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Jennifer Staple-Clark, CEO of Unite for Sight, Named Recipient of 2013 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics

Staple-Clark honored for her extraordinary commitment to global health and her efforts in eliminating patient barriers to eye care


VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has announced the recipient of its seventh annual Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. Jennifer Staple-Clark, CEO of Unite for Sight, was selected for her extraordinary commitment to global health and her efforts in eliminating patient barriers to high-quality eye care. The Praxis Award highlights and celebrates the contributions of a professional or academic in the field of professional ethics. This year’s award will be presented April 4, at 5 p.m. in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center at Villanova University.

“We honor Jennifer Staple-Clark with the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics for her broad vision of what the common good demands for those who historically have been without stable access to healthcare, particularly care of the eye,” said Mark Doorley, PhD, Director of the Ethics Program and chair of the Praxis Selection Committee. “She identified a problem as a sophomore in college and did something about it, making sure from the very beginning that sustainability was kept at the forefront.”

After graduating from Yale University in 2003, Staple-Clark expanded upon her vision for Unite for Sight. The organization now supports high-quality eye care and eye clinics both domestically and worldwide by “investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care.” The programs are locally led and managed by ophthalmologists at Unite for Sight's partner eye clinics. Unite for Sight has over 1,000 volunteers who have spread into over 50 countries sharing knowledge on the importance of eye care.

“Unite for Sight commits itself to not only delivering urgent eye care to those who are suffering, but to making sure that there is ongoing basic eye care available to the populations they serve,” added Doorley. “In this way they seek to reduce the crises that emerge when preventative care is not available.”

Staple-Clark’s leadership and vision has evolved into a global health delivery organization that provides care to the world’s poorest people. Unite for Sight has provided eye care to over 1,100,000 people living in poverty, giving eye clinics in developing countries the chance to operate normally as a medical institution. Beyond the borders of the United States, Unite for Sight has merged with partners in Africa and Asia trying to help those communities in need as well. The organization reaches out to patients who cannot afford medical expenses or get access to a clinic. Unite for Sight works to provide transportation, hire additional staff for clinics, and train volunteers to be medically equipped.

For her efforts in promoting public health, Staple-Clark has received numerous honors including the American Institute of Public Service’s 2009 National Jefferson Award for Public Service – also known as a “Nobel Prize” for Public Service.

Recipients of the award have accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

  • excellence in fulfilling and embodying the ethical ideals of a profession;
  • excellence in connecting professional work to a broader understanding of the common good;
  • excellence in promoting and embodying ethical integrity in a professional field;
  • excellence with respect to research in the field of professional ethics;
  • excellence in terms of influence on the field of professional ethics through writing, teaching, consulting and/or professional leadership.

Click here for more information on the Praxis Award.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.  There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.