Associate Director Victoria Jordan Celebrates 20 Years at the Lighthouse
In a job market where professional transience is the norm, Victoria “Tory” Jordan’s longevity and devotion are as rare and wonderful as individuals like her.
Last week, Tory celebrated 20 years of service to the Lighthouse. In that time, she has welcomed and mentored dozens of staff members, helped thousands of patients get the sight-restoring treatment they need to regain their independence, and tirelessly served the Lighthouse’s mission with all her heart.
Tory began her career at the Lighthouse as a part-time coordinator for Operation I Care, a program that provided eyeglasses for Georgia residents and prepared recycled eyeglasses for mission trips abroad. She also oversaw volunteer scheduling and, as years went by, gained the wealth of knowledge and built the innumerable relationships that help make her one of the Lighthouse’s most valuable resources.
Tory credits her university studies’ emphasis on visual impairment with helping her prepare for a career with the Lighthouse, where technical know-how are just as important as empathy and compassion for the patients she serves. Today both an associate director and the head of eye surgery, she regularly interacts with patients for whom the Lighthouse is the final option for sight-saving surgical measures.
It’s both challenging and rewarding, Tory says. “[T]he surgery program is one of the most needed services in the state, [especially for] individuals who have nowhere else to turn,” she reflected during the 20-year celebration last week. “But providing surgery depends on funding sources” – a stumbling block she encounters regularly as the Lighthouse vies with other worthy medical nonprofits for grants and financial assistance. It’s not easy to tell patients “No” or even “Not right now,” but Tory’s faith in the Lighthouse’s mission and the patients whose sight is saved make the difficult days worth it.
“After cataract surgery, clients … can read and are able to drive,” she says. “Others state that after surgery, they can ‘see their grandchildren’s faces’, while the rest say that being able to take care of their family makes all the difference.”
Tory has no plans to interrupt her service to the visually impaired or to the Lighthouse. She knows that the need for eye care among low-income and uninsured Georgians is only increasing and hopes to spend many more years here.