Preventing Blindness, Saving Lives

A Conversation with Dr. Alfred Sommer

At a Glance: 

On Monday, March 16, 2015, Helen Keller International presented Dr. Alfred Sommer, Dean Emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, in an informative presentation about the history and impact of Vitamin A Supplementation as an important blindness and malnutrition intervention. 

As part of our 100th Anniversary Celebration, Helen Keller International hosted an informative and insightful presentation on the history and impact of Vitamin A Supplementation as an important blindness and malnutrition intervention, as well as some insight on the causes, treatment and prevention of other blinding conditions that continue to plague the developing world. The presentation was led by Dr. Alfred Sommer, Dean Emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

The presentation took place on March 16, 2015, at the Lighthouse Guild in New York City, with nearly 100 supporters attending and many participating in a lively Q&A session following Dr. Sommer's remarks. 

Dr. Sommer has been involved with Helen Keller International for more than four decades, starting as an advisor in 1973 when we shifted our focus from treatment of blindness to prevention.  He conducted studies with us in El Salvador and Haiti, and then worked with our team in Indonesia from 1976 to 1979, running a vitamin A/xerophthalmia research project funded by USAID.  After that, he served as a part-time Medical Advisor for ten more years. Dr. Sommer was awarded HKI’s Spirit of Helen Keller Award in 2006 and continues to be a highly valued friend and advisor. 

View photos from the event here and some of the presentation slides below.