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12 posts from November 2009

November 30, 2009

Vision Harvest 2009 a Resounding Success: 20 Free Cataract Surgeries Performed

Vision Harvest 2009L10304872009-11-25

Wednesday, November 25 was the inaugural Vision Harvest free cataract surgery day at River Drive Surgery Center.  Twenty patients without insurance, or the means to pay, were provided free cataract surgery.

These patients had some of the largest cataracts I have ever seen, something one might expect in a third world country!  Their stories were heartbreaking.  I had a chance to video some of the patients that I treated the day after surgery at their post op visit at EyeCare 20/20.  I will certainly post the video, once I get it edited.  In the meantime, I have posted pictures of the event on Flickr.

At this time I would like to thank the following for making Vision Harvest 2009 so successful:

  • Dr. Sapna Parikh, Medical Corespondent for Fox5, who helped to get the word out by covering Vision Harvest on the news.
  • Keri McAuliffe, EyeCare 20/20's administrator, for coordinating the event.
  • Dr. Hadley Phillips (Director), Nancy Lord (Administrator), and all the Doctor Owners of River Drive Surgery Center for agreeing to provide services free of charge.
  • The entire staff of River Drive Surgery Center for working on their day off.
  • Drs. Jay Tendler and Jayati Basak, for providing free anesthesia.
  • Hawthorne Medical Associates for providing free medical clearances.
  • The Following ophthalmologists for providing their services free of charge
    • Dr. Anthony D'Amato
    • Dr. Phillip Eichler
    • Dr. Michael Farbowitz
    • Dr. Scott Pomerantz
  • Gene Maresca and Steve Kramaritsc of Alcon Labs for providing all surgical supplies and medications free of charge.
  • My daughters, Jamie and Arielle, and my nephew, Todd, for helping me to see the patients in my office on Thanksgiving Day for their 1 day post op visit.

Vision Harvest 2009L10305542009-11-26 by you.

My goal is to make Vision Harvest an annual event, the experience was "eye-opening".  I never dreamed there were so many in need in our affluent community.  Many patients came from our local area, but some traveled from South Jersey, New York, and as far away as Indiana!  One thing became obvious to me, we have a huge health care dilemma in our country, and I don't see the current reforms before congress as an improvement to this problem.  More on this in future blog posts...

November 22, 2009

Great Response to Vision Harvest "Free Cataract Surgery" Program


SInce Fox New York's coverage last week of our Vision Harvest program we have heard from many in need of cataract surgery.  These patients are without health insurance and have no means to pay for this vision restoring procedure.  Many of their stories are heart breaking.  I am so looking forward to November 25, when these patients will be undergoing their free cataract surgery.

Special thanks to Dr. Sapna Parikh, who covered this story on Fox.  I received and e-mail from Dr. Parikh today.  She forwarded me a message from one of the people we will be treating next week:

Topic: Dr. Sapna
Subject: vision harvest
Comments: I don't know how to thank you for providing me with the
information to restore my sight I was accepted today for free cataract
surgery.  I have been at my wits end for 2 years trying to figure out
how to afford this procedure. Dr. Silverman is a gift from GOD and you
are an angel for delivering his message. Thank you so much Dr.Sapna.

This message has been typical of the response from those we have seen this past week at EyeCare 20/20.  It certainly leaves one with a warm feeling inside.  As they say, "It is better to give than to receive."  I couldn't agree more!

For those interested in participating in this year's Vision Harvest program, there are still spots available for free cataract surgery for those who qualify.  We will continue to be seeing patients Monday and Tuesday this week to determine eligibility for surgery on Wednesday.  Those interested should call:


November 20, 2009

Melinda Owen Thrilled With Her New Eyes!

Melinda Owen

Melinda Owen presents me with a signed pair of track cleats she used in

last year's pole vault competition.  Check out our new LASIK for the Gold hats!

Melinda Owen did wonderfully following her LASIK surgery this week at EyeCare 20/20.  She was kind enough to drop us an e-mail:

So I want you to know that how happy I am with my eye sight!!! I pole vaulted today and wore my goggles so I had zero problems at all and saw as crisp as can be! I have been bragging about how exciting getting lasik has been to my family and told my mom and brother that I would want them to see Dr. Silverman if they were going to get it done. 

So when i was going through my bag Dr. Silverman gave me I found some cards for a free lasik evaluation and so I have convinced my brother to try to get in and see him.  He was an athlete as well, he wrestled for University of Michigan and now coaches wrestling at Harvard. I think after hearing how happy I am about my results it has really made him realize how much he wants to do it too. I hope you know how much I appreciated everything you did for me while I was there this past weekend.  I had a great time getting to know you all. I wrote a little thing up on my blog about it even :)

She also posted on her blog:

While in the training room, here at the Olympic Center, I was complaining about my contacts when a friend Ariel Martin explained to me a program she was apart of.  Lasik for the Gold, is a program Dr. Silverman started to help aspiring olympians get the care they need but may not be able to afford. Ariel is a BMX Biker who had just recently got Lasik done. She said she would email the program director about me, but I didn’t think to much of it until I got a call from them only days later.
. . .YAY!!! I couldn’t believe it.  Only two short weeks after receiving the call I was flown to East Hanover, New Jersey where I met with Dr. Silverman and his team to get Lasik Eye Surgery done It was a huge success!!! Not only am I able to see 20/15 now, but I was also given the opportunity to meet some amazing people.

As most anyone would be, I was very nervous to get the surgery done not to mention the fact that I was to fly across the country and do it all by my self. That is right, every girl wants her mom near by to take care of her :-)  But from the moment I landed, Dr. Silverman’s assistant Keri made sure I was completely taken care of and extremely comfortable.  I hope that they realize how appreciative I am for everything.  I suggest you take a Lasik for the Gold to see the amazing things Dr. Silverman has done.


