ASCRS Foundation 2020 August Newsletter | ASCRS
Foundation News

ASCRS Foundation 2020 August Newsletter


The ASCRS Foundation has seen a significant uptick in the need for its programs during these unprecedented times, and it's through your support that we've been able to continue our humanitarian outreach and expand our physician education initiatives.

This summer, the Foundation released a new video, made possible through The Carlin Company, that celebrates the collective positive impact you've made in the lives of many. We are inspired by how we are stronger together.

Foundation Video


We are proud to announce Lowell A. Gess, MD as the 3rd annual recipient of the ASCRS Foundation's Chang Humanitarian Award. Unfortunately with the cancellation of the 2020 ASCRS Annual Meeting in Boston, we were unable to recognize Dr. Gess' life's work during the Opening General Session. The Foundation instead chose to honor and celebrate Dr. Gess virtually to coincide with his 99th birthday. We thank all those who sent celebratory messages for his virtual birthday card. Click here to read his incredible story, or click below to watch his interview with Dr. Chang.

Endowed by a generous gift from David & Victoria Chang, the ASCRS Foundation Chang Humanitarian Award was established to honor and recognize outstanding humanitarian work in the area of cataract blindness. The recipient is recognized at the ASCRS Annual Meeting and a $50,000 prize is made in their honor to a charitable ophthalmology organization of their choice. The nomination period for the 2021 award is now open. For more information or to submit your nomination, please click here.


Operation Sight, the ASCRS Foundation's domestic charitable cataract surgery program has seen a 75% increase in applications resulting from the employment, insurance and economic impacts of the pandemic. Operation Sight helps uninsured and underinsured patients, who are often facing unemployment and financial constraints without their vision. To date, volunteers have provided nearly 5,000 charitable surgeries to patients most in need.

Operation Sight will host its 5th National Sight Week October 18th-24th. National Sight Week is a nationwide celebration of volunteerism and its impact on the lives of thousands of patients. This year, the ASCRS Foundation will harness the collective power and heart of the ophthalmic community in an effort to help all patients on the Operation Sight waitlist.

If you are looking for an opportunity as a surgeon or staff to give back to your community and to reaffirm your belief in the life-altering power of ophthalmology, look no further. Volunteering with Operation Sight during National Sight Week offers a unified opportunity to change lives.

Interested in learning more about Operation Sight or National Sight Week, contact Jaya Minhas, Program Manager at


Earlier this summer, the ASCRS Foundation's International Division, convened a series of three virtual update meetings on the pandemic's impact on humanitarian eyecare efforts. Leaders from partner organizations working in global eyecare shared updates on the virtual SCICS simulator and the Aravind miLOOP mini-CAP trial, and discussed solutions for continuing patient care in challenging environments. The conversations entailed plans for a virtual ICO Board Review, the annual three-day prepatory course organized by the Himalayan Cataract Project with support from Emory University and the ASCRS Foundation. All six of Ethiopia's residency program directors participated in the meeting, discussing how they've adapted education and training for emerging ophthalmologists during the pandemic period. Finally, the Foundation was pleased to introduce and recognize the first five grantees of the Young Eye Surgeon International Service Grant.

These are challenging times for ophthalmology worldwide, and we hope that by sharing experiences, the International Division can continue to ignite opportunities for collaboration.


Make a difference all month long through a monthly donation. When you join the ASCRS Foundation's group of loyal monthly donors, you help make charitable cataract surgery possible for those most in need.

Your monthly donation is secure, flexible and automatic. You can choose the amount you wish to give and can change or cancel at anytime. Simply click here to make your donation and select "Make this a monthly gift."

Your monthly donation can make a world of difference for in the lives of those who need it most.

  • $20 per month provides 1 surgeries
  • $40 per month provides 2 surgeries
  • $60 per month provides 3 surgeries

Sign up now and make your first donation today. For more information, contact Molly Gascoigne, Director of Development at

The ASCRS Foundation team is deeply grateful for your continued support. The need for our work is greater than ever, and together, we can make a difference.

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