Helping Those Who Need It Most
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Giving back. Paying it forward. Pitching in. We frequently hear terms such as these in our daily lives, but how often do we act on them? In particular, how often do we engage in these important activities in our professional lives? I think that we need to remember the importance of our role as eyecare practitioners in the public health concerns of this global society.
Without question, many excellent, eyecare-focused, charitable organizations spring to mind in terms of opportunities for financial giving—far too many to try to list here. But, it’s not always about simply giving money. Don’t overlook other ways in which you can give back to your communities and, especially, to your individual patients.
Our careers in practice are focused on generating revenue for our livelihood, but there are relevant times in the care of our patients when those concerns become marginalized because of patient needs. Some of you may have provided free eye care to an indigent patient who needs specialty contact lenses to see. Or, you may have donated items such as spectacles, care solutions, or pharmaceuticals to those who desperately need them, or to treat blinding eye disease.
We thank you for those times in which you have selflessly stepped up on behalf of your patients and viewed such situations as an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. We should all strive to live by the wisdom of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”