The finish line is always the end goal of a marathon. In the case of the Phaco Fanatics team, however, the ultimate goal is to raise $1,000 for the Guerrilla Eye Service in the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 7.
The team is comprised of four University of Pittsburgh Department of Ophthalmology residents: Trish Campos, Pete Jones, David Mora, and Gideon Nkrumah. Team captain is Ian Conner, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma and Cataract Service and Associate Residency Program Director.
The Guerrilla Eye Service, or GES, is a student-run, free mobile health clinic dedicated to eliminating barriers to eye care for patients in the Western Pennsylvania area. GES was established in 2005 by Evan “Jake” Waxman, MD, PhD, and medical students at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. GES offers free comprehensive exams to individuals with barriers to care while providing medical students with a rare, essential opportunity to experience hands-on patient care early in their medical education.
When asked why it is important to raise money for GES, Dr. Conner said, “This is a great cause that helps the underserved population in Pittsburgh access high quality eye care. It is entirely volunteer organized, and also serves an integral role in getting our Pitt medical students involved in ophthalmology and service.”
As for the team’s name, Phaco (emulsification) is the name of the cataract surgery procedure. “And we love doing cataract surgery!” Dr. Conner said.
To support the team, click here to donate.