Practice administrators play a vital role in Operation Sight’s success. While Operation Sight certainly benefits from the hundreds of dedicated volunteer surgeons who’ve performed thousands of free surgeries, it’s the practice administrators who’ve been most instrumental in organizing these surgeries.
Deborah Davis, a practice administrator at Atwal Eye Care in Buffalo, New York is a part of a practice that’s been giving back to the community through charitable eye care long before joining the Operation Sight network. In 2009 Dr. Kenneth Anthone founded the Eyes on America Foundation, a nonprofit focused on providing charitable eyecare in Western New York. When Dr. Anthone joined Atwal Eye Care in 2015, the practice was inspired by his work and joined the effort.
Eyes on America become part of the Operation Sight network in 2016 and moved their annual surgery day to coincide with the yearly National Sight Week initiative.
Practice Administrator Deborah Davis shared her experience and tips with the ASCRS Foundation.
Foundation Staff (FS): What is your role with Operation Sight at your practice?
Deborah Davis (DD): I am on the board of Eyes on America Foundation. During our yearly “Cataract Mission Day”, done in conjunction with the ASCRS’ Foundation’s National Sight Week, I assist in coordinating patients through the clinic for their cataract testing, surgery, and post op care.
FS: What advice would you give to an administrator who is looking to get their practice involved with Operation Sight?
DD: Participating in charity work has been extremely rewarding for me and our entire practice. Most of these patients have mature cataracts and their lives have been impacted by the loss of vision. Taking the bus, driving, working and cooking are all difficult, if not impossible, tasks. There are many tears of joy shed by the families, staff, and patients after surgery, knowing they will be able to return to their livelihood and independence. We are so proud to be a part of this wonderful foundation.
FS: Is there a specific patient story that resonates with you?
DD: One of the stories that resonates with me is a patient that was fired from his job as a cook because he could no longer read the orders and therefore, was making a lot of mistakes. He did not have any health insurance and was desperate to get back to work to provide for his family. We performed bilateral cataract surgery on this patient, and he was 20/20 at his 1-day post-operative visit. He was ecstatic and crying, as we all were.
FS: Your practice has participated in National Sight Week for the last few years. Does your practice enjoy this initiative? Is there something you all do at the practice to celebrate this week?
DD: Participating in National Sight Week has been a great way to celebrate our annual Cataract Mission Day throughout the week. We bring in treats and lunch for the staff, decorate and put up posters in patient areas letting them know that we are participating in National Sight Week. It has been our mission to spread this into the community and the generosity of churches, hotels, translators, and drivers has been amazing! On surgery day, we have people from the community who donate food and drinks for the patients and the staff. Everyone pitches in and it is a beautiful thing!
Join Deborah and other practice administrators by exploring the opportunity to bring the ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight program to your practice and completing one or more surgeries during this year’s 4th annual National Sight Week initiative, October 20-26, where the goal is to complete as many charitable cataract surgeries as possible.