Care That Rewrites the Future
“ALL OF US OPHTHALMOLOGISTS HAVE AN INFINITE, innate need to reach out and help someone, but
sometimes it’s just knowing how to accomplish that,” said Oluwatosin Smith, MD (left). “EyeCare America helped me fulfill this need. You leave work that day, having this deep feeling knowing you’ve helped somebody other than yourself.” Her patient, Andrea Franklin, reciprocates her gratitude for the service: “I want to thank EyeCare America for helping me. You are my angel. You rock!”
IF YOU ARE LOSING YOUR SIGHT, but can barely afford groceries, what do you do? Rama D. Jager, MD, MBA, FACS, has helped answer this question for communities around the world, from Ghana to New Orleans to India. As a volunteer for EyeCare America®, he’s provided eye exams and sight-saving care domestically to at-risk seniors and others, often at no cost to them.
“I am eternally grateful for this opportunity,” said Dr. Jager. “EyeCare America enables me to provide care to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities. It puts all the latest equipment in my office at my disposal and makes it easy for me to structure volunteer hours into my work schedule.” Back home in Illinois, he leads a practice specializing in retinal care and is a university professor.
“We are living in a time when a large segment of the population is getting older and needs proper medical care. Unfortunately, many of these individuals do not have the resources to get the eye care they need to live a healthy life,” said Dr. Jager. “I’m proud to provide really excellent care to those who need it most.”
Last year, 5,000 ophthalmologist volunteers like Dr. Jager provided 6,723 medical eye exams through EyeCare America. Since 1985, the
award-winning program has helped more than 2 million people with sight-saving eye care and resources. EyeCare America is co-sponsored by
the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.
Learn more about EyeCare America at aao.org/eyecareamerica.
James “Pete” Hastert (left) and Joseph J. Chappell Jr., MD (right), celebrate EyeCare America’s 35th anniversary with a cake. “I’m on a limited income and social security,” remarked Mr. Hastert. “It was a true blessing to receive this service. And you all made it possible.” Dr. Chappell said, “Mr. Hastert is a delightful patient. He came to us because he developed diabetes and he had not seen a doctor in years and years. We are glad to have him as part of our practice family.” Dr. Chappell and Mr. Hastert, along with Dr. Smith and Ms. Franklin (above), are all featured in a new EyeCare America video. Watch it at aao.org/eyecareamerica.