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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Sunday, September 30, 2012

Randal E. Avolio Joins SEE International

Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International announces the selection of their new President and CEO, Randal E. Avolio.


SEE International is a 38-year old local non-profit organization dedicated to restoring sight and preventing blindness among disadvantaged individuals worldwide.

Avolio comes to SEE International after six years as COO at Bend Memorial Clinic (BMC), the largest multispecialty clinic in central Oregon. At BMC, Avolio was responsible for a $70M budget, 400 employees and 100 providers across more than 30 medical specialties. Avolio’s background also includes Administrative Director and Management positions at world class facilities such as Cedars–Sinai, USC and UCLA, Orthopedic Hospital, where he spent an aggregate 25 years. His track record of success demonstrates an ability to lead departments and organizations to achieve high levels of success through a collaborative approach, creating effective, lasting coalitions and partnerships.

Avolio’s position at SEE International offers him the opportunity to move back to the beautiful Santa Barbara area where he has well-established family ties. He welcomes the opportunity to spend more time with family and to immerse himself in what the area has to offer.

“The Santa Barbara area is unique in that it offers a high level of sophistication and access to a cultural wealth while maintaining a small town feel,” said Avolio. “I feel fortunate to be able to work with this important organization and look forward to utilizing my organizational and networking skills to maximize the effectiveness of SEE International in delivering their critical services to those most in need.” Avolio is excited to have the opportunity to bring his expertise in organizational growth and fiscal efficiency to this valuable and important organization.

Dr. Harry Brown founded SEE International in Santa Barbara in 1974 after working with eye surgeons in Africa and Asia and experiencing the excitement of providing sight-restoring surgery to those with little access and great need. He realized the need for an efficient and sustained link between volunteer professionals and persons with curable blindness throughout the developing world. To date, SEE International, through its coalition of volunteer eye surgeons, has provided the gift of restored sight to more than 400,000 individuals worldwide. SEE International has recently launched a diabetic retinopathy program to address the increasing epidemic of loss of sight due to Diabetes mellitus. The World Health Organization reports that currently 170 million persons worldwide are affected by visual impairment from Diabetes mellitus and estimates that this number will more than double by 2030. SEE is answering the call to address this global health issue by establishing clinics in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean to prevent further vision loss and blindness in patients with Diabetes.

SEE also provides assistance to those in the Santa Barbara area through its Santa Barbara Vision Care Program - generously facilitated by the Santa Barbara Eyeglass factory - offering free vision screenings comprehensive eye exams by George Primbs, MD, FACS and hundreds of free eye glasses, through a collaborative partnership with the Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory, at no cost to patients who have no other means of accessing vision care. Over 51,000 patients have received free eye care under this local program. This program also makes much needed eye surgeries available at no cost to local individuals in need, thanks to generous local ophthalmologists such as Michael Paveloff, MD, Dante Pieramici, MD, Doug Katsev, MD, Mark Silverberg, MD, Toni Meyers, MD, Stuart Winthrop, MD and Steven Zelko, MD.

About SEE International

Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization that provides medical, surgical, and educational services by volunteer ophthalmic surgeons with the primary objective of restoring sight to disadvantaged blind individuals worldwide. seeintl.org.

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