March 21, 2016 - HelpMeSee, the global campaign to end cataract blindness, announces the appointment of Gerry McRae as Chief Operating Officer. A veteran of the aviation industry, Gerry served most recently as Executive Director of Business Development at FlightSafety International, the world’s foremost aviation training company and the leading provider of simulation-based training for pilots.
"Gerry’s experience in simulation-based training and business development in aviation is fundamental to the success of HelpMeSee as a sustainable effort to train highly proficient cataract surgeons worldwide," said Jacob Mohan Thazhathu, President & CEO of HelpMeSee.
"Gerry is a terrific addition to the senior management of HelpMeSee,” added James Tyler Ueltschi, HelpMeSee’s Co-Founder & Chairman. “His extensive experience and knowledge in both training and business development is exactly what we need to accomplish our goal of training tens of thousands of specialists to end cataract blindness in the developing world."
In his twenty years at FlightSafety International, Gerry worked extensively with simulation-based training systems and led initiatives across the Middle East, South America, India and China. His previous roles at FlightSafety included Director of Project Management and Planning, Center Manager for the Toronto Learning Center and Deputy Head of Training. He holds a Master’s degree from Lancaster University in Engineering Project Management and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Ryerson University.
As COO, Gerry’s responsibilities will extend across HelpMeSee’s strategic and tactical initiatives in training, simulation technology and business development. He will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer, the executive leadership and the Board. Based in North America, he will be working extensively with HelpMeSee’s offices and partners in India, China, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
HelpMeSee is the global campaign to end cataract blindness, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. The campaign has developed a virtual reality surgical simulator and training program to be implemented worldwide, adapted from extensive experience in simulator-based aviation training. Live testing of the training program began in early 2016.
Through this technology, HelpMeSee intends to dramatically scale training of cataract surgeons in developing countries to increase access to sight-restoring care for tens of millions of people who remain needlessly blind. Since 2012, the campaign has supported over 244,000 surgeries through 242 partnerships across India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Madagascar, Togo, Sierra Leone, Peru and The Gambia.