We are so looking forward to the upcoming pole vault season and rooting for Melinda in her bid to make it to the 2012 Olympics in London.  In the following video, Melinda talks about her experience with the LASIK procedure at EyeCare 20/20.

November 19, 2009

Visian ICL Vision: Still Awesome After All These Years!


Frank Gallina is one of EyeCare 20/20's go to guys.  Whenever a patient is considering having an ICL implant to improve their vision, Frank is the person who we recommend they speak with.  Frank was a -12 myope who came in for a LASIK screening, he was not a candidate.  The ICL option was offered to him, he did it, and the results are awesome.  We even posted a letter Frank wrote us last year about his vision.

Frank is now 3 years post op.  His vision is still 20/20 without glasses.  Frank was nice enough to talk about his ICL experience with me on this video.

November 18, 2009

Pole Vaulter Melinda Owen Joins LASIK for the Gold


Olympic hopeful pole vaulter, Melinda Owen, traveled to New Jersey this week from the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California to get LASIK.  Hailing from Montana, one wouldn't expect Melinda to be such a proficient pole vaulter.  She was a 2007 NCAA All- American while attending Idaho.  Melinda placed 10th at the Olympic Trials and took a Bronze Metal at the 2009 National Indoor Championships. 

"From the mountains of Flathead Valley to the always sunny San Diego I am continuing my passion and dream of competing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London England!"

In this video, Melinda discusses the problems she has competing with contact lenses.  Our goal, eliminate that problem and help Melinda achieve her dream of competing in London in 2012!

November 17, 2009

Vision Harvest 2009 Featured on Fox' Good Day New York

Dr. Sapna Parikh featured our Vision Harvest 2009 program this morning on Fox' "Good Day New York".  On November 25, 2009, doctors at the River Drive Surgery and Laser Center of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, will perform FREE cataract surgery during Vision Harvest 2009, for those that are uninsured and can’t afford to pay for the procedure. 

The response to this airing has been awesome, over 20 people have called to set up an appointment to determine their eligibility since the segment aired an hour ago!  Thank you Dr. Parikh!!

This week, participating eye physicians will continue to be evaluating prospective cataract patients and scheduling them for their free procedure.  Eligible patients will have all eye examinations, testing, medications, and surgery provided to them free of charge.  For more information, interested patients should call 973-200-8250 to set up a free evaluation to determine their candidacy.


November 14, 2009

Avastin vs Lucentis: Genentech Co-Pay Card Program Not Nearly Enough!


I received an e-mail this week from Genentech BioOncology, introducing their new Co-Pay Card Program.  Genentech is the maker of the two drugs I have blogged about involved in the current macular degeneration treatment controversy, Lucentis and Acastin.

According to the e-mail:

"We are committed to ensuring that all eligible patients have access to the therapies they need. That is why we created the Genentech BioOncology Co-Pay Card Program, a program that gives eligible patients help with their BioOncology product co-pay."

This program will basically pay the 20% co-pay for those patients that financially qualify.  I think this is wonderful for certain treatment modalities, but not so in the case of Lucentis to treat macular degeneration.  The co-pay would be around $400.  What a nice gesture, what great marketing...  In my opinion, this is a joke.  What Genentech should be doing is seeking approval for the treatment of macular degeneration with Avastin!  Then let the patient handle the $10 co-pay themselves!!  Shame on you Genentech, hiding behind charity where corporate profits are the real issue!

Download Genentech Co-Pay Card Program

November 13, 2009

Ochocinco Fined: Save the Dollar, Save the Fine, Support LASIK the Refs!


Chad Ochocinco was fined by the NFL AGAIN today for $20,000!  The infraction?  According to the Huffington Post:

During the third quarter of Cincinnati's 17-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens, officials initially ruled that Ochocinco got both feet down at the sideline for a 15-yard catch. The Ravens challenged, and the call was overturned when replays showed the receiver's toe landed on the white sideline.

While the play was under review, Ochocinco walked toward the officials with the dollar bill.

Ochocinco said he was just having fun, but the league didn't like it.

Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, sent Ochocinco a letter that said: "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."

The letter cited league rules that prohibit abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures toward officials. The letter also noted that players are prohibited from taking items onto the field that are not part of their uniform. The league has cracked down on players using props for celebrations.

In response to the fine, the company that made Ochocinco's iPhone application said it will donate an additional $20,000 in the receiver's name to the Hillview Acres home for abused children in Chino, Calif. John Shahidi, the president and CEO of Rock Software, Inc., has assisted the home.

Chad, we have a better solution, after the next controversy, donate free airfare to the ref who blew the call.  Fly them to New Jersey where they can get their free LASIK surgery as part of EyeCare 20/20's LASIK the Refs Program!

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

November 12, 2009

Low Fat Diet: See Better and Look Better


Here is another reason to watch the fat intake.  We have known for years that a low fat diet can aid in weight reduction.  A new study reported in this month's Archives of Ophthalmology, Association Between Dietary Fat Intake and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS)An Ancillary Study of the Women's Health Initiative, reports that a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats is associated with a two fold increase in the incidence of macular degeneration.  Those eating a diet rich in monosaturated fats had a lower than average incidence of macular degneration.

The study concluded:

"These results support a growing body of evidence suggesting that diets high in several types of fat may contribute to the risk of intermediate AMD and that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids may be protective."


November 11, 2009

"Colbert Nation" To Sponsor U.S. Speedskating Team In Vancouver Olympics (VIDEO)

Bravo to Steven Colbert for coming to the aid of US Speedskating! LASIK for the Gold is also committed to supporting not only our US Speedskating athletes, but all US Olympic athletes. Speedskaters Chad Hedrick and Katherine Reutter are already on our team! For more info, check out: