It is powerful to witness how the gift of sight to someone who is par- tially or bilaterally blind transforms the individual, family and community. You experience a profound sense of grati- tude and satisfaction. It is like receiv- ing a transfusion of pure positive energy that fuels your passion for what you do every day. Involving your staff, gives them the opportunity to see the world differently. Exposure to new countries and cultures expands their understand- ing and compassion for others. Cover- ing their travel and lodging expenses is quite honestly a selfish investment on my part, because the return transcends any monetary contribution I make.

How to Get Involved With numerous organizations offer- ing resources and support for domes- tic and international charitable sur- gery, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. OOSS Gives, which started as a strategic initiative, is forming a new foundation to leverage and engage the resources of the outpa- tient ophthalmic surgical community and its associated industry partners in a coordinated effort to bring qual- ity surgical vision care to all patients, domestic and abroad. The process of organizing your team for any medical mission is involved, as is implement- ing a charitable program within your local community. My goal, as vice president of the OOSS Gives Foun- dation, is to reduce barriers while helping young ophthalmologists and established ophthalmic ASCs make charitable surgery an important part of their practice.

As Brad Black, MD, the founding president of OOSS Gives, says, “It is important for us to find a way to help ASCs implement these types of pro- grams without interfering with their day-to-day-operations. It is equally important for us to help young oph- thalmologists

integrate a charitable

giving component into their business from day one. It is tough to look at

ASCA Provides Scholarships for Medical Missions to Honduras

The ASCA Foundation has part- nered with One World Surgery, a US-based nonprofit, to support its mission of providing access to high-quality surgical care globally.

Rebecca Stidhem, surgical tech at The Eye Associates, assists in a cataract surgery at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during a medical mission trip, May 24–June 3, 2019.

over $100,000 of debt, where you are trying to make a buck and wonder how you can do anything for free. It is our intention to help them figure that out.” The costs and complexities of these

worthy endeavors prevent some from participating, however, there are many resources available to help guide the process, offset the costs and manage the details. For example, The Guide to Implementing Your Charitable Cat- aract Surgery Program, developed as part of the OOSS Gives initiative, offers a step-by-step process to follow. The ASCRS Foundation, through its Operation Sight program, helps iden- tify qualified patients in support of domestic charitable cataract surgery. And the ASCA Foundation in partner- ship with One World Surgery offers a scholarship program for ASCA mem- bers to go on weeklong surgical mis- sions to Honduras (see box). Establishing a culture of giv- ing within your practice is good for those involved and also is a strate- gic business decision. Organizations that thrive, have a giving component to them. The dynamic of your team changes when you focus on some- thing greater than yourself.

Cathleen McCabe, MD, is vice president of the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society and the OOSS Gives Foundation. Write her at

During One World Surgery’s week- long Medical Missions, clinical par- ticipants, nonclinical participants and family members come togeth- er to perform life-changing surger- ies. Currently, all medical mission trips take place at the Holy Family Surgery Center (HFSC) in Hondu- ras. This world-class surgery center, which One World Surgery funds and operates, is located on the 2,000-acre ranch of the children’s home Nuestros Pequeños Herma- nos (NPH), approximately one hour northeast of Tegucigalpa.

The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage nurses and surgical/ scrub techs to participate in medi- cal mission opportunities through the ASCA Foundation’s nonprofit partner and scholarship admin- istrator One World Surgery. The scholarship covers the program fee—food and lodging, ground transport in Honduras, and emer- gency medical and evacuation in- surance—associated with partici- pating in the medical mission and one coach round-trip airfare.

To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, you must be an ASCA member who is not eligible for program fee assistance through your employer; have at least one year of paid experience as a preop nurse, perioperative nurse, recovery/PACU nurse, circulating nurse, CRNA, surgical technolo- gist, scrub technician, surgical first assist or sterile processor; be currently licensed or certified and working in the field; and be avail- able during requested trip dates.

To learn more and find the schol- arship application, visit ascasso-


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