Flying Eye Hospital
By way of introduction, Orbis International is “A leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care.”
As president of Virtual Training Associates, and as a father and grandfather, I applaud their mission. However, what interests me about the organization is how they go about their mission.
If Virtual Training Can Heal…
Orbis International has partnered with a for-profit eye-care organization, Alcon to launch a virtual “Flying Eye Hospital.” The eye hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft literally travels the world to teach ophthalmologists about diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP.
The Flying Eye Hospital flies into countries and virtually teaches (according to a August 26, 2021 press release) “ophthalmologists, neonatologists, pediatricians, nurses, low-vision specialists and others to grow their skills to detect and treat ROP while working together as a cohesive team.”
The training on the disease will be in Spanish and includes panel discussions and lectures by experts. South America apparently has a high demand for knowledge on this topic due to its prevalence (ROP’s) on premature births and infants. Alcon has generously supported this effort and they are now the official sponsor of the Orbis International.
Internationally, fraud and scandal have plagued for-profits and nonprofits alike. Industries (and organizations) that have been badly affected by bribery scandals within the past year have included automotive, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, banking and airlines, and not all that long ago, entertainment, banking, utilities, and the U.S. Government itself.
The fine partnership between Orbis International and Alcon to help in the identification, treatment, and hopefully, the eradication of eye disease is showing success, why not international partnerships to eradicate issues such as bribery, fraud, gender harassment and similar issues?
If virtual partnerships can be created to help cure disease, why couldn’t partnerships be forged to help address unethical workplace and organizational behaviors? Further, I believe that virtual ethical training conducted on an international basis, even through translation can indirectly save lives.
If I examine the amount of money that is annually wasted, internationally on just healthcare fraud, literally billions of dollars, I can’t but help think of all of the disease that wasn’t treated because some jokers were engaged in bribery, skimming, manufacturing or insurance fraud. It is, of course, criminal as well as unethical.
But what is being done about the prevention of such fraud? Other than somewhat half-hearted HR efforts and a termination here or there, the messaging is not getting to the source of unethical behavior. If, for example, an internationally-based non-profit association of pharmaceutical executives understands the destructive nature of bribery, insurance fraud or manufacturing irregularities and does nothing about it, are they not complicit?
That is why Virtual Training Associates (VTA) endorses an international outreach to organizations (in their language of choice) to reinforce a code of ethics. Virtual ethical training can literally be set up in a country, complete with expert translation, a panel and an ethics series.
Can’t be done? Of course, it can. VTA is pleased to show your association or organization how it could be done. Fraud, globally, is a trillion-dollar annual disease. Why not combat it by thinking big?
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