Surgeon donates time to give free cataract surgery to low-income patients

Back row, left to right: Sen. Edward Reilly, James Chilcoat, AAMC patient, Sharon Cameron, Manager, AAMC Community Clinics Front row, left to right: Tonya Hartman, AAMC Community Center Coordinator, Dr. Heather Nesti, Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center, and Dr. Maria Scott.
Back row, left to right: Sen. Edward Reilly, James Chilcoat, AAMC patient, Sharon Cameron, Manager, AAMC Community Clinics Front row, left to right: Tonya Hartman, AAMC Community Center Coordinator, Dr. Heather Nesti, Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center, and Dr. Maria Scott.

Maria C. Scott, MD, the founder and medical director for Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center, believes that the core of Anne Arundel Medical Center is to serve the entire community.

Through a partnership with AAMC’s Community Health Clinics, Dr. Scott donates her time and talent to give free cataract surgery to low-income patients through the Operation Sight program.

Vision loss from a cataract has tremendous impact on those living in poverty. The economic and cultural stigmas associated with poor vision greatly limits employment and educational opportunities. And when family members of the visually impaired become caretakers, their economic future is also jeopardized.

“Knowing the life changing impact of cataract surgery, it is important for us to offer this opportunity to those who could not otherwise afford it,” says Dr. Scott, one of the leading cataract surgeons in the country to implant multifocal lenses. “This was a true team effort where many AAMC physicians and caregivers donated their time and services.”

Dr. Scott was the first surgeon to perform no-needle, no-stitch cataract surgery in the area, and was the first surgeon to treat patients with the laser vision correction procedure in Annapolis.

“When I came to this area 23 years ago, many residents traveled to Baltimore for cataract surgery. This was true of other services as well. Thankfully, AAMC’s president at the time, Chip Doordan, and his team had a vision to provide these much needed services locally, and they saw it through to fruition,” says Dr. Scott. “Now we have an amazing facility that attracts the best and the brightest. I am very proud to be a part of Anne Arundel Medical Center.”

In addition to the time she commits through her partnership with the Community Health Clinics, Dr. Scott and her husband, Dr. Matthew Scott, an anesthesiologist at Anesthesia Company, L.L.C., contribute yearly as AAMC Foundation Baldwin Society members and have supported various areas of care, including AAMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute and the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute.

Dr. Scott has also provided a clinical leadership perspective as a member of the AAMC Foundation’s board since 2010.

“As the first elected physician to serve on the board, I was honored that AAMC wanted to include a physician’s voice. I think it helps represent the patients and the community since we are involved with those we serve first-hand. We are fortunate to have such a talented board who is truly dedicated to the community,” says Dr. Scott.

Dr. Scott encourages her fellow surgeons and colleagues to get involved with the AAMC Foundation.

“Going forward, my hope is that more doctors get involved. I think it is important for the growth of the hospital and the community,” she says.

To learn more about supporting AAMC’s Community Health Clinics, contact 443-481-4747 or AAMCFoundation@AAHS.org.

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