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Healthcare Hero D’Aversa

Garden City resident and Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (OCLI) partner Dr. Gerard D’Aversa received a Physician Hero Award from Long Island Business News at their recent Healthcare Heroes Awards Breakfast. The Healthcare Hero Awards are given to health care professionals who are successful in their field; have earned the respect of both patients and peers; and whose extraordinary efforts have brought about achievements big and small. Specifically, Dr. D’Aversa was nominated for two international medical mission trips he participated in: the first to West Africa in 2011 and the second to Grenada last January.

In January 2013, D’Aversa, a board-certified ophthalmologist with vast experience in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery, performed sight-restoring surgeries in Grenada, West Indies for residents seeking medical assistance and in desperate need of eye surgery. Before the doctor's arrival, the last time a corneal transplant surgery was performed in Grenada was in 2005. The island has one Phacoemulsification machine for phacoemulsification cataract surgery and the machine is only used when a traveling surgeon, like Dr. D’Aversa, visits to perform surgery.

In addition, there is no eye bank on the island and D’Aversa and his team had to bring donated corneal tissue from the U.S. for use in the corneal transplant surgeries. This humanitarian mission was sponsored by a grant from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, in Grenada, West Indies.

Dr. D’Aversa’s first mission trip was in 2011 to Ghana, West Africa where he spent ten days at the North Western Eye Clinic in Accra, Ghana, providing clinical care, vision screenings and implementing educational programs for children and adults. For the Ghana mission, he brought medical supplies and equipment and trained Clinic Director Dr. Michael Gyasi how to perform modern cataract surgery using a donated Phacoemulsification (Phaco) machine. The Phaco machine remained in Ghana and thanks to the training he received from D’Aversa, Dr. Gyasi is still performing modern cataract surgery there today.