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Tue, Oct 18, 2022

See and Be Seen... At The Smithsonian: Orbis Honored

Effort Becomes Part of Aviation History at National Air and Space Museum

On World Sight Day, eye care nonprofit Orbis International was included with displays from the second-generation Orbis Flying Eye Hospital DC-10 aircraft in a new permanent exhibition opening that opened Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

An example of humanitarian flight that combines innovations in medicine and aviation, Orbis was featured in the new "Thomas W. Haas We All Fly" exhibition, which celebrates the breadth and depth of general aviation and its deep impact on society.  

The exhibit features a simulator from the Flying Eye Hospital – the world's only fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board a plane – now currently in its third generation on an MD-10 aircraft. The simulator was used to train eye care professionals on cataract surgery, the leading cause of blindness in the world. Orbis has adopted simulation training, much in the same way that pilots learn to fly planes through simulation, to allow eye care teams to build their skills and confidence safely before progressing to real-life surgeries.

"From the earliest days of Orbis, we knew that bringing training from the world's best eye care professionals directly to the eye care teams who need it most would change the way the world sees," says Derek Hodkey, President & CEO of Orbis International.

"It's what led to the launch of our Flying Eye Hospital exactly 40 years ago – making it an especially fitting time to look back on all the progress we've made. We are grateful to the National Air and Space Museum for shining this important spotlight on our work."

"The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a wonderful example of the use of general aviation for humanitarian purposes, something we wanted to highlight in the "Thomas W Haas We All Fly" gallery," said Dorothy Cochrane, National Air and Space Museum curator.

"This is truly a unique way of reaching people in need."

Orbis will join the museum's GE Aviation Lecture Series during a live conversation titled "The Flying Eye Hospital: Medicine Meets Aviation" on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 8 p.m. EST. The event will be held at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

This year, Orbis is celebrating 40 years since the Flying Eye Hospital took its first flight. Since 1982, three generations of the Flying Eye Hospital have taken training to eye care teams in over 95 countries around the world. Orbis has continually harnessed the power of innovation to reach new heights in the fight against avoidable blindness.



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