Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award | ASCRS
Awards and Grants

Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award

2020 Honoree Announced  Lowell A. Gess, MD

Dr. Lowell A. Gess' lifelong work is truly inspirational. His career spans so many years and covers such a wide breadth of the world it can feel less like the story of one man's life and more like the story of modern ophthalmology itself. Dr. Gess has earmarked the $50,000 grant to the Lowell and Ruth Gess Eye Hospital to help expand facilities and provide a more complete eyecare program in Sierra Leone.

  • Watch the video interview interview with Dr. David Chang and Dr. Lowell Gess (at left) or watch the extended interview here.
  • Learn more about Dr. Gess in EyeWorld
  • Read Dr. Gess' bio
  • Watch a video by Drs Steven Yeh & Jessica Shantha about Dr. Gess' volunteer work during the Ebola outbreak. 

2019 Honoree Richard Litwin, MD

Like many doctors providing humanitarian care, Dr. Litwin's work followed a familiar arc, beginning with hands-on work, followed by a shift toward educating others and advocacy. He began with a high-volume cataract surgery mission trip in 1982. The trip would be the beginning of a four-decade long period of service. Dr. Litwin earmarked the grant to support The Seva Foundation, which works with local communities around the world to develop self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight.

2018 Honoree Alan Crandall, MD

Dr. Crandall began his humanitarian outreach work in Ghana following a request for help for a patient. Overtime, he was instrumental in the launch of the John A. Moran Eye Center's Global Outreach Program which has worked in over 20 countries. Dr. Crandall was known throughout the world for his commitment to humanitarian ophthalmology.  Douglas Koch, MD, ASCRS Foundation Board Member, said Dr. Crandall "dedicated his career to humanitarian service...and his loving generous spirit permeates all that he does, whether it be with patients, colleagues, students, friends or family."  

  • Watch Dr. David Chang's video interview with Dr. Alan Crandall (at left)
  • Learn more about Dr. Crandall's story in EyeWorld
  • 2018 Award Video
  • Read more about Dr. Crandall

About the Award

Endowed by a generous gift from David & Victoria Chang, the ASCRS Foundation’s Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award was established to honor and recognize outstanding humanitarian work in the area of cataract blindness. The award is given annually to an individual for their inspirational accomplishments in the U.S. or international charitable eye care, with a focus on cataract blindness. The recipient is recognized each year at the ASCRS Annual Meeting, and a $50,000 prize is awarded in their honor to a charitable ophthalmology organization of their choice. The ASCRS Foundation renamed its highest honor, the Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award in recognition of Alan S. Crandall, MD's exemplary life and commitment to charitable service.

Learn More About the Award

David F. Chang, MD

Dr. Chang embodies the characteristics of the winners of his namesake award—both incredibility generous and humbly dedicated to his work. A practicing ophthalmologist in California, Dr. Chang still finds considerable time to dedicate to the ASCRS Foundation where he serves as Chair of the International Division. He founded the Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award with his wife Victoria in hopes that highlighting the incredible work being done in cataract humanitarian work would further encourage doctors and foundations to dedicate themselves to the cause.

Read more about Dr. Chang

Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award Nominating Committee

David F. Chang, MD

Suzanne Gilbert, PhD

Adrienne Graves, PhD

Ann Kelman

Richard Litwin, MD

Susan MacDonald, MD

James A. Mazzo

Kerry D. Solomon, MD

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