SARASOTA, Fla. (July 25, 2022) – Center For Sight is preparing for its annual Mission Cataract event scheduled for July 27 and August 3. Cataract surgeons Dr. David Shoemaker, Dr. William Soscia, Dr. Joshua Kim, Dr. Joaquin De Rojas, Dr. Priya Mathews, Dr. Jon Berlie, Dr. Glenn Campbell and Dr. George Brinnig will perform free life-changing cataract surgeries in the Sarasota and Naples AAAHC-accredited surgery centers. The event, funded by the Center For Sight Foundation and Operation Sight, annually helps individuals who cannot afford to pay for cataract surgery get the vision correcting care they need.
Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and develop slowly, causing cloudy vision, loss of color perception and trouble reading or driving at night. There is no way to prevent cataract formation. Surgery is necessary to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens implant.
“At Center For Sight, we are dedicated to protecting and restoring the precious gift of sight,” said Dr. David Shoemaker. “Year after year, Mission Cataract allows our staff to extend that mission to people that need our assistance due to unfortunate circumstances. This matters and reminds us of why we do what we do.”
Stories of This Year’s Mission Cataract Recipients
Following cataract surgery, William Stephens, Jr. of Englewood is most looking forward to a better quality of life. “My eyesight makes my life very difficult. Not being able to complete everyday tasks makes me feel like less of a man.”
Gary Eutsey has become homeless as a result of poor vision, which doesn’t allow for a steady job. “I would love to become employable again. I enjoy working,” said Eutsey. “I love fishing and am an avid runner. These are all things I’m unable to do now.”
Sarasota resident Aaron Wesolek lives with his parents due to not being able to work and support himself caused by poor vision. “I want to be able to spend the best quality time with my grandchildren, tie a hook on a fishing line, watch beautiful sunsets and once again enjoy the many things that I realize I used to take for granted,” said Wesolek. “I love the way that warm hearted folks at Center For Sight are blessing people in their community with a greater quality of life by donating their services.”
Necessary Partnerships to Continue Mission Cataract
To ensure ongoing funding for the annual Mission Cataract program, Shoemaker formed the Center For Sight Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Every dollar received is put towards the annual Mission Cataract charitable initiative to purchase medications, surgical supplies, protective post-operative glasses, and the intraocular lenses to be placed in patients’ eyes at the time of surgery.
In addition, Center For Sight has partnered with Operation Sight, a national program through the ASCRS Foundation in order to expand its reach in Southwest Florida and nationwide. The goal of Operation Sight is to build a network of volunteer organizations that provide care to Americans unable to access or afford cataract surgery. Center For Sight’s affiliate practice, Carolina Eyecare Physicians, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is the founding practice of the Operation Sight program and will also be participating to serve patients in need within the Lowcountry.
Not only do the Center For Sight surgeons and Center For Sight Foundation donors participate in providing this service, but the premier laser technology company, LENSAR, Inc., will donate the use of its advanced LENSAR laser system. ImprimisRx will provide post-operative eye drops free of charge.
To qualify for Mission Cataract, patients must complete an application and meet specific criteria to be eligible for treatment. Applicants must be United States citizens, have a confirmed diagnosis of cataracts, live at or below the poverty level set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and be without Medicare, Medicaid, or third-party insurance coverage.
About Center For Sight
Center For Sight is a leading multi-specialty eye care practice in Florida. The practice offers patients convenient access to nationally renowned surgeons, highly trained, compassionate staff members and cutting-edge technology. Center For Sight is a member practice of US Eye, a patient-centric network of premium eye care practices with 62 locations in the Southeastern United States. US Eye is a patient-first, physician-led, vertically integrated multi-specialty eye care practice group with a mission to become the country’s most admired brand in eye care.
About Center For Sight Foundation
The Center For Sight Foundation is a donor-advised fund maintained and operated by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, a section 501(c)(3) organization. The fund is composed of contributions made by individual donors. David W. Shoemaker, M.D., established the Center For Sight Foundation to support the annual Mission Cataract program, which restores vision at no cost for people living at the poverty level suffering vision loss due to cataracts. For more information, visit CFSFoundation.org.
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