Celebrating a deep bond with Greenwich

More than 40 years ago, Greenwich residents—including the late Tom Knight, Betsy Trippe Wainwright, and Al Ueltschi—and Dr. David Paton began meeting to launch a plane-based hospital that could reach all corners of the world, delivering cutting-edge training to eye doctors in underserved communities. From this, Orbis International was born.

To renew, expand, and celebrate the relationship between Orbis and Greenwich, members of the community were invited to a gathering on Thursday, May 9, at the Round Hill Club. The event was co-hosted by Langdon and Lyn Cook, Jim and Alison Knight, & Bizzie and Leighton Welch. In total, more than 75 Greenwich residents came to the event to learn about our work to help improve eye care around the world.

Orbis International at Round Hill Club in Greenwich - May 9, 2024

Scroll through this flickr gallery to see photos of the event.

Today, while the Flying Eye Hospital continues to be a key part of our work, with trips to Bangladesh and Mongolia scheduled this year, we have expanded beyond the plane in its journey to build a world where everyone can access the eye care they need to thrive. In 2022 alone, our staff, partners and volunteers conducted more than 2.5 million eye screenings and exams, performed 55,600 eye surgeries and laser treatments, supported hundreds of health facilities, led the completion of more than 30,000 trainings by eye care professionals and health workers, and expanded the organization’s digital training platform to reach more than 76,000 eye care professionals in over 200 countries and territories.

We are now a leading global nonprofit, though still with close ties to the Greenwich community. We build strong and sustainable eye care systems for people in need around the world, with a goal of eliminating avoidable blindness and vision loss. Not even the original Greenwich residents dreaming up the idea of Orbis could have foreseen the largescale, life-transforming achievements of the organization—all thanks to the continued support of our friends in Greenwich and around the world.

Learn more about the Orbis history

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Speakers at the event included Lang Cook, Orbis Board Member Emeritus, Jim Knight, Orbis Board Member and the son of the late Tom Knight, one of the original Orbis founders, Derek Hodkey, President and CEO of Orbis, and Dr. Hunter Cherwek, Orbis Vice President of Clinical Services and Technologies.

A big thanks to all those who attended, you are an integral part of the Orbis story and we look forward to transforming lives together for years to come.

Join us in continuing Greenwich's Orbis legacy by donating to provide essential eye care worldwide.


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