Our proudest and most gratifying work as a Foundation is the work we do in restoring sight to disadvantaged people whether abroad or right here at home.
We saw a perfect example of that work during Operation Sight’s recent National Sight Week. ASCRS members stepped up to volunteer their time and talents to treat needy patients across the country.
I would like to thank all of you who made National Sight Week a rousing success. That also includes our generous corporate partners. We profile one of them in this issue with an interview with Gwyn Grenrock, Executive Director of the Allergan Foundation.
Although National Sight week was just seven days, Operation Sight is all year long. I invite you to join our volunteer network. It’s never too late to improve sight and improve lives with the gift of your talents and time.
|David F. Chang||Stephen S. Lane||James V. Mazzo|
Over 200 free surgeries were performed during the Foundation’s recent National Sight Week held October 24th – 28th.
The initiative was designed to raise awareness and encourage surgeons to join the Foundation’s growing volunteer network across the United States as part of its Operation Sight program.
Launched in 2014, Operation Sight’s prime objective is to eliminate treatable cataract blindness in the U.S. by providing care to those unable to access or afford surgery.
Through Operation Sight, the ASCRS Foundation has created a national network of ASCRS members who volunteer their time and expertise to treat people who either lack insurance or are ineligible for government care.
Participating surgeons, Amar Atwal, MD and Kenneth D. Anthone, MD, FACS saw the critical need for the program in the Buffalo, New York area.
“Of all the senses, losing your eyesight is probably the worst,” said Dr. Anthone in an interview for the local Buffalo news. “The patients who get the surgery are so appreciative, and it’s fun for us and makes us feel good. When I look back, I see that after I did this once, it was addicting.”
The Atwal Eye Care Center delivered 31 procedures for 26 patients with the help of ophthalmology residents from the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Also participating in National Sight Week were Maria Scott, MD and Heather Nesti, MD, ophthalmologists at Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center in Annapolis, MD. Seeing the need first hand in their community, they were happy to perform charitable surgeries that changed the lives of 13 local residents. Drs Scott and Nesti’s Chesapeake Eye Center was awarded an official citation from a Maryland State Senator for their outstanding work through the Operation Sight program.
Since the initiative was launched two years ago, Operation Sight volunteers have delivered over 700 free surgeries with the help of the Foundation. The Foundation provides the administrative support to identify and pre-qualify eligible patients. It then matches them with local volunteer surgeons. A small financial stipend helps to partially offset the cost of providing care.
All ASCRS members are invited to join this growing effort to restore sight to needy and very grateful patients at: www.ascrsfoundation.org/volunteer.
In addition to volunteering, ASCRS members can also make an impact with a gift to the ASCRS Foundation at: www.ascrsfoundation.org/donation.
A small gift of $250 before the end of the year is all that is needed to provide an Operation Sight surgery in 2017 to one of the many patients on the waiting list.
Giving Tuesday is the national day to give back during the holiday season. Help the ASCRS Foundation celebrate our first Giving Tuesday by turning it into Giving Sightday! Your gift will help us deliver humanitarian eye care to those in need, educate & support physicians, and invest in innovative research.
The ASCRS Foundation is now accepting 2017 applications for its research grant program. Furthering study into all areas of eye disease and treatment, the program awards ten research grants annually of $5,000 each to outstanding young ophthalmologists.
All practicing ophthalmologists and those in training are invited to participate in the grant program. Since its inception in 2003, the program has awarded over $700,000 in support of a wide range of promising research.
Last year’s grant-winning projects ranged from work exploring better understanding of the causes of dry eye to studying postoperative care management after cataract surgery.
In addition to the $5,000 grant awards, the grant recipients will have the opportunity to present their research at the 2017 ASCRS•ASOA Symposium & Congress.
Many of the 2015 and 2016 research grant recipients who have completed their studies will also present their findings at the upcoming ASCRS Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA.
Don’t miss this valuable opportunity for support and exposure for your research. Apply now at www.ascrsfoundation.org/grant-application. Grant submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2016.
Learn more about the ASCRS Foundation at www.ascrsfoundation.org.
An interview with Gwyn Grenrock
Executive Director, The Allergan Foundation
The Allergan Foundation recently made a $100,000 gift to Operation Sight. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Allergan, Plc, a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.
ASCRS: What is the mission of the Allergan Foundation?
Grenrock: We are a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation committed to providing a lasting and positive impact in the communities where the employees of Allergan, Plc live and work. Our support focuses on four philanthropic areas: the arts, community programs, education, and health and human services.
In addition, The Allergan Foundation is dedicated to supporting charitable efforts that improve patient diagnosis, treatment, care and quality of life, or to otherwise promote access to quality healthcare.
ASCRS: Can you offer your perspective on how your mission and the ASCRS Foundation’s mission intersect?
Grenrock: The mission of the ASCRS Foundation perfectly aligns with that of The Allergan Foundation. The ASCRS Foundation works to support physician education and to provide humanitarian cataract surgery in the United States and Africa through programs and partnerships that work to maximize the benefits of modern ophthalmology to treat thousands of needy patients.
The Allergan Foundation is dedicated to supporting charitable efforts that improve patient diagnosis, treatment, care and quality of life. For the past 19 years, The Allergan Foundation has provided needed funding to more than 1,300 charitable organizations, with vision-related programs among the largest recipients.
ASCRS: What attracted The Allergan Foundation to the Operation Sight program?
Grenrock: The Allergan Foundation recognizes the great need for vision care in the U.S. and globally. Through well-established programs such as Operation Sight, we can help to provide life-changing treatments for many who are in need.
The Allergan Foundation looks to fund programs with an excellent track record of success, and Operation Sight hits that mark. Through their network of top physicians and medical institutions, the ASRCS Foundation is a proven leader in facilitating the treatment of patients, and we are proud to support their work.
ASCRS Foundation: How will the donation of your autorefractors impact the Sinskey Eye Institute’s work?
Zhou: The ASCRS Foundation’s Sinskey Eye Institute is a high-volume clinic that sees 20,000 patients per year. One issue they currently face are backups during pre-test as they’re only able to get so many people through using their desktop autorefractor.
With the addition of our SVOne autorefractors we see a streamlining of the pre-test. The SVOne can travel room to room, and staff members can refract patients right in the exam chair.The SVOne is also great for children and elderly patients who might have difficulty using the desktop autorefractor. The Sinskey Institute is also interested in doing vision outreach in the community so the SVOne will be an additional tool to administer refractions in the field.
ASCRS: How do you hope your gift will impact the Operation Sight program?
Grenrock: It is our hope that other corporations and foundations will follow suit and support this program as well. Together, our impact can make a huge difference, saving the economy millions of dollars but more importantly, returning the precious gift of sight.
To donate to Operation Sight click here: www.ascrsfoundation.org/donation