Eye can't believe it: Hamilton Eye Institute Surgery Center to provide free cataract surgery worth $150k — 5 notes

Memphis-based Tennessee Health Science Center's Hamilton Eye Institute Surgery Center will host the second-annual Ivan Marais Cataract-A-Thon June 15 and 16.

Here are five notes:

1. The center plans to provide free cataract surgery worth $150,000 to more than 50 patients. Patients will receive screening, comprehensive eye exams, surgeries and follow-up care.

2. Brian Fowler, MD, an ophthalmic surgeon and Hamilton Eye Institute's vice chair of clinical operations spearheaded the philanthropic effort. Emily Taylor Graves, MD, an ophthalmologist at Memphis-based Duncan Eye, will co-direct the event and serve as lead cataract surgeon.

3. The following organizations will provide anesthesia and nursing support: HEI, Memphis-based Methodist Healthcare - Solus Management Services, Memphis Surgery Center, Memphis-based Medical Anesthesia Group, East Memphis Anesthesia Services, and Knoxville-based American Anesthesia of Tennessee.

4. Last year's event served 30 patients.

5. The Ivan Marais Cataract-A-Thon is named after the late ophthalmologist Ivan Marais, MD.

"Ophthalmic care is needed worldwide, so it's easy to go overseas to provide services," Dr. Fowler said. "But the fact is, it is also needed in the local community just as much, if not more."

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