December 2018


Third annual National Sight Week results in more than 300 charitable cataract surgeries

by Natalie Zundel ASCRS Foundation Development Director

Operation Sight partner practices shared National Sight Week photos on Twitter @ASCRSFoundation and on the ASCRS Facebook page.
Source: All images shared with the ASCRS Foundation


ASCRS members perform charitable cataract surgery through Operation Sight

Thank you so much. I’m enjoying eyesight like I haven’t had since I was about 9 years old,” said Leslie, an Operation Sight patient. “I’m so excited with this new lease on life. I can drive myself and handicapped parishioners to church again.”
Operation Sight was launched by the ASCRS Foundation 4 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 options. The program has seen exponential growth, with more than 3,000 free cataract surgeries provided to date.
This growth was reflected in the celebration of the third annual National Sight Week (October 14–20), when surgeons, staff, and volunteers outdid themselves and treated 310 patients. 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 videos with the hashtags #NationalSightWeek and #OperationSight on social media channels.
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 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,” said Stephen Lane, MD, ASCRS Foundation co-chair and chair of Domestic Initiatives. “Together, we’re working to end preventable cataract blindness in the United States.”
The ASCRS Foundation provides administrative support needed to identify and pre-qualify patients, 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 Glenn Campbell, MD, Advanced Vision Institute, 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 neediest cataract patients. For the 2018 National Sight Week, 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,” Dr. Campbell said. “One patient came from more than 5½ hours away in the hope 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 think doctors choose this challenging profession.”
The ASCRS Foundation would like to thank all of the practices and organizations that participated in the 2018 National Sight Week (*indicates first time volunteering for National Sight Week):
• *Advanced Vision Institute, Williamsburg, Virginia
• Associated Eye Care, Stillwater, Minnesota
• Beach Eye Care, Virginia Beach, Virginia
• *Cabarrus Eye Center, Concord, North Carolina
• Cornerstone Charitable Clinic, Fort Worth, Texas
• Dean McGee Eye Institute, Oklahoma City
• Eye Institute of West Florida, Largo, Florida
• *Eye Consultants of Atlanta, Atlanta
• *Eye Surgeons of Nebraska, North Platte, Nebraska
• Eyes on America, Buffalo, New York
• *Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare, Niagara Falls, New York
• *Florida Eye Clinic, Altamonte Springs, Florida
• Gailey Eye Clinic, Bloomington, Illinois
• *Georgia Center for Sight, Athens, Georgia
• Houston Eye Associates, Houston
• I Care San Antonio, San Antonio
• Kansas University Eye Lions Club, Kansas City, Kansas
• *Kremer Eye Center, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
• *Levenson Eye Associates, Jacksonville, Florida
• Mid Florida Eye Center, Mt. Dora, Florida
• Montgomery Eye Specialists, Montgomery, Alabama
• *Northwest Eye Specialists, Tucson, Arizona
• Office Park Eye Center, Jacksonville, North Carolina
• OneWorld Community Health Clinics, Omaha, Nebraska
• Operation Access, San Francisco
• Operation Sight – South Carolina, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
• Ophthalmology Consultants LTD, St. Louis
• Palmetto Health USC, Columbia, South Carolina
• *Shein Ernst Mishra Eye, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
• *Shepherd Eye Center, Las Vegas
• St. Luke’s Eye Center, Tampa, Florida
• Surgeons for Sight, Greenville, South Carolina
• Surgery on Sunday, Lexington, Kentucky
• Virginia Beach Eye Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia
• *Virginia Eye Institute, Richmond, Virginia
The ASCRS Foundation asks that physicians consider joining more than 350 of their peers and becoming an Operation Sight volunteer. They 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 work force,” said an Operation Sight patient awaiting surgery.
If volunteering is not an option, physicians can still extend their impact as a sight giver beyond their practice with a gift to the ASCRS Foundation. For example, a 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 the waiting list.
For details on how to volunteer, visit, or to give sight through a donation, visit

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Third annual National Sight Week results in more than 300 charitable cataract surgeries Third annual National Sight Week results in more than 300 charitable cataract surgeries
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