In July 2017, the Fund approved a four-year grant of $679,116 to Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) to establish a scalable, replicable training model for Allied Ophthalmic Professionals (AOPs), in order to increase the volume, efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability of eye care in the region’s high-need areas.
The AOP program has had an outsized effect on the efficiency and volume of surgical and other eye care activities as well as on Dr. Shroff’s operations overall. AOPs are now central to the organization. They provide the backbone of ophthalmic service delivery, play a vital role in coordinating and managing patient workflows, act as a bridge between the organization’s surgeons and patients, and constitute 70-80% of the total workforce in the region’s secondary eye care centers. The impact on the lives of the young women trained in the program, their families, and society has been life-changing. Through the production of 339 new ophthalmic technicians, 272 new vision technicians, 114 patient educators, and 186 medical record assistants, the project has transformed the availability of eye care for the region’s visually impaired population. The Lavelle Fund renewed its support for the program in 2023.