Legacy Devers Eye Institute & Oregon Lions Give Gift of Sight to 14 Local Residents

KATU News, FOX 12, The Scribe

June 14, 2013
Legacy Devers Eye Institute and the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation provided free cataract surgeries on Friday at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center for 14 low-income Oregonians at risk for blindness. Cataracts occur when the normal magnifying lens within the eye becomes cloudy. Cataracts are the world's leading cause of acquired blindness and affect almost everyone to some degree as aging occurs. The surgeries mark the beginning of a new partnership between Legacy Devers Eye Institute and OLSHF to provide free cataract surgeries for uninsured residents living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Gloria Thompson is among the 14 individuals who received treatment on Friday. She underwent her second surgery through the Mission Cataract Program to become cataract free in both eyes. “I didn’t know what I was going to do when I found out I had cataracts. My family considered organizing a fundraiser for me because there was no way I could afford the surgery, and I have no insurance. I had my first cataract surgery through the program in January, but never thought I’d be approved for my other eye. I was so grateful and felt so blessed just to have the one eye corrected. When I recently learned I was approved for a second operation, it was like Christmas and birthdays all rolled up into my 56 years.”

Partnering Legacy Devers doctors included Mike Straiko, MD; Eric Jones, MD; Helen Koenigsman, MD; Emily Jones, MD; Steve Mansberger, MD; Robert Kinast, MD. Alcon Labs is donated the intraocular lenses for each patient and Team Health, Legacy Good Samaritan’s anesthesia provider, also donated their services.

“The Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation and Devers Eye Institute have a rich history working together to provide our community’s vulnerable populations with the invaluable gift of sight,” said James T. Rosenbaum, M.D. Chenoweth Chair and Chief of Ophthalmology of Legacy Devers Eye Institute. “Devers is proud to continue this important partnership and looks forward to applying our expertise to the Mission Cataract Program and its recipients.”

“Legacy Devers Eye Institute is a world class vision clinic and research center, and we are thrilled that it has become a part of the Mission Cataract Program,” said OLSHF Executive Director Doug Thompson. “Together, we will be able to provide sight-saving surgeries to more Oregonians in need of care.”

Last year, OLSHF provided roughly 100 free cataract surgeries and has set an ambitious goal to double that number in 2013.

To view KATU’s story click here