Naomi Meltzer is the 2014 winner of the Valda Knight Memorial Scholarship (VKMS). Naomi is the only Optometrist specialising in Low Vision in New Zealand. Through her application, she expressed an interest in gaining experience as an observer at the Low Vision Clinic at Hadassah and the Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic, as well as other Low Vision Clinics in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. She is particularly interested in studying techniques of rehabilitation of stroke patients and those with traumatic brain injury. Hadassah Hospital is perceived to be a leading authority in the area of rehabilitation.

Naomi’s objective is to gain experience to benefit not only her own clients but also to share her Hadassah learnings for the advancement of Low Vision services throughout New Zealand. She plans to travel to Israel in September 2015.

Established in memory of Valda Knight who was President of Hadassah International New Zealand from 1996 until 2007, the purpose of the VKMS is to provide New Zealand health sector workers with an opportunity for professional development and comparative study at one of the world’s leading research and teaching hospitals. On their return, scholarship recipients are required to promote their learnings internally with their profession and the wider medical community, as well as to the New Zealand Jewish community and wider public, where possible.

The applications for the VKMS were assessed according to a variety of criteria by a committee comprising Dr David Hoadley (General Practitioner), Dr Bernie Brenner (Gynaecologist and Urogynaecologist), Lindy Davis (representing the Knight family) and Tanya Hart (chair, VKMS sub- committee).