As a volunteer physician with the Project Access program, Dr. Alison Gordon provides medical treatment and surgery free of cost for uninsured patients who are most in need.
San Diego, CA – For eye surgeon Alison Gordon, MD, the opportunity to treat low-income, uninsured patients in need of ophthalmological care is very rewarding – especially when it comes without a charge to the patient. For three and a half years, Dr. Gordon has served as a volunteer physician with Project Access San Diego, a nonprofit organization that provides low-income adults and families with health care, education, and employment services.
“I wanted to be involved in the community and somehow give back,” says Dr. Gordon. “Project Access provides a nice way to do that. The patients that I’ve met and seen here have just been the nicest, really appreciative patients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to carry on with their daily activities or work because of their vision.”
As part of the San Diego Medical Society Foundation, Project Access coordinates a network of physicians and healthcare providers to treat qualified individuals in the program. Because Project Access serves uninsured, community clinic patients, the ability to receive specialist medical care and/or surgery often presents a life-changing opportunity for such patients.
“If it’s something that I do, then we approve the patient and they come in for a consult and exam,” says Dr. Gordon. In a recent blog post titled, “Dr. Alison Gordon Gives Back Through Project Access,” the La Jolla ophthalmologist explains how she most frequently treats middle to older age adults who suffer from low-vision, glaucoma, corneal problems, or cataracts.
One patient that Dr. Gordon says she especially remembers is an elderly gentleman who was on dialysis. She monitored his glaucoma treatment and also performed cataract surgery on one eye. “He was one of my first patients and would always come [to the office] with a ride, so I got to know different members of his family,” says Dr. Gordon. “We formed a good relationship because I saw him a lot. Many of the patients are Spanish-speaking, and he spoke Spanish. We would always joke because I would practice my Spanish with him.” When the patient passed away several months ago, Dr. Gordon says his family sent her a letter thanking her and Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute for the care he received. “It was just really special,” she says. “He was a really nice, sweet guy and positive person.”
Since the program began in late 2008, Project Access has donated $7.6 million in health care services and treated 2,357 patients. Dr. Gordon and Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute are among 625 medical professionals, 10 hospitals, and 14 outpatient surgical centers in the San Diego County area that volunteer their time and services to the organization. By providing such patients with the ability to receive medical speciality appointments and appropriate surgical care, Project Access also helps to reduce the strain on emergency rooms, which is something that the community as a whole can benefit from.
“The organization is great to work with,” says Dr. Gordon. “I would definitely recommend it [to other physicians]. There are a lot of patients out there who need different, various specialties for them to receive help. It’s a very rewarding program, and something that people in the community need in order to be able to live, work, and do everything they need to do.”
About Alison Gordon, MD
Dr. Alison Gordon graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and earned her medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (formerly the Mount Sinai School of Medicine). She is an associate physician and surgeon at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute, and specializes in a variety of general ophthalmology procedures including cataract surgery with intraocular lens implants, glaucoma management, and corneal diseases. Dr. Gordon is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association. She is available for interview upon request.
For more information about Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute, please visit gwsvision.com and facebook.com/lasiksandiego.
Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute
8910 University Center Lane
La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92122