Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 - The IDEAS Initiative

The IDEAS Van, Australia’s first mobile Ophthalmic treatment facility to combat avoidable blindness in remote and vulnerable Australian communities, has joined forces with St John Ambulance Queensland. St John will continue to provide state of the art outpatient ophthalmic facilities to Queensland's most vulnerable communities, and to other regions across Australia.

Lyndall De Marco, The IDEAS Van founding CEO, said, “The last eight years have been spent refining operations of our mobile outpatient facility, the first of its kind in Australia. It has been an extraordinary journey, with over 7,000 patients treated, mostly complex cases receiving their specialist services by our world-class ophthalmologists, completely bulk-billed to Medicare with 'no out of pocket expenses'. Patients have been treated in Victorian and Queensland communities, close to home and in collaboration with Emerald and Gladstone Hospitals which have utilised The IDEAS Van to conduct their ophthalmic outpatients’ clinics since 2019.

"For decades St John Ambulance, a charitable, non-profit, humanitarian organisation, has helped save countless lives and address isolation and disadvantage in our community. It is the perfect new home for The IDEAS Van to continue its celebrated work and extend its outreach program to regional areas.”

Stephen Porter, CEO St John Queensland, said, “We are delighted for the opportunity to build on the success of The IDEAS Van which has developed an extraordinary partnership with the medical, corporate and public sectors. St John Ambulance is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all those in regional areas, with a renewed focus on resilience, wellbeing and community. This outstanding facility will make it possible for more ophthalmologists to bring their expertise to people that are marginalised due to the tyranny of distance and access. It will enable Australia’s most vulnerable communities to address the issue of avoidable blindness.”

Background:

The IDEAS Van facility was founded in 2013 with a grant from Queensland Health. The 19 metre, 3 room, fully equipped ophthalmic treatment facility has travelled throughout Queensland and Victoria to facilitate the delivery of bulk-billed treatment through visiting and local Ophthalmologists and Optometrists.

St John Australia has been active for more than 130 years and internationally is part of a global organisation with a long and honourable history. One of the pillars of this international organisation is Ophthalmology. St John established the world's first eye hospital in Jerusalem in 1882, which still operates today.

Media enquiries:

Lyndall De Marco Mobile: 0403 319 914, email: [email protected]

Request for high resolution or further images: 0421 946 637 email: [email protected]

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https://player.vimeo.com/video/541898670

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The IDEAS Initiative


Reducing preventable blindness by bringing world-class mobile ophthalmic facilities to rural and remote communities.


Lyndall De Marco
M: 0403 319 914
W: www.ideasvan.org

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The IDEAS Van, Australia’s first mobile Ophthalmic treatment facility to combat avoidable blindness in remote and vulnerable Australian communities has joined forces with St John Ambulance Queensland. St John will continue to provide state of the art o

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