A Medical Device Daily

Orbis International (New York) has received a $5 million grant from American International Group (AIG) to ensure the growth of its long-term blindness prevention programs in the developing world. The funding will be used to expand the organization's work in Vietnam, China, India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Latin America.

"Because the fight against avoidable blindness requires comprehensive long-term solutions, ORBIS implements ongoing country programs in order to build sustainable eye care infrastructure and services. These programs address not just the quality of eye care, but the full spectrum of what is needed to connect patients to care. Our partnership with AIG is what makes our work possible," said Geoffrey Holland, Orbis International executive director.

The World Health Organization (Geneva) currently estimates that nearly 37 million people worldwide are blind and an additional 124 million have vision so poor that normal life is impossible. Yet an estimated 75% of those suffering don't have to be blind. At each stage of Orbis' development, the company has said AIG has contributed substantially to its growth and success, whether early on with the Flying Eye Hospital (a fully equipped state-of-the-art surgical and training facility housed inside a specially converted DC-10 aircraft) or over the last decade as Orbis's launched country programs in Asia and Africa. Today, AIG is the leading corporate supporter of Orbis country programs in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Vietnam and Latin America.

This latest contribution from AIG runs from October 2007 through September 2012. Initially, the grant will be devoted to combating blindness by providing sustainable eye care services in China, India and Vietnam. Projects will address the practical, systemic challenges facing service providers, such as improving rural services in Vietnam, developing pediatric ophthalmology centers in India and fostering affordable rural eye care services in western China. AIG's investment will enable Orbis to bring further surgical or medical treatment to patients in areas of greatest need and enhance the skills of local doctors and medical professionals to better care for their communities.

The Orbis Alliance for Sight brings together the power of corporate sponsors who make continuing commitments to Orbis's mission. Their contributions range from major multi-year cash grants to critically needed gifts-in-kind for medical training programs and the Flying Eye Hospital.

The partnership announcement was initially launched at the Orbis 25th Anniversary celebration in New York on March 1. Orbis International is a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide.

In contract offerings:

• Eclipsys (Boca Raton, Florida) reported it has signed a new contract with the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). The agreement consists of an extension of the current agreement to provide high-acuity clinical information solutions as well as additional solutions, including Sunrise Pharmacy, Knowledge-Based Medication Administration, Knowledge-Based Charting, and Zynx Health's evidence-based order sets.

The new contract supports UPHS' objective to create an electronic longitudinal medical record for each patient accessing the health system. This electronic record will facilitate improved patient care, more accurate outcomes reporting and serve as a foundation for the development of an institutional data repository to allow UPHS researchers easy access to all patient data.

To help reduce medication errors, UPHS will add Sunrise Pharmacy and Knowledge-Based Medication Administration to its existing implementation of Eclipsys' Knowledge-Based CPOE system. The health system will then have automated end-to-end medication management workflows, including physicians as they place orders, pharmacists as they dispense orders and nurses as they administer medications.

The new contract also includes Eclipsys' evidence-based content and Zynx Health's evidence-based order sets to help UPHS standardize on proven care delivery processes across its inpatient facilities, which includes the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

UPHS will also engage Eclipsys professional services to help make sure all new implementations are delivered on-time and on-budget and to help the health system achieve high adoption rates for all Eclipsys solutions.

Eclipsys is a provider of integrated clinical, revenue cycle and access management software, clinical content and professional services that are designed to help healthcare organizations improve clinical, financial, operational and customer-satisfaction outcomes.

• SRA International (Fairfax, Virginia) has reported being awarded a $38.9 million contract to provide information technology services to support Web development and applications at The National Institutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland), and the Center for Information Technology (CIT, Bethesda Maryland). The task order, awarded under the General Services Administration Federal Supply Schedule, has a total value of $38.9 million over five years if all options are exercised.

Since 1999, SRA has provided a full range of technical services for multiple mission-critical applications at the NIH CIT Division of Enterprise and Custom Applications. Under this new contract, SRA will continue to deliver project management; systems analysis, engineering, and planning; database design and development; software development; and Web development services for NIH applications and Web sites.

SRA is a provider of technology and strategic consulting services and solutions.