In 2000, Jennifer Staple-Clark, then a sophomore at Yale University, founded Unite For Sight in her dorm room. Unite For Sight is now a leader both in global health education and in providing cost-effective care to the world's poorest people. She has been featured twice in Nicholas D. Kristof's columns in The New York Times, and cited in A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Jennifer Staple-Clark was also featured weekly on CNN International in 2007 and 2008.
Jennifer is 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." In 2015, Middlebury College's Center for Social Entrepreneurship presented Jennifer with the Vision Award "to recognize leadership and vision in the world of social entrepreneurship." She is also the recipient of the Yale School of Public Health's Centennial Leadership Innovation Award. In 2013, she received the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics from Villanova University. Jennifer also 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. In 2007, Jennifer was awarded a BRICK Award, which honors and funds change-makers who identify problems and work to change the world. She has also been featured in the book Our Time is Now: Young People Changing the World, as well as in many other publications.
Lanch McCormick directs Unite For Sight's global health education and healthcare delivery divisions. Prior to Unite For Sight, she worked for 15 years in higher education, including as Associate Director of Yale University's Undergraduate Career Services and Assistant Director of Yale's Association of Yale Alumni. Lanch has extensive program management, international, and student advising experience. She was involved with Yale's International Bulldogs Internships since the program's inception, and she also focused at Yale University on student advising, career exploration programming, and alumni relations. While Associate Director of Yale’s Undergraduate Career Services (UCS), Lanch was instrumental in developing a collaboration nine years ago between UCS and Unite For Sight that continues to provide funding to Yale students to participate with Unite For Sight’s international programs.
Connor Orrico received a B.S. in Biological Sciences at Cornell University with minor studies in global health and nutrition. As an undergraduate, Connor was a Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow involved in Unite For Sight's Global Impact Lab research division with Kalinga Eye Hospital in Orissa, India. He also served as a Unite For Sight Campus Representative at Cornell. As this year's Global Health World Fellow, Connor will help to manage Unite For Sight's Global Health Research division, work with and train Unite For Sight's Global Impact Fellows, and contribute to the development and implementation of Unite For Sight's innovative global health initiatives as a team member. Impelled by ambitions to serve the medically underserved, Connor plans to study medicine and global health in order to practice as a physician on the front-lines of health disparity in the future.
Ilkania Paulino Cenit’s passion for the pursuit of global health equity was ignited by her experience as a low-income immigrant in the United States and her Dominican nationality. These personal experiences exposed her to the lack of access that underserved populations face in low-income countries and in the United States. Her determination to work in the field of global health was cemented by her coursework at Brown University, and she graduated with a BA in Health and Human Biology with a focus on Global Health. Her coursework allowed her to explore health inequities from a sociological, historical and political perspective.
As an undergraduate, Ilkania served on the executive board of Brown University’s GlobeMed chapter. In her position as GlobeMed's Global Health University Coordinator, she led health equity advocacy campaigns, planned advocacy events, and led discussions on global health issues. Ilkania also worked with U-Tena as a Grassroots On-Site Work (GROW) intern. U-Tena is a youth organization based in the Mukuru Viwandanu Slum of Nairobi that focuses on sexual and reproductive health education. Her internship was sponsored by GlobeMed and the USAID Global Health Fellow Program.
Dr. James Afful Clarke graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School with an MBChB. After a year of internship at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana, he worked as a General Practitioner and did a General Surgery Residency at the University of Saarland Medical Faculty, Germany, and thereafter practiced as a general surgeon in Ghana. In 1996, he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmology from the West African Postgraduate Medical College and has since been a practicing ophthalmologist. He also holds a Master's in Public Health (MPH), and he also has a Diploma in Community Health and Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Clarke has done clinical attachments at the University of Saarland Eye Clinic in Germany, Wake Forest Eye Center, Winston-Salem in North Carolina, and Wheaton Eye Clinic in Chicago. He is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He founded and directs Crystal Eye Clinic in Accra, Ghana, where he provides outreach services in eye care and performs various surgical procedures, including corneal transplantation. He is the only ophthalmologist providing corneal transplantation in Ghana. Dr. Clarke is also a member of Unite For Sight's Medical Advisory Board and leads Unite For Sight's programs in Ghana as Ghana Medical Director.
Dr. Seth Wanye is an ophthalmologist at Friends Eye Centre in Kumasi, Ghana, and a member of Unite For Sight's Medical Advisory Board. Since 2004, he was the only ophthalmologist for more than 2 million people in the Northern Region of Ghana. Born in Ghana, he started his medical education in Kharkov Medical School (Ukraine) and received his medical degree at Ulianovsk State University (Russia) in June 1997. From September 1997 -2000, he completed his internship and Master of Surgery (Ophthalmology) in Moscow Medical Academy and completed his PhD in Ophthalmology at the Russian Academy for Advanced Medical Training in 2002. He subsequently worked with SDA Hospital at Asamang near Kumasi and at Komfo Anoyke Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. In May 2004, Dr. Wanye became the Regional Ophthalmologist and Coordinator for the Trachoma Control Program for Northern Region, Ghana. He is also a part-time lecturer at the University for Development Studies in Tamale. Dr. Wanye is an international member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and recently participated in a fellowship program in cornea transplantation at the Kentucky Lions Eye Center and the Kentucky Lions Eye Bank in Louisville. He has also participated in educational programs at Wake Forest University Department of Ophthalmology and at the Ophthalmology Department of Yale University.
