• Making a Difference in the Lives of Underserved Patients Nationwide    

    Megha Agrawal, MD
    Megha Agrawal, MD, talks about her rewarding experience in the EyeCare America program. Volunteering requires only a small time commitment, but offers generous rewards. Sign up at aao.org/eyecareamerica.

    During 2016, many members of the Academy’s community of ophthalmologists dedicated time from their busy schedules to come to the aid of those in need. Through the Academy’s EyeCare America® program, more than 8,000 medically underserved seniors and those at risk received sight-saving services.

    The program is one of the largest public service programs in American medicine. In just over 30 years, volunteer ophthalmologists have helped more than 1.8 million people nationwide avoid blindness and severe visual impairment. 

    EyeCare America volunteer ophthalmologists provide either a glaucoma exam and/or a comprehensive eye exam, often at no out-of-pocket cost. This dedication to giving back to communities gives qualifying older Americans a chance at a better quality of life. Nearly 6,000 dedicated volunteers support this effort.

    These volunteers fuel this success—and EyeCare America needs additional volunteers each and every year. Hear what your colleagues have to say and learn how easy it is to volunteer in our new EyeCare America video. “We always think of a mission trip as leaving the country,” says Ann A. Warn, MD, MBA, “but there’s plenty to do right in your own country.”

    “In a very busy specialty, volunteering for EyeCare America is a great way to stop and reconnect with one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing medicine,” said Megha Agrawal, MD, “which is making a difference in the lives of those who may not otherwise get the help they need.”

    And the impact is clear—the program receives countless notes from grateful patients throughout the year. Mr. Webb, from California, wrote, “This is an excellent program and may have saved me from going blind—I can’t thank you enough!”

    “Don't hesitate to become an EyeCare America volunteer,” said Robert Taylor, MD, “because the Academy makes it about the easiest way to offer your volunteer efforts to the public.”