“I can never repay you. Thank you so much. I’m enjoying eyesight like I haven’t had since I was about nine-years-old. I’m so excited with this new lease on life. I can drive myself and handicapped parishioners to church again,” Leslie, an Operation Sight patient.
Operation Sight was launched by the ASCRS Foundation four years ago to meet the needs of American patients like Leslie. Through Operation Sight, the ASCRS Foundation has created a national network of volunteer ASCRS-member surgeons who give their time and expertise to treat needy cataract patients who have no other option. The program has seen an exponential growth in volume, with more than 3,000 free cataract surgeries provided to date.
This growth was reflected in the celebration of our 3rd Annual National Sight Week (October 14-20), when our surgeons, staff, and volunteers outdid themselves and treated 310 patients!
And this year, Operation Sight volunteer practices not only helped change lives in their local communities but also made the week-long celebration go viral. Practices shared a multitude of photos, messages, and even videos with the hashtags #NationalSightWeek, #GiveSight, and #OperationSight on social media channels. We are grateful for their help in spreading awareness not only about National Sight Week but of the ongoing Operation Sight program.
While the Operation Sight program runs year-round, the ASCRS Foundation began the National Sight Week initiative as a way to increase overall understanding of patient need and encourage surgeons to the join the growing volunteer network.
“The ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight initiative offers a solution for eligible American patients by enabling ASCRS member eye surgeons to perform charitable cataract surgeries in their own communities with support from the ASCRS Foundation. Together, we’re working to end preventable cataract blindness in the United States,” says Dr. Stephen Lane, MD, Domestic Initiatives, co-chair of the ASCRS Foundation.
The ASCRS Foundation provides the administrative support needed to identify and pre-qualify patients and then matches them with local volunteer surgeons. For some surgeons, a willingness to help has even extended beyond their communities. That’s what happened with Glen Campbell, MD from Advanced Vision Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Dr. Campbell joined the Operation Sight volunteer network in 2017 and found the program a perfect partner in his quest to help local patients. With the help of Operation Sight’s streamlined application and qualification process, Dr. Campbell and his practice have been able to improve the lives of many of Williamsburg’s most needy cataract patients. But for National Sight Week 2018, Dr. Campbell agreed to also treat out-of-state patients whom the ASCRS Foundation was struggling to match with surgeons.
“I was surprised to learn that these patients had no options in their home state to receive this much-needed care. One patient came from more than 5 ½ hours away in hopes of regaining his sight so that he could achieve the independence he had lost due to dense cataracts. Knowing we were able to help restore this patient’s sight and impact his life in such a positive way is the reason I believe doctors choose this challenging profession,” said Dr. Campbell.
We appreciate Dr. Campbell going above and beyond, and we would like to thank all the practices and organizations which participated in National Sight Week 2018 (*indicates first time volunteering for National Sight Week):
- *Advanced Vision Surgery Center-Williamsburg, VA
- Associated Eye Care- Stillwater, MN
- Beach Eye Care-Virginia Beach, VA
- *Cabarrus Eye Center-Concord, NC
- Cornerstone Charitable Clinic-Fort Worth, TX
- Dean McGee Eye Institute-Oklahoma City, OK
- Eye Institute of West Florida-Largo, FL
- *Eye Consultants of Atlanta-Atlanta, GA
- *Eye Surgeons of Nebraska-North Platte, NE
- Eyes on America-Buffalo, NY
- *Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare -Niagra Falls, NY
- *Florida Eye Clinic-Altamonte Springs, FL
- Gailey Eye Clinic-Bloomington, IL
- *Georgia Center for Sight-Athens, GA
- Houston Eye Associates-Houston, TX
- I Care San Antonio-San Antonio, TX
- Kansas University Eye Lions Club-Kansas City, KS
- *Kremer Eye Center-King of Prussia, PA
- *Levenson Eye Associates-Jacksonville, FL
- *Mid Florida Eye Center-Mt. Dora, FL
- Montgomery Eye Specialists-Montgomery, AL
- *Northwest Eye Specialists -Tucson, AZ
- Office Park Eye Center-Jacksonville, NC
- OneWorld Community Health Clinics-Omaha, NE
- Operation Access-San Francisco, CA
- Operation Sight - South Carolina-Mount Pleasant, SC
- Ophthalmology Consultants LTD-St. Louis, MO
- Palmetto Health USC-Columbia, SC
- *Shein Ernst Mishra Eye-Harrisburg, PA
- *Sheperd Eye Center-Las Vegas, NV
- St. Luke’s Eye Center-Tampa, FL
- Surgeons for Sight-Greenville, SC
- Surgery on Sunday-Lexington, KY
- Virginia Beach Eye Center-Virginia Beach, VA
- *Virginia Eye Institute -Richmond, VA
Each day you restore sight to grateful patients. An amazing feat, that sadly, is just out of reach for some in our communities. Please consider joining more than 350 of your peers and become an Operation Sight volunteer. We are especially in need of volunteers in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
“Operation Sight can bring individuals with limited resources hope. This surgery would be life-changing and would provide me the opportunity to remain in the workforce,” said an Operation Sight patient awaiting surgery.
If volunteering is not an option, you can still extend your impact as a sight giver – beyond your practice – with a gift to the ASCRS Foundation. For example, your gift of $250 before the end of the year is all that’s needed to provide an Operation Sight surgery in 2019 to one of the 100 patients on our waiting list.
Give Sight: www.ascrsfoundation.org/donate