News Releases

September 12, 2017
Media contact: Leigh DeLozier (404) 778-3711,

Emory Eye Center To Host Two Community Events for World Sight Day

World Sight Day Logo (Atlanta) World Sight Day is an international day of awareness and advocacy held each year to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, Emory Eye Center invites the community to join in two events recognizing World Sight Day in October.

On Wednesday, October 11, Geoff Tabin, MD, will speak at Emory University. Tabin is co-founder and chairman of the Himalayan Cataract Project, a program that aims to eradicate preventable and curable blindness in developing countries. One of the most effective ways to do this can be cataract surgery, which is one of the most cost-effective medical interventions in the world (according to World Health Organization).

Since 1995, the Himalayan Cataract Project and its global partners have performed more than 600,000 ophthalmic surgeries in the developing world.

“Dr. Tabin and others with the Himalayan Cataract Project have changed the approach to curing blindness in low income countries,” says Jacquelyn O’Banion, MD, a comprehensive ophthalmologist at Emory Eye Center and assistant director of Global Ophthalmology-Emory. “Their unique approach has Geoff Tabin MD given countries such as Nepal the infrastructure and knowledge to diminish the burden of blindness due to cataract in their own country. Their model has served as an example for many countries and hearing him speak of this experience will truly be an honor.”

The October 11 program with Dr. Tabin will be from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Woodruff Health Sciences Administrative Building on Emory's campus (1440 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322). Parking will be available at Emory's Michael Street parking deck.

On Thursday, October 12, Emory Eye Center and other members of Vision 2020 (Georgia chapter) will host a free vision screening from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Grady Memorial Hospital (80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30303). The event will include free vision screenings and eye checks for adults and children, information packets, and educational activities about vision loss.

“The burden of blindness is expected to grow as causes such as cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration disproportionately affect older populations,” O’Banion says. “Sadly, the early signs of eye disease are often not noticeable until the disease is so advanced it has caused severe, irreversible vision loss. Basic screenings such as this one can really make a difference to people who struggle to access eye services.”

WSD 2020 Event Flyer Link Vision 2020 members work to help Georgians improve their vision through education, vision screenings, health promotion, and advocacy. Members include Alcon, Atlanta Lions Club, Center for the Visually Impaired, Emory Eye Center, Emory Medical School Ophthalmology Interest Group, Georgia Eye Bank, Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, and Prevent Blindness Georgia.

“Vision 2020/Georgia is a new initiative formed by local Georgia organizations dedicated to protecting the eye health of our population,” O’Banion says. “We’re very excited about this inaugural event and hope to regularly provide screenings throughout the state.”

Worldwide, an estimated 19 million children are visually impaired and approximately 285 million people live with low vision and blindness. The good news is 80% of visual impairment is readily treatable and/ or preventable. Events such as the Oct. 12 vision screening play an important role in helping detect potential problems while they might still be treatable.

Learn more about Global Ophthalmology-Emory:


The Emory Eye Center is the largest, most comprehensive eye care facility in Georgia, serving patients for more than 125 years. With programs in cornea, retina (surgical and medical), glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, ophthalmic pathology and pediatric ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center has long been one of the most sought-after training programs for ophthalmology subspecialties. Innovative treatments, groundbreaking research and personalized care have earned the Eye Center the respect of patients and providers alike. To learn more, visit



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