at the Walter Reed Army Hospital and focused entirely in promoting corneal transplant surgery and urging Lions Clubs to build eye banks around Washington, DC. Dr. King soon realized however, that much of the blindness in the developing world was preventable and much could be done before people became blind. He changed the name to the International Eye Foundation (IEF) in 1965 and the mission focused on prevention of blindness and primary eye care.

Read more

Thursday, April 28, 2011

May Is Healthy Vision Month

Vision is one of our most valuable senses. It is important to have your eyes examined by an eye care professional regularly. May is Healthy Vision Month. Don't wait until it's too late. Make an appointment to ensure your eyes are healthy. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following guidelines:
  • At age 40: have a baseline examination for eye diseases
  • 20 to 40: have an eye exam every 5 to 10 years
  • Over age 40: have an eye exam every 2 to 4 years
  • Over age 65: have an eye exam every 1 to 2 years
  • Diabetics should have an eye exam every year
Read more about Healthy Vision Month from the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Wine Tasting

Have fun ~ help people see!!

Join us on the deck of the Cultured Pearl above the streets of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Sunday, June 5. The Cultured Pearl Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar will host a Wine Tasting to benefit the International Eye Foundation. Fine wines combine with wonderful hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction for a fun afternoon at the ocean. Media sponsor by CAMP Rehoboth, Inc.

Reservations are $50 per person and are to be made by May 31.

Make your reservation now. Click here or on the image of the invitation. For more information, contact Calvin Baerveldt at .

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

IEF Recognized for 50 Years Saving Sight Worldwide

The International Eye Foundation was honored to receive a citation from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley recognizing the outstanding work of the organization over the past 50 years. The citation highlights IEF's "...dedicated efforts to prevent blindness and restore sight worldwide, especially in developing countries...with congratulations on the occasion of your 50th Anniversary; and as the people of Maryland join in expressing our high regard and sincere appreciation for your success as a global leader in sustainability programming for eye care..."

Additionally, US Senator Benjamin Cardin sent a letter congratulating IEF on its 50th Anniversary. Senator Cardin wrote "I would like to thank you for all you have done to help save the sight of millions of people threatened by blindness."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, the world lost not only a great actress but also a gracious and generous benefactor and philanthropist. Miss Taylor is well known for her work to fight HIV/AIDS, but less known for her contribution to Eye Care in developing countries.
As the International Eye Foundation celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Blindness Prevention and Sight Restoration worlwide, we look back with thanks to the support of Elizabeth Taylor over the years. We remeber when he hosted our 1977 "Eye Ball" gala with her then husband Senator John Warner. What a wonderful evening, she was magnanimous and magnificent!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

IEF Board Member Larry Schwab blows his own trumpet!

IEF is fortunate to have Board members who work behind the scenes bringing their diverse interests and talents to the organization. One thing we rarely see is them out in public and blowing their own horns (sic).
Long time Board member, IEF volunteer and renowned ophthalmologist Larry Schwab, whose book Eye Care in Developing Nations is now in its 4th edition, is however the exception.
Larry grew up in West Virginia, and gained both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University and was a member of the band in his student days. His love of music continues unabated and he can be heard playing his trumpet in the pep band at all the basketball games. Anyone who watched the West Virgina-Clemson game NCAA game on TV would have been treated to some great close-ups of the 70 year old Larry playing the school fight songs at half time along with his fellow and younger, Mountaineer Band members. A delightful article also appeared in the Tampa Tribune. click link to see the full story.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Alexandria Lions Club - Gift to Mectizan Program

Founded in 1931, the Alexandria Lions Club was the first Lions Club to be formed in Virgina.

IEF's President and CEO, Victoria Sheffield was invited to speak at the clubs luncheon meeting last November where she gave an overview of IEF's activites around the world.

One of the programs that Victoria talked about was IEF's program in Cameroon that controls the heartbreaking blinding disease Onchocerasis (commonly known as River Blindness) through the wonder drug Mectizan.

The drug is donated by it's manufacturer Merck and Company to NGO'S who distribute it through a network of community organizers. In 2009, IEF successfully treated 95% of the eligible population in the Adouame Provice of Cameroon - almost one million people avoided blindness because they received doses of Mectian.

In recognition of IEF's work in preventing blindness, the Alexandria Lions Club this week made a generous donation in support of the River Blindness Prevention Program. We thank them on behalf of the women, children and families in Cameroon who will rceive their annual preventative doses this year.

Celebrate Sight - 50th Anniversary Celebration - June 11, 2011

For half a century IEF has been fufilling it's mission of restoring sight and preventing blindness worldwide.

Join old friends and new at the glorious Organization of American States in Washington DC for an evening of festivities marking IEF's Golden Anniversary.

Hall of the Americas
Organization of American States
17th Street & Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC

Saturday - June 11, 2011

Dining and Dancing - 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Silent auction - 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

For more Information and to order tickets:
Call Calvin Baerveldt 240-290-0263 x 118
or e-mail:

International Eye Foundation
10801 Connecticut Avenue
Kensington, Maryland 20895

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Computer Management Information System Installed in Mexico

IEF has been working with the Instituto de la Vision in Mexico to install a new Computer Management Information System (CMIS) in their eye clinics. The system, developed in Spanish by Visualiza in Guatemala with IEF support, is designed to improve the efficiency of all aspects of managing the eye clinic. Recently, the initial installation and training was completed at the clinic in Tabasco, Mexico. IEF's Sustainability Consultant Raheem Rahmathullah says that "..the installation is going smoothly and the clinic will be better able to manage and analyze its patient services in the future." Clinic staff are shown reviewing patient records manually.