Orbis Flying Eye Hospital to Make Inaugural Landing At SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo

For Immediate Release
January 13, 2020

Lakeland, Florida: The world’s only flying ophthalmic teaching hospital makes its inaugural landing in Lakeland, FL at the 46th annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo taking place March 31st – April 5th, 2020. Orbis International’s Flying Eye Hospital is an MD-10 aircraft that travels the world providing first-rate surgical services to those in need as well as ophthalmology training, presentations, and live surgical demonstrations to eye care professionals in low- and middle-income countries.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical teaching facility complete with an operating room, classroom and recovery room. This third-generation Flying Eye Hospital allows world-leading medical volunteers to travel far and wide sharing their knowledge with and developing the skills of hard-to-reach communities that need it most. Orbis’s telemedicine platform, Cybersight, expands its reach even further.

“SUN ‘n FUN is honored that Orbis has chosen our event to showcase its adaption of medical technology with aviation. To inspire individuals to pursue the limitless aerospace career options that are in high demand today is the mission of the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, the premiere fundraising event for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). Having this aircraft onsite and accessible throughout our event to the general public is a unique opportunity and one that will be showcased as part of our STEM-focused activities”, says John “Lites” Leenhouts, President and CEO of ACE.

orbis_operating_roomThe Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) and Orbis share a core belief that positive actions taken today impact the future. ACE’s aerospace education programs and scholarships are addressing the ever-increasing demand for aerospace professionals. Orbis is addressing avoidable blindness and visual impairment. One third of the world’s population has a vision impairment or blindness, and in nearly half of these cases, the condition could be prevented or treated, but a lack of access to quality eye care stands in the way.

“We are thrilled that attendees at SUN ‘n FUN will have the opportunity to see our one-of-a-kind Flying Eye Hospital and learn about its role in our mission to end avoidable blindness around the world,” said Bob Ranck, President and CEO of Orbis International. “By bringing together aviation and ophthalmology, Orbis has been training eye care teams in low- and middle-income countries to save and restore sight in their communities for nearly four decades.”

The 46th annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is the world’s 2nd-largest event of its kind. The Fly-In activities include daily airshows, two night airshows, a tradeshow, career fair, workshops, forums, and many family activities. Attendance reached a new record last year of over 225,000 from 80 countries over a 6-day period. The “Experience Flight in 2020” theme will highlight over 60 airshow performers, hundreds of static displays, plus signature flight demonstrations by the USAF Thunderbirds and the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team. Other highlights include the 75th Anniversary of the Pitts aircraft, commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII, a drone show, and much more.

About SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, Inc.:
SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. Year-round events, including the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, which is one of the world’s largest aviation events, raise funds for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). The SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In annually raises funding for ACE, enabling the delivery of STEM-related and aerospace education programs to over 50,000 youth annually. For more information, flysnf.org.

About Aerospace Center for Excellence, Inc.:
The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges. Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo fundraising event as well as the Florida Air Museum, which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 50,000 students a year. For more information, ACEedu.aero.

About Orbis International:
Orbis is a leading global nonprofit 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. Working in collaboration with local partners, including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight. To learn more, please visit orbis.org.

Carol Cali
Director of Marketing
Aerospace Center for Excellence
Home of the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo

Kristin Taylor
Associate Director, Global Communications and Marketing
Orbis International

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