ASCRS Foundation

The ASCRS Foundation,, is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting and improving ophthalmic education and providing humanitarian eyecare both in the United States and internationally. The ASCRS Foundation works with physician volunteers, NGO partners, industry, and advocacy groups to promote clinical education and extend the reach and benefits of modern ophthalmology.

ASCRS Foundation Projects Include:

International Humanitarian Eyecare

  • Ethiopia – The ASCRS Foundation’s Robert Sinskey Eye Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has treated over 120,000 patients since its opening in 2005. SEI maintains a full-time staff of 18, including two ophthalmologists, and provides comprehensive care including phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Through a partnership with the Himalayan Cataract Project, the SEI hosts a clinical rotation for Ethiopian residents, and assists with the coordination of large-scale rural cataract surgery outreach efforts.

US-Based Humanitarian Eyecare

  • The foundation also recognizes the need to provide charitable care closer to home. The ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight has provided over 380 charitable cataract surgeries since its founding in 2014. Through a volunteer network of participating ASCRS member surgeons, Operation Sight allows needy patients to obtain care right in their own communities. The program is growing quickly and the goal is to deliver 550 surgeries by the end of Year Two.


  • Phaco Fundamentals Classroom – The foundation developed and administers the Phaco Fundamentals Classroom,, an open-source, online classroom for phacoemuslification cataract surgery training and education. The Classroom is a collection of carefully selected online resources that supports residents and surgeons worldwide seeking to improve their phaco skills. Access is free and requires only online registration. The site features comprehensive phaco courses from leading universities, including those of Harvard and Northwestern, along with the ASCRS Cataract Clinical Committee’s Phaco Fundamentals Course. 

  • Cataract Master – The ASCRS Foundation acts as the distributor of the Cataract Master, a highly innovative, computer-based eduation tool developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The Cataract Master offers a unique approach for residents and beginning surgeons to safely learn phaco as they experience a wide range of real-world scenarios. The Cataract Master serves as an effective bridge for the challenging transition from wet labs and phaco simulators to live patients. 


  • The ASCRS Foundation provides first-step seed money to enable young ophthalmologists to explore new ideas. Through its research program, the foundation works to foster innovative thinking and has broadened the experience of those engaged in more than 120 small studies. Over $700,000 has been awarded through the foundation’s ongoing research initiative.






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