Formation of FOREA
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” ~ Harriet Tubman
In 2015 over a casual dinner, a group of orthoptists decided the time had come to create a Foundation whose purpose is to advance the orthoptic profession by fostering and supporting excellence in research and education. Orthoptics is a small, niche profession within the field of ophthalmology that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of childhood vision disorders, eye misalignments, disorders of binocular function, and anomalous eye movements. Because this profession is highly specialized and there is not a large number of certified orthoptists in the United States, educational scholarships and research grants that are numerous and accessible in the general medical community are not readily available to orthoptists. A viable Foundation offering educational scholarships and research grants whose beneficiaries are orthoptic students and certified orthoptists would potentially increase the number of orthoptists working in this country and encourage, increase, and improve clinical research performed by these two groups.
The idea was a perfect one yet the task of forming a Foundation from scratch seemed daunting. These big dreamers left the table and methodically began to put the wheels in motion to create the Foundation for Orthoptic Research and Education in the Americas (FOREA). In just a few short months and at remarkable speed, FOREA had assembled a group of Board members and acquired 501c3 status and incorporation.
The FOREA team is comprised of certified orthoptists, ophthalmologists, and community leaders who understand the value of the orthoptist in quality patient care. It is FOREA’s desire to cultivate an educational and research environment that will promote collaboration and forge positive relationships between orthoptic research centers around North America to better understand, prevent, and treat childhood vision disorders, eye misalignments, and debilitating double vision disorders.
To learn more about what an Orthoptist is, click here.