Patton Boggs, LLP
Global Health Leadership Interns
Jennifer Staple-Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
In 2000, Jennifer Staple-Clark, then a sophomore at Yale University, founded Unite For Sight in her dorm room. Due to Jennifer's leadership and her focus on entrepreneurial innovation, Unite For Sight is a leader both in global health education and in providing cost-effective care to the world's poorest people. A visionary leader and social entrepreneur, she has been featured twice in Nicholas D. Kristof's columns in The New York Times. She was also featured weekly on CNN International in 2007 and 2008.
Jennifer is 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." In 2013, she received the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics from Villanova University. Jennifer also 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. In 2007, Jennifer was awarded a BRICK Award, which honors and funds change-makers who identify problems and work to change the world. She has also been featured in the book Our Time is Now: Young People Changing the World, as well as in many other publications.
Jennifer is the author of journal articles and book chapters about social entrepreneurship, best practices in global health, and community eye health. Additionally, she serves as a judge in social entrepreneurship competitions, including the Canadian Government's Grand Challenges in Health. A cum laude graduate of Yale University, Jennifer is also a member of the Yale University President's Council on International Activities.
Jennifer frequently gives presentations and keynote addresses about social entrepreneurship, global health, and international development. Her most recent audiences have included Harvard School of Public Health, Yale Law School, Yale College, Yale School of Public Health, Duke University, Villanova University, University of Virginia, Stanford University, York University, University of Miami School of Medicine, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University, Lehigh University, MIT, Northwestern University School of Medicine's American Medical Student Association Conference, Brigham Young University's Global Maternal and Child Health Conference, and American Academy of Ophthalmology's Women in Ophthalmology Leadership Institute.
She resides in Connecticut with her husband and their two sons.
Eric J. Bertrand
Eric Bertrand has served on the Boards of OptiCare Health Systems, U.S. Vision, Control F-1 and Versura, Inc. Currently with EJB Capital Management, he holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Entrepreneurship with a certificate in the Digital Economy from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant College.
Yasha Modi holds an MD from Yale University School of Medicine, and he received his Bachelor's Degree from New York University. Currently a retina fellow at Cleveland Clinic, Yasha completed residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Yasha became involved with Unite For Sight when he founded a UFS chapter as an undergraduate in 2004 at New York University. Yasha's interest in ophthalmology began at the LRBT Free Eye Hospital in Korangi, Pakistan, where he spent two of his high school spring breaks as a volunteer observing cataract surgeries and comprehensive eye exams. He also conducted research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he used NMR resolution techniques to elucidate unusual DNA-quadruplex structures in solution. Since then, he has published his findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Molecular Biology. He has also pursued research in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery/Cell Biology at New York University Medical Center, where he studied the MAP Kinase intracellular pathway in balloon-injured arteries in a dog model.
Julia Nemiroff holds an MD from New York University School of Medicine and is completing her ophthalmology residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), where she majored in biology. Julia's grandmother is blind due to macular degeneration that went untreated in Russia. Julia's passion and commitment to eliminate preventable blindness led her to found a chapter of Unite For Sight as a senior at NYIT. Under her leadership, the NYIT chapter was recognized as the 2006-2007 Unite For Sight Chapter of the Year, and Julia was honored as the Unite For Sight Chapter Leader of the Year. The NYIT chapter also raised the most money of all university chapters in 2007 and was awarded Unite For Sight's Humanitarian Service Award.
Natasha Rabinowitz holds an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and a BA in Biology and English from Mount Holyoke College. Before joining the Board of Directors, Natasha served as a Global Health Leadership Intern at Unite For Sight's headquarters in New Haven and as a volunteer for many years at Unite For Sight's annual Global Health & Innovation Conference. From working in translational clinical research in emergency medicine to consulting on women’s health and development programs, she has a passion for health care in underserved populations and eliminating barriers to health. She serves on the Board of Education Transforming Community Health (ETCH) at University of Washington and previously worked as a Management Strategies in Public Health Teaching Instructor with MPH students at University of Washington. She is currently Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Neurobiology at UCSF.
Rachel Turkel was previously Unite For Sight's Program Manager for three years, where she managed and implemented initiatives in each of Unite For Sight's program divisions. As the manager of Unite For Sight's Global Health & Innovation Conference and Global Health University, she directed Unite For Sight's initiatives to advance education about global health. Additionally, she worked with and trained Unite For Sight's Global Impact Fellows, who are the next generation of leaders in global health. Rachel also managed Unite For Sight's research division, which yields public health publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Rachel has traveled to more than 12 countries, including Ghana, India, and Malawi. With a passion for improving health both locally and globally, she previously worked at a health clinic for the uninsured in Maine. Rachel received a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Bowdoin College. She is currently pursuing an MPH at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she received a Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health Scholarship.