Local eye surgeons will provide free cataract surgery for low income & uninsured patients
Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare recently announced its participation in the third annual National Sight Week (Oct. 14-20), sponsored by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Foundation.
During National Sight Week, partners Michael J. Endl, M.D., and Thomas R. Elmer, M.D., will perform free cataract surgery for local patients in need. These patients include those with little or no medical coverage and those with a low annual income.
"My partner and I feel it is very important to give back to the community in which we live and practice in. Offering free cataract surgery to Western New Yorkers is a great way to do just that," Endl said.
Elmer added, "After doing so many medical mission trips to Africa with the Mercy Ship organization, I am excited to be able to offer gratis eye surgery right here in my hometown in our own facility."
National Sight Week is a celebration of volunteerism, during which members of the ASCRS Operation Sight network are encouraged to contribute one or more charitable cataract surgeries in their own communities. The ASCRS Foundation works to match needy, eligible patients with volunteer surgeons, and provides a financial stipend for each surgery completed.
Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation's domestic charitable cataract surgery program. It assists uninsured American patients who couldn't otherwise obtain cataract care on their own. By leveraging the combined strength of established charitable organizations along with ASCRS-member volunteer surgeons, Operation Sight provides needed care to those unable to access or afford surgery.
"The ASCRS Foundation's Operation Sight initiative offers a solution for Americans in need by enabling ASCRS member eye surgeons to perform charitable cataract surgeries in their own communities with administrative and financial support from the ASCRS Foundation. Together, we're working to end preventable cataract blindness in the United States," said Dr. Stephen Lane, M.D., domestic initiatives, co-chair of the ASCRS Foundation.
Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare is currently identifying potential eligible patients to receive free cataract surgery as a part of the practice's participation in National Sight Week. Patients interested in being considered can visit www.ascrsfoundation.org/operationsight
to apply. Potential candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to complete the vetting process in time for surgery.
For more information on the charitable work being undertaken by the Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare during National Sight Week, call 1-800-309-2020 or email [email protected]
. Staff will have more information on Operation Sight and how to qualify for free cataract surgery. Find National Sight Week at www.ascrsfoundation.org
Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare has had a strong foothold in the community for over 35 years. Founding partner Claus M. Fichte, M.D., opened the first location on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls as a solo practice in the early 1980s. Since then, the practice has grown to include two more partners, six optometrists and employ over 85 people. Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare was the very first practice in WNY to do LASIK eye surgery and the very first to offer its patients laser cataract procedures. In 2015, it opened a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art medical office in Niagara Falls. This facility also houses the only privately owned freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center in Niagara County.
Director of Marketing Kathleen A. Otto said, "Our goal was to be able to offer our patients the convenience of getting their eye exams, surgery and glasses all under one roof and we have been able to accomplish just that."
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2003. Through its projects in the U.S. and overseas, the foundation works to improve physician education and to deliver humanitarian eye care.