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BHVI divisions announce new leadership changes

The Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) has announced new appointments in the public health and science divisions of the organisation.

Optometrist and senior research fellow Mr Tim Fricke has been appointed acting executive director of the BHVI Foundation, which is the global non-profit public health arm of the BHVI. He temporarily replaces Ms Leigh Cleave who will take leave to travel for the next year.

According to BHVI, Fricke is “uniquely qualified for the complex role”, bringing experience in his role as a researcher and international development practitioner, as well as management and leadership positions in private, public and community health.

He comes to the position with extensive paediatrics clinical experience, as well as post-graduate research in paediatrics eyecare and health economics. His background also includes international research into the development of local systems and skills for eyecare in developing countries.

“I am a passionate advocate for sight being a fundamental right for everyone, regardless of where they live and BHVI is the world leader in ensuring this vision becomes a reality. It is an exciting time to be taking BHVI to the world,” he said.

Fricke’s appointment is the latest development involving BHVI Foundation, which has undergone significant change since maladministration concerns emerged in February. This later led to a raft of cost-cutting measures, as well as a merger with Optometry Giving Sight Australia, to rescue the foundation from insolvency.

In another new appointment, well-respected industry figure Dr Arthur Back will lead BHVI’s science arm, VisionCRC, as managing director.

Under the leadership of Back and Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, BHVI hopes to continue building an innovative R&D organisation. Established in 1991, VisionCRC has co-developed ophthalmic devices, including the Focus Night & Day contact lens with Alcon/CIBA Vision, which has generated more than $300 million in royalty income.

Ms Yvette Waddell, CEO of BHVI, said: “We are excited to have Dr Arthur Back join us. Dr Back invented more than 60 patents and commercialised 18 products while he was chief technology officer at CooperVision. Combined with the expertise of Professor Sankaridurg, a pioneer in the field of myopia research, we are at the forefront of our industry.”

BHVI will continue generating new revenue streams through its professional services business that provides myopia management and education programs, globally.