Well it’s 2020! And what better year to help those in the greatest need of vision care?

I always like to drop a quick note to everyone in thanks for all of the hard work done over the previous year and in celebration of the wonderful organization to which we belong.

2019 was another busy year for VOSH Illinois members, particularly for Dr. Tracy Matchinski, who formally steps into her role as Immediate Past President of VOSH International. This after serving as President of VOSH International and previously VOSH Illinois. Her commitment to this organization and to providing care to those in need continues to inspire us all!

The planned international clinic to Quito, Ecuador in November 2019 sadly had to be cancelled due to unrest and a subsequent travel advisory. Undeterred, a group from VOSH Illinois, led by Dr. Matchinski, joined a clinic going to Peru in the weeks following. How’s that for persistence?!

We welcomed two new VOSH Illinois board members, Dr. Andrew Neukirch and Patrick Duffie, although both have been long-time members of the VOSH Illinois family. We also have a new secretary, Dr. Jennifer Kohn, who is replacing our previous secretary, Dr. Nicole Albright. Thank you all for your dedication!

Another big accomplishment of 2019 was the development of our new website. Feel free to take a look and offer any and all feedback. https://voshllinois.wpenginepowered.com/. It is still a work in progress but is a big step forward for us.

There are a number of features but perhaps the most notable is the simple and accessible ability to donate to VOSH Illinois through the new website via PayPal. Please feel free to pay your 2020 dues in this manner as well. For now, if you are going to pay your dues through the website, either respond to this email letting me know you’ve done so or fill out and return or mail the attached membership form with an indication that you have paid electronically. As always, a check mailed to the address on the attached form is 100% acceptable. But now you all have the option to pay your dues simply and quickly through the “DONATE” button on our site.

Looking forward to the coming year, we will have a renewed emphasis on fundraising. We have historically relied on the incredibly generous donations from our supporters and membership. This year, we will be taking more formal steps to collect revenue through various personal and professional contacts. That being said, your annual dues and contributions are the lifeblood of our chapter and any amount that you are kind enough to contribute on top of membership dues is immensely appreciated.

This past year, we invested in two handheld autorefractors which greatly enhance our ability to accurately and efficiently assess patients during our domestic and international clinics. They also carry a significant price tag. We have set a goal of raising $10,000 in 2020 to offset those purchases and to enable VOSH Illinois to provide care to even more communities in need.

To get the ball rolling, I will personally be donating $500 in the coming weeks. I humbly ask you all to give what you are comfortable with. The money we raise will enable us to operate at a higher level in order to help those in most need of vision care and correction. If you would like to help, please donate here.

Important dates for 2020:
Sunday, 2/9/20 – VOSH Illinois Board Meeting at Wilmette Eye Care
Sunday, 6/14/20 –  VOSH Illinois Board Meeting at Park Lawn School (warehouse organizing to follow)
Sunday, 10/18/20 – VOSH Illinois Annual Board Meeting at Wilmette Eye Care
Saturday, 10/31/20 – Sunday, 11/8/20 – International Clinic to Oaxaca, Mexico

Thank you all one more time for all you do and for helping to make our chapter succeed in its mission. Happy New Year!!

Andrew Kohn, O.D.
President, VOSH-Illinois