Sergul Erzurum, MD
By Essilor USA
Dr. Sergul Erzurum was the first woman partner in her ophthalmological practice, Eyecare Associates in Youngstown, Ohio (joining in 1994) and is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr. Erzurum is a tireless advocate for vision care in her local community and beyond.
Sergul and a friend started a not-for-profit, Sight for All United in 2017. Sight for All’s mission is to help all people achieve vision care by reducing the disconnect between medical services, insurance program coverage, and community organizations.
More specifically the organization was an outgrowth of her desire to fill the gap for patients in need when the ACA increased the deductible for cataract surgeries. To date, the organization has provided close to $500,000 in services from $100,000 in donated dollars.
Dr. Erzurum is one of the integral partners in ensuring the children of the Youngstown, Ohio city school district, Youngstown Community School and this year, Liberty Schools, receive annual screenings and in-school eye exams and eyeglasses for those in need. In three short years, she has helped the community implement a sustainable vision program as part of the United Way’s wrap around school program. This year, this included screening all of the kids in all of the local schools K-4 (2,500 children), examining those who failed the screenings (500), providing eyeglasses to those in need, and serving as the referral source for those children who need ophthalmological services.
To support these initiatives, Dr. Erzurum and her charity team have recruited local opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists to support all of these important efforts. The Doctors for Sight team will be on sight in the schools the week of December 10 to provide the in-school eye exam blitz - seeing all 500 kids in a week!
Dr. Erzurum has accomplished all of this in less than 3 years while still practicing full time, providing medical vision care to her patients as a practicing ophthalmologist.
Dr. Erzurum brings her “can do” and “yes and” spirit to every aspect of her charity efforts and medical practice. She has forged alliances across hospitals, nurses, doctors, charities, foundations, local manufacturers, communication and news services to ensure our community gets the vision care it needs.
I cannot think of a bigger #differencemaker! If only we could bottle her skills and commitment and share her across more communities.
-Submitted by Dawn Friedken