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The Fred Hollows Foundation reports record results for 2008 PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Fred Hollows Foundation has released its results for 2008, with a record 176,472 people receiving sight-saving eye operations and treatments and over 1.3 million patients being screened in 18 countries worldwide.

The results represent around a 20% increase in eye operations in just one year. The Foundation also increased the number of eye health workers it trained from 3,284 in 2007, to 5,217 last year.

In 2008, The Fred Hollows Foundation also completed upgrades to 29 eye health facilities and provided over $1.5 million for vital medical equipment.

In 2008 The Fred Hollows Foundation was awarded ‘Australia’s Best Practice Not-For-Profit’ by the Givewell Good Giving Guide with an emphasis on being transparent and accountable, whilst delivering thoughtful and practical programs across a range of social dimensions.

Inaugural Continuing Education Alumni Meeting at UNSW PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 22 May 2009
The School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW is hosting its inaugural continuing education alumni meeting on the evening of this Friday, 22 May 2009.

A cocktail reception, tours of the new Guide Dogs Centre for Eye Health and the Schools' own Clinic will be followed by a presentation by Professor Anthony Adams on "Diabetes: early neural and structural changes in the retina".
Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 2009 starts this Sunday PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 22 May 2009

This year's theme for the Awareness Week is "Macular Degeneration - don't be blind to the risks!" It has been used on the Macular Degeneration Foundation's promotional materials in conjunction with the ongoing theme of "How's your macula?".

This year the Foundation has sent direct mail kits to 3,200 Optometrists, 900 Ophthalmologists and 5,500 pharmacies and health food stores Australia wide. The Foundation has also sent kits to over 430 Orthoptists Australia wide and appreciates the Orthoptists Association Australia's involvement in MD Awareness Week 2009. Kits have been sent to local libraries, community health centres, aged care facilities and hospitals throughout Australia. 

The MD Foundation has commenced their national public relations Awareness Week campaign. This year's campaign has incorporated the launch of the Eating for Eye Health cookbook by Ita Buttrose and Chef Vanessa Jones to raise awareness of the importance of diet and nutrition in overall eye health.

Specsavers first year in Australia: $200 million revenue PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 21 May 2009

Specsavers’ shake up of the Australian optical market shows no signs of abating in 2009. From a standing start of just one store in February 2008, the company is forecasting $200 million revenue in CY’09. In less than twelve months of trading, Specsavers has become the number two and fastest growing optical retailer in Australia.

According to Specsavers founder, Mr Doug Perkins, now based in Melbourne, the company also plans to create 200 new jobs this year, as part of a newly leased manufacturing and operational facility in Port Melbourne. The investment in the MCG-size, 13,000 sq m (140,000 sq feet) facility caps a stunning first year of operations for the optical retailer in Australia.

Specsavers and its partners – community based local optometrists - opened 153 stores across the country in 2008, and plan at least another 50 this year. Specsavers has responded to the increased uncertainty being felt by consumers, by last week launching a new price point - now offering a $59 frame and lens package in all stores nationally.

Mr Perkins said that despite the state of the economy, Specsavers' partners had experienced a significant increase in store volumes over the last year.

The new Port Melbourne facility will see Specsavers' manufacturing, business development, professional services, marketing, retail operations and call centres all head quartered in the one building.

The state-of-the art complex will also be the home of the first "Specsavers Training Academy", which will be replicated in other states. Academies will offer a full working model store, equipment piloting facility, lecture theatre and workshop room, in step with the company’s fully functional career development and training programs.

Mr Perkins said that the “go-live” date for the new facility was slated for mid 2009.

Australian company Invetech wins MDEA Award PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Invetech, announced that TearLab Corporation's revolutionary TearLab Osmolarity System has been recognised for its innovative design with a prestigious Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA). TearLab Corporation retained Invetech to assist with the development and industrial design of its instrumentation. The TearLab Osmolarity system is the first technology that can quantitatively and objectively measure Dry Eye Disease in a doctor’s office in seconds. Dry Eye Disease is a chronic and progressive condition that if left untreated can lead to serious eye damage.

The TearLab Osmolarity product won the award for its breakthrough design that significantly reduced the complexity, cost and patient discomfort of conventional tear testing technologies. TearLab was designed to achieve CLIA waiver status reflecting its focus on ease of use and consideration for the needs of both the patient and the clinician.

The patented approach includes a range of new innovations including a hand-held pen system which operates from as little as 50 nanolitres of tear samples, considerably less than current swab methods. The pen is a smart collection device ergonomically designed to minimize patient discomfort, avoid sample dilution from reflex tearing and minimise sample evaporation, providing repeatable, accurate test results. It houses miniaturized electronics and holds a high value, disposable lab-on-a-chip a joint development between TearLab Corporation and MiniFab, specialists in the development and manufacture of advanced polymer microfluidics for disposable diagnostics.

A desktop reader converts the results generated from the pen in to a quantitative measurement which is then displayed to the user. The entire process from tear collection to results now takes just seconds providing an eye care practitioner the opportunity to see more patients while improving the quality of care.
Natalina Paganoni receives special commendation PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 19 May 2009

96 year old Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital volunteer, Natalina Paganoni received a special commendation in the 2009 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards.

For more than 30 years, Mrs Paganoni has baked cakes, raffled socks and sold toys to raise more than $17,000 for the hospital.

Even when she moved into a nursing home in Frankston she didn't slow down, instead taking her stall with her to sell goodies to the visitors to the home.

Her amazing dedication was honoured when the hospital collected the award on her behalf from comedian Corrine Grant at an awards ceremony on 14 May.

Marketing and Community Relations Manager Lyn Moorfoot said the award is truly an honour for Mrs Paganoni and for all the volunteers at the hospital.

"Our volunteer program is dedicated to making a difference to the eye and ear health of all Victorians and the contributions from each of our volunteers is greatly appreciated."

The Minister for Health Volunteer Awards have been established to celebrate and honour the remarkable work performed by volunteers across Victoria’s public healthcare sector.

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