FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Photos available upon request
FAIRFAX, VA – (October 16, 2014) – Throughout the United States, there are many poor Americans living with treatable cataracts whose employment status, educational opportunities and general mobility are limited by their poor vision. With this need in mind, the ASCRS Foundation established Operation Sight—a U.S.-based cataract surgery program whose mission is to eliminate treatable cataract blindness in the United States by providing charitable cataract surgeries.
“While the ASCRS Foundation’s efforts to provide ophthalmic care internationally remain extremely important, there are many people here at home who need modern eye care—but lack the access or the means to receive it,” said Steve Lane, MD, Chair, ASCRS Foundation Domestic Committee.
The Operation Sight network consists of an ever-growing group of established charitable organizations and ASCRS-member volunteer surgeons. Through the ASCRS Foundation, Operation Sight is able to centralize patient care and provide the financial support necessary to offset the cost of charitable care.
“The ASCRS Foundation is offering the administrative support needed to qualify and deliver needy patients, and is actively engaging ASCRS-member surgeons and their staffs in providing care,” said Lane. “Through the ASCRS Foundation’s involvement, we’ve streamlined access for patients and at the same time, minimized the administrative hassles that sometimes discourage physician involvement.”
Industry participation will also be a big part of the ASCRS Foundation’s efforts to fund charitable cataract surgeries across the country. James V. Mazzo, an ASCRS Foundation Governing Board member, will act as the lead for involving industry in Operation Sight.
“I believe Jim [Mazzo] will be incredibly effective in this role,” said Lane. “It’s curious that, while there is occasional criticism of the relationships between MDs and industry, you seldom hear about the generosity of industry in helping the poor all over the globe, as well as the educational support in fostering these efforts.”
In July 2014, Operation Sight launched with 17 charitable surgeries in South Carolina and North Carolina. In Fall 2014, Operation Sight expects to handle approximately 70 more cases in Utah and California. However, additional ASCRS-member volunteer surgeons are needed to expand the network across the U.S. To become a member of the Operation Sight network or make a contribution, simply call the ASCRS Foundation at 703.591.2220, email firstname.lastname@example.org  or go to ASCRSFoundation.org/operation-sight .
“I am hopeful that my colleagues will not only contribute their time and talents to the Operation Sight initiative and this very worthy cause, but also their dollars,” said Lane.
The ASCRS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which works to support physician education and to provide humanitarian cataract surgery in the United States and the developing world. Through its programs and partnerships, the foundation works to maximize the benefits of modern ophthalmology and to treat thousands of needy patients, each year.