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A unique, third-generation Flying Eye Hospital is giving wings to Orbis' mission to prevent blindness worldwide. The hospital is the world’s only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital located on an MD-10 aircraft, and is the byproduct of six years of work by experts in aviation and hospital engineering.
A unique, third-generation Flying Eye Hospital is giving wings to Orbis' mission to prevent blindness worldwide. The hospital is the world's only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital located on an MD-10 aircraft, and is the byproduct of six years of work by experts in aviation and hospital engineering.
The plane features the newest technologies to allow surgeon volunteers to teach physicians in developing countries about treatments and safety standards for cataract, glaucoma, refractive errors, diabetes-related conditions, strabismus, and more.
The hospital is the only non-land-based hospital that has been accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities International (AAAASFI).
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Model Cindy Crawford attended the MD-10 christening event on June 4, 2016, which also marked the official retirement of Orbis' second-generation flying hospital, the DC-10 aircraft. Crawford visited the DC-10 in late 2014 to see the work that ophthalmologists were doing when she was in Peru. Her visit was made into a documentary film by Omega called "The Hospital in the Sky."
Since then, Crawfordâbrand ambassador for Omegaâhas partnered with Orbis in its mission to fight preventable blindness around the world. Omega has supported Orbis since 2011.
The hospital has a 46-seat classroom, an AV/IT room, patient care and treatment room, operating room, sterilization room, and a pre- and postoperative care room. The Flying Eye Hospital approach is also designed to save money and time as it travels throughout developing countries to train local medical teams. The plane has technologies such as 3-D filming and broadcast so participants can view live surgeries from the classroom.
The aircraft has contains more than 40 tons of medical equipmentârequiring 250,00 man hours to createâ17.6 miles of cables throughout, and 26 screens and monitors in nine module spaces.
"Our mission at Orbis is to bring the world together to fight blindness, as we believe that no one should go blind from conditions that are treatable or preventable," said Bob Ranck, president and chief executive officer, Orbis International. "The Flying Eye Hospital helps us do that. It is in equal parts a teacher, envoy and advocate. We harness this powerful tool for change to support long-term programs around the world."
The aircraft was originally donated by FedEx 6 years ago and had its christening launch at Los Angeles International Airport.
In the past 5 years, Orbis has facilitated the training of 10,000 physicians and 104,000 nurses. More than 11.6 million eye screenings and exams have been performed on the Flying Eye Hospital and at its Orbis partner hospitals.
The Flying Eye Hospital will have a short summer tour around the United Statesâstopping in New York, Washington, DC, Memphis, Dallas, and Sacramentoâwhere people will be able to tour the hospital. In September, it will embark on its inaugural program in Shenyang, China before going to Indonesia in November.
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