The Ohio State University
Submissions for posters and oral presentations are due in the online submission system by no later than June 20 for the August meeting.
The meeting will include panels of international and national biomedical informatics experts, including Drs. Peter Embi (OSU), Steffen Hartel (Uni Chile), Fernando Plazzotta (Hosp. Ital. Buenos Aires), and Daniel Capurro (Uni Catol. de Chile), who will discuss the development of the medical informatics discipline in the country of Chile, focusing on biomedical informatics education.
There will be master classes also given by two international guests, Drs. Philip Payne (OSU) and Daniel Janies (UNCC), who will discuss the latest advances in the biomedical informatics discipline.
Registration is currently open for the meeting. For further information, please visit the symposium website: http://www.ischile2015.com.
As Philip Vanik, MD ’60, approached retirement in
1997, thoughts of travel and playing rounds of golf swirled through his mind.
But then he received a phone call from a College of Medicine classmate, and his
plans for a life of nothing but leisure would have to slow down a little.
Tom Bates, MD ’60, an ophthalmologist from
Florida, suggested that his former college roommate join him in volunteering
for Vision Health International (VHI), a nonprofit organization that provides
medical, surgical and educational services free of charge to underserved populations
in Latin America and South America.
VHI, which recruits ophthalmologists,
optometrists, registered nurses and clinic personnel for biennial one-week
field programs, was in need of an anesthesiologist. Since 1985, VHI has
performed more than 5,000 sight-restoring and life-altering surgeries, such as
the removal of cataracts and the treatment of strabismus, and handed out tens
of thousands of eyeglasses.
As an anesthesiologist, Dr. Vanik mainly worked
at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where dozens of operations for
strabismus are performed a week. The common procedure is done at hospitals
across the nation, so very few people in the United States have crossed eyes.
“Tom asked if I wanted to come along,” says Dr.
Vanik, who was 63 at the time. “I only had one year before retirement, so I
said OK. I asked if my wife, Jean, could come along, too, and he said ‘of
Over a period of 11 years, Dr. Vanik and Jean, a
former nurse, had gone on 22 mission trips to such places at the Dominican
Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru.
"I always laughed when one of my friends would
ask if I took my golf clubs because he’d heard that there were very nice golf
courses wherever we were,” says Dr. Vanik, of Dublin, Ohio. “But, we had no
time for play – just work, eat, sleep.”
“Some people were totally blind and would never
have seen again without VHI,” Dr. Vanik
explains. “Children with crossed eyes were shunned. As adults they couldn’t
hold a job or get married. They essentially were shut in their homes. You can’t
imagine the look on the parents’ faces when they saw their children with
straight eyes. Their whole world changed.”
The Vanik’s first trip with VHI was to the
Dominican Republic, a Spanish-speaking nation in the Caribbean where economic
disparities are vast.
“We were bussed two hours away from the city,
where there was no ophthalmologist and where people were too poor to get to the
big city,” he recalls. “We arrived Saturday and set up our equipment Sunday.
People were already gathering in line around the hospital. Some had been there
three or four days before being seen. It was the same scenario wherever we
The VHI team is first invited by the host
country. “The city has to have a hospital with clinical space and three operating
rooms for us to work."
Vanik was impressed by the efficiency of work.
“The crew worked long hours very well together. We made very good friends. I
think that’s what happens when you work for a cause.”
Dr. Vanik says he found the trips rewarding
because he knew he and others were making an impact on people’s lives.
The Vaniks are fully retired now, spending time
between going to the movies, socializing at the recreation center and playing
rounds of golf.
In hindsight, he realizes that mission work never
felt like “work.”
“I’m only sorry I didn’t start it sooner,” Dr.