Farewell from the Vision Institute of Canada
It is with a heavy heart that I write this last letter to the Vision institute of Canada community. The Vision Institute of Canada is permanently closing its doors. On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank the staff of the Vision Institute of Canada, the optometric community and the vision care companies that have loyally supported our valuable work for the last 40 years. We made a difference in people’s lives.
The model that founded the Vision institute in 1981 no longer works in 2022. Optometry is a changed and changing profession. The last 40 years have seen clinical staff, clinical interns and staff of the Vision Institute deliver an ever-evolving range of services to some of the most vulnerable and deserving members of our communities. What in 1981 was considered a specialized service within the optometric scope of practice became over time a part of primary eye care delivery for all optometrists. However, the Vision institute of Canada continued to serve indigenous communities, homeless communities, long term care homes and street-involved youth in ways a primary care practice could not.
The work of the Vision Institute would not have been possible without the work of hundreds of people, and you know who you are. There have been three Executive Directors: the visionary Dr. Mitchell Samek, the diligent caretaker Dr. Paul Chris and last but not least the indomitable Ms. Frances MacCusworth. As president of the current Board of Directors I have had the pleasure to serve with each of them at the helm. The dozens of directors that have served on the Board of the Vision Institute all deserve our thanks and gratitude.
There are not enough words to describe the work of the clinicians at the Vision Institute. Over 40 years of service they cannot all be listed but two names; Dr Catherine Chiarelli and Dr Lois Calder are a must. Between the two of them they looked after the young, the old and the young at heart. Thank you.
Now we come to the part that really matters, the patients that were served by the Vision institute of Canada. Thousands and thousands of lives made better, healthier, and happier over 40 years of dedicated service. I have to believe that one or more of those patients will over their lifetime pay it forward in ways we cannot even imagine.
The next generation has the torch.
Be well, be kind and dream big.
Dr. Mira Acs, President & The Board of the Vision Institute of Canada