Unite For Sight's History

Founded in 2000

Unite For Sight was founded by Jennifer Staple-Clark in her dorm room when she was a sophomore at Yale University. Since 2000, Jennifer has developed Unite For Sight into a renowned global nonprofit organization that has provided eye care to 1,800,000 people in North America, Africa, and Asia. A visionary and social entrepreneur, Jennifer has been featured twice in Nicholas D. Kristof's columns in The New York Times, and she received the American Institute of Public Service's 2009 National Jefferson Award For Public Service, which is regarded as the "Nobel Prize" for public service. Jennifer is also the recipient of the 2011 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, presented by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to "an individual whose contributions in the realm of community service, advocacy or grassroots activism have elevated the debate or changed the landscape with respect to a public issue or issues."


Quality Care For 1.8 million

Unite For Sight's innovative programs in Ghana, Honduras, and India have provided the highest quality of care to more than 1.8 million of the world's poorest people, including more than 78,000 sight-restoring surgeries. The eye care is provided by local eye doctors. In 2008, Unite For Sight sponsored 5,011 of the 14,053 cataract surgeries performed by Ghanaian eye clinics, 36% of all cataract surgeries done in Ghana. In 2009, with Unite For Sight's collaboration with four partner ophthalmologists, Ghana increased its cataract surgical volume to 17,366 annual surgeries. Unite For Sight's outreach programs with the four partner eye clinics provided 46% of all cataract surgeries performed in Ghana in 2009, and these 8,060 surgeries were provided for patients living in extreme poverty. Unite For Sight was directly responsible for 92% of the cataract surgical increase in Ghana between 2008 and 2009. By 2010, five of the forty-five ophthalmologists in Ghana were partners of Unite For Sight, and these five ophthalmologists continue to provide nearly half of all eye surgeries in Ghana.



9,600 Fellows Trained

Since 2003, Unite For Sight has trained more than 9,600 Global Impact Fellows to eliminate preventable blindness in their local community and abroad. These fellows participate in Unite For Sight's international Global Impact Corps and local University Chapter programs. Volunteers participating in Unite For Sight's international Global Impact Corps program work daily with local ophthalmologists, optometrists, and ophthalmic nurses to eliminate patient barriers to care and to facilitate comprehensive year-round eye care for patients living in extreme poverty. Unite For Sight prides itself on offering the best global health experience for our Global Impact Fellows, coupled with the highest quality of healthcare delivery programs with our partner eye clinics in Ghana, Honduras, and India.

 


Cutting-Edge Research

Our programs are designed to continually enhance global health delivery, both with our eye clinic partners and on a global scale. We review cutting-edge literature about global health delivery and share information gleaned from this research with our eye clinic partners so they can apply new practices in the field. We also develop our own research studies by recruiting volunteers to serve as Global Impact Fellows. We work with the Fellows to design and implement research studies that contribute to understanding of healthcare delivery. For example, one recent research study explored the use of visual communication to enhance patients' understanding of postoperative medication regimens. All research studies are reviewed and approved by the Fellow's university Institutional Review Board. Through the research process, Global Impact Fellows gain an in-depth appreciation and understanding for global health delivery. Most Fellows present their research findings at conferences or in peer-reviewed journals.