Friday, November 4, 2016

Orbis the Flying Eye Hospital lands at Long Beach Airport

(Photo by Michael Carter)

The International eye care non-profit pays tribute to the city that made the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

Orbis, the international nonprofit that fights blindness around the world will be displaying its retired Flying Eye Hospital this Saturday November 5, 2016 for the Long Beach Airport’s Festival of Flight celebration. The second McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft ever made in Long Beach will be returning to its birthplace for what will be a historic event. This aircrafts first flight was in Long Beach in 1971 and its last flight will be departing Long Beach for its hard earned spot at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, AZ.

In 1994, Orbis began flying its DC-10 after retiring their DC-8 aircraft. The DC-10 was in service for Orbis until June of this year when the new flagship, the MD-10 was put into service.

The Long Beach Airport Festival of Flight offers people the opportunity to experience the plane, to learn about Orbis and to find out about how they, too, can be a part of this global health effort.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is the result of a unique and lasting alliance forged
between the medical and aviation industries. This airborne eye hospital makes it
possible for Orbis to relocate an ophthalmic teaching facility to airports throughout the developing world.

The Orbis medical team provides hands-on training to local eye care
professionals and conveys the latest medical knowledge to treat patients and restore sight. On the outside, the plane is like most other aircraft. Inside, however, it is like no other aircraft in the world.

More than 285 million people are visually impaired, and 4 out of 5 suffer from
preventable conditions. Ninety percent of these people live in developing countries where they cannot access sight-saving treatments that many take for granted in the USA. For more than 30 years, Orbis has helped countries build the skills and resources they need to prioritize and deliver quality eye care to their local communities.

Their team of over 400 expert medical volunteers, from 30 countries, accomplishes this by training local medical teams both in their hospitals and on the Flying Eye Hospital, emphasizing quality and safety standards for patient care.

“Our mission at Orbis is to bring the world together to fight blindness, as we believe that no one should go blind from conditions that are treatable or preventable,” said Bob Ranck, President & CEO, Orbis International. “The Flying Eye Hospital helps us do that.

It is in equal parts teacher, envoy and advocate. We harness this powerful tool for change to support long-term programs around the world.”

In the past five years alone, from 2011-2015, the Orbis work has facilitated 10,000 trainings of doctors, 104,000 trainings of nurses, biomedical engineers and other health care workers, and 11.6 million screenings and eye exams either on the Flying Eye Hospital or at Orbis in-country partner hospitals.

The Long Beach Airport Festival of Flight offers people the opportunity to experience the plane, to learn about Orbis and to find out about how they, too, can be a part of this global health effort.


Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of blindness for over 30 years. 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.

To learn more about Orbis and to get involved, please visit and follow the organization’s work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

(Orbis Press Release)

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