Flying eye hospital takes off.

The World's Only Flying Eye Hospital is Coming to Canada

May 2019

From May 31 to June 11, the one-of-a-kind Orbis Flying Eye Hospital will visit Canada for an awareness-building tour, making stops in Ottawa from May 31 – June 3 and Toronto from June 9 – 11.

The Flying Eye Hospital is our state-of-the-art, surgical training hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft. Since 1982, the Flying Eye Hospital has been a call to action for better eye care around the world. Wherever it lands, it raises awareness, creates change and rallies supporters – local governments, health ministries, non-profit organizations, philanthropists, and the general public – to join us in our mission.

This visit is a once-in-a-decade opportunity for us to showcase this innovative, high-tech aircraft to our Canadian donors, partners and supporters who help make our mission possible.

The visit will coincide with our annual fundraising event, Plane Pull for Sight, in Toronto on Sunday, June 9. This signature fundraiser brings together teams from across the city to work together to pull a 65-ton FedEx 757 cargo plane along a 20-foot course. Plane Pull events will also take place in Calgary (June 22) and Vancouver (July 7). With the support of National Event Sponsor, FedEx Canada, and its team members, the event has raised more than $1.2M over the last 10 years to support our teaching, training and sight-saving work around the world.

A FedEx Canada team all pulling together at last year's Plane Pull for Sight in Calgary

Bringing the Flying Eye Hospital to Canada also provides the chance to highlight and celebrate our incredible Canadian Volunteer Faculty who play a critical role in maintaining Canada’s longstanding contribution to saving sight around the world. Comprised of world-leading experts in eye health, these volunteer ophthalmologists, nurses, anesthesiologists and biomedical engineers share their skills and expertise with local medical teams on board the Flying Eye Hospital, through our in-country Hospital Based Training programs and long-term projects, as well as remotely through Cybersight.

Canadian healthcare providers play an enormous role in the success of the Flying Eye Hospital and the work Orbis does to train and support eye care professionals worldwide. To have the chance to celebrate their work and see dozens of teams come together to raise funds to help continue these important programs makes this Canadian stop for the Flying Eye Hospital incredibly powerful.

Lisa McKeen

CEO, Orbis Canada

Dr. Brian Leonard from Ottawa is the longest-serving Volunteer Faculty member in Orbis history

In addition to celebrating our homegrown Volunteer Faculty, the Flying Eye Hospital's rare visit to Canada provides a unique opportunity to recognize and thank our amazing partners who make our work possible.

The MD-10 aircraft that ultimately became our third-generation Flying Eye Hospital was generously donated by FedEx. FedEx is the lead aviation sponsor of the Flying Eye Hospital and a global supporter of Orbis.

In Canada, FedEx is the National Event Sponsor of Plane Pull for Sight, and a proud supporter of the Flying Eye Hospital visits to Ottawa and Toronto.

While the Flying Eye Hospital is not open to the public on this visit, teams that fundraise more than $10,000 at the Orbis Plane Pull for Sight event in Toronto will receive a tour of the Flying Eye Hospital. Accredited media are also welcome to request a tour.