October 2019


Spotlight on a practice administrator

by Evelyn Morales ASCRS Foundation Program Manager

In honor of National Sight Week (October 20–26) and ASOA’s new alignment with the Operation Sight program, the ASCRS Foundation is highlighting the important role played by practice administrators in the Operation Sight process. Operation Sight has grown to include a sizable coalition of volunteer surgeons, ophthalmic staff members, ASCs, and organizations committed to caring for those who would not otherwise have access to life-changing cataract surgery. The foundation staff works to source and vet patients for surgery at volunteer practices across the country.
Practice administrators play a vital role in Operation Sight’s success. While Operation Sight 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, practice administrator at Atwal Eye Care, Buffalo, New York, is part of a practice that’s been giving back to the community through charitable eyecare long before joining the Operation Sight network. In 2009, Kenneth Anthone, MD, 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 its annual surgery day to coincide with the yearly National Sight Week initiative.
Ms. Davis shared her experience and tips with the ASCRS Foundation.

ASCRS Foundation: What is your role with Operation Sight at your practice?

Ms. Davis: I am on the board of the Eyes on America Foundation. During our yearly Cataract Mission Day, held in conjunction with National Sight Week, I assist in coordinating patients through the clinic for their cataract testing, surgery, and postop care.

ASCRS Foundation: What advice would you give to an administrator who is looking to get a practice involved with Operation Sight?

Ms. Davis: 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 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.

ASCRS Foundation: Is there a specific patient story that resonates with you?

Ms. Davis: One of the stories that resonates with me is a patient who 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 postoperative visit. He was ecstatic and crying, as we all were.

ASCRS Foundation: 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?

Ms. Davis: 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, and we 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 Davis and other practice administrators by bringing the ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight program to your practice. For more
information, contact Evelyn Morales at emorales@ascrs.org or 703-788-5786.

Contact information

Morales: emorales@ascrs.org

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