The 2016 recipient of the Academy's Artemis Award is Paula Anne Newman-Casey, MD; nominated by the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Newman-Casey was nominated for her dedication to serving the needs of the poor and underserved. Beginning in fellowship, Dr. Newman-Casey collaborated with others across the University of Michigan Health System from different surgical subspecialties and introduced a new initiative for providing free ophthalmic care to patients at Hope Medical Clinic – a free medical clinic in Ypsilanti, Michigan that provides primary care for patients without financial means to cover their healthcare costs.
In 2011, Dr. Newman-Casey spearheaded the collaboration between the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center and the Hope Medical Clinic. Prior to 2011, ophthalmologists could not effectively volunteer because the Hope Clinic did not have ophthalmic equipment onsite. The University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center generously agreed to rent Kellogg Eye Center clinic space to Hope Clinic for $0 each Saturday, where volunteer physicians and staff members could provide ophthalmic care to uninsured patients in Washtenaw County, MI. Because of this collaboration, Hope Clinic patients now have better access not only to ophthalmology services, but also to otolaryngology, dermatology and plastic surgery care as well.
Dr. Newman-Casey strives to offer the best ophthalmic care to the uninsured within her community. The Kellogg Eye Center team had had over 140 volunteer staff that provide high quality care for Hope Medical Clinic patients each Saturday. Together, over the past 4.5 years, the Kellogg Eye Center and Hope Medical Clinic have provided ophthalmic care for almost 1K patients. When a patient needs a surgical procedure or close medical follow-up, a financial counselor meets with the patient to sign them up for insurance or for charity care through the University. Dr. Newman- Casey expanded the services offered by working with the Kellogg Eye Center Optical shop and a community based optical shop, Stadium Opticians, who provide free glasses to all the patients who need them.
Dr. Newman-Casey grew up in the Metro-Detroit area and attended college at Columbia University in New York City. She transferred to finish her degree at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Newman-Casey wanted to explore the world a bit more before committing to medical school and decided to volunteer in a small village in the Andes in Ecuador for six months. She worked on a number of different projects such as running after-school enrichment programs, teaching English language classes, helping build a facility for senior citizens, and started a small lending library. She decided to return home for medical school at the University of Michigan. After she completed medical school, Dr. Newman-Casey did her ophthalmology residency and glaucoma fellowship training at the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center where she later joined the faculty.
Dr. Newman-Casey enjoys the many facets of her faculty position. She spends time seeing patients and doing surgery, but she is also dedicated to research and mentoring medical students and residents. When she started on the faculty, she was part of the inaugural cohort on the department’s K12 award from the National Eye Institute. Her research focused on understanding why glaucoma patients oftentimes do not adhere to their medications. She now has received a K23 Career Development Award from the National Eye Institute to develop and test a behavior change program to improve medication adherence for glaucoma patients.
Dr. Newman-Casey shares the Artemis award honor with all of the people in her community who have made it possible to enhance patient care with high quality ophthalmic care, which has helped hundreds of uninsured patients who otherwise would have gone without care. The Hope Medical Clinic recognizes the tremendous efforts of Dr. Newman-Casey and applauds her perseverance throughout her residency, fellowship and as a young faculty member. “Dr. Newman-Casey’s personal desire to help patients in need is due to both a sense of social responsibility and a desire to improve lives through better health management. She has been insightful, dedicated, committed and diligent in her pursuit of novel ways to provide high quality ophthalmologic care to the underserved population of our community.”