With a lab coat covering his gray suit and red tie, Dr. Pankaj Gupta held a Tono-pen between his thumb and index finger in the Eversight clinical laboratory in Ohio. He was in his teaching element as he energetically described how the device measures a patient’s inner-eye pressure.
And sure enough, Lindsey Savitt, a senior recovery technician, was recording measurements on her own within just a few minutes. Dr. Gupta stood close by, offering tips and advice.
“He has an absolute desire to teach our clinical staff. You can tell he loves it,” said Debbie May-Johnson, Director of Philanthropy. “It’s been a great benefit to develop our skills and knowledge.”
Dr. Gupta joined Eversight as an Associate Medical Director in Ohio in 2015. Along with a team of medical directors, he oversees all medical aspects of the eye bank and ensures patients receive safe and reliable tissue for their surgical procedures. It’s also a chance for Dr. Gupta to experience an entirely different side of corneal transplantation than when he’s a University Hospitals ophthalmologist or an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Gupta deeply values his exposure to donor families and what it means for them to know their loved ones’ corneas were well-cared for and treated with the utmost respect during the donation process. Developing an appreciation for donation is an important part of being a corneal surgeon, Dr. Gupta believes.
“By being an integral part at Eversight, I can go back to UH and help residents who are just starting their medical careers understand what’s going on at the eye bank,” said Dr. Gupta. “Then when they get the chance to see a cornea transplant, they’re going to understand it’s somebody’s eye that was donated and therefore it’s a cherished gift.”
Improving clinical processes and training Eversight staff members aren’t the only aspects of Dr. Gupta’s role. He’s also developing research projects and connecting with international surgeons to increase patient access to care so preventable blindness no longer afflicts those in need across the globe.
“The goals of Eversight fit the overarching goals of why I went into medicine,” Dr. Gupta said. “We want to help restore people’s sight today, and we’re also pursuing solutions for improved vision in the long term. We’re trying to understand how to globally affect change at Eversight. It’s very exciting to be a part of.”