Donor impact report 2023

28 May 2024

The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has been supporting Australia’s oldest hospital since 1981. Through the generosity of the community, funds raised are invested in a variety of programs to support the hospital in delivering world-class eye care.

Donor Impact 2023

A recent projection by Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital indicates that by 2031 there will be a 27 per cent growth in inpatient admissions and 25 per cent in outpatients. In the 80-years-old and over age bracket alone, a 44 per cent increase is expected.

As our population ages, the demands on our health system will increase. Eye issues like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetes are inevitable. Sydney Eye Hospital patients are striving to maintain their sight and independence – crucial elements for maintaining wellbeing. Preserving vision becomes precious for sustaining a fulfilling life.

In 2023, the Foundation generated close to $1.5 million in total income, with community donations contributing $861,356.  

Fifteen grants were also awarded, totalling an expenditure of $833,703. The investment was divided between the Foundation’s four funding priorities of equal access to care (6%), research (6%), technology and equipment (16%), and training and professional programs (72%).

The Foundation’s Fellowship Program received most of the funding within the area of training and professional programs. In 2023, $517,533 was invested to enable nine ophthalmology specialists to build their expertise, while enriching the hospital’s registrar training program.  Read more.

“We were thrilled in 2023 to extend our Fellowship Program to include a new Glaucoma-Neuro Ophthalmology fellowship,” Linda Fagan, CEO, Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, said.

Pharmacopeia App development Team L to R: Professor Peter McCluskey, Vicky Goh Director Pharmacy, Dr Matthew Wells  Dr Jessica Sy Glaucoma - Neuro Ophthalmology Fellow (pictured left)

Dr Jessica Sy Glaucoma - Neuro Ophthalmology Fellow (pictured left)

“Thank you to all our loyal donors for supporting this position to meet the growing demand of patient needs.”

Two nurses benefited from an investment of $6,000 in the Ophthalmic Specialist Nursing Program, which offers a two-year clinical placement for registered nurses, in the Graduate Certificate Ophthalmic Nursing at the University of Notre Dame, Australia.

The program gives participants the opportunity to gain ophthalmology expertise, develop their clinical skills, engage in quality improvement projects, while adhering to national quality standards to bring about better patient outcomes. 

As one patient said, “It means a great deal to have a nurse with specialist knowledge, I can get all the answers that I am looking for in a way that I understand.”

Investment in new equipment and technology included the purchase of the Ellex IntegrePro, a pattern laser to treat patients with retinal and glaucoma disorders, a hand-held retina camera for use on outreach services and the ongoing development of the Ophthalmic Pharmacopoeia App which is not only being used by professionals in Australia but overseas as well.

Vicky Goh Director Pharmacy, Dr Matthew Wells

Pharmacopeia App development Team

L to R: Professor Peter McCluskey, Vicky Goh Director Pharmacy, Dr Matthew Wells

“Health practitioners using the app can be reassured they are prescribing the right drug and the right dose in the right patient. This will further improve patient safety. No wonder its being used globally,” commented Professor Peter McCluskey AO, Professor & Chair of Ophthalmology at Sydney Eye Hospital, Director Save Sight Institute at The University of Sydney

Medical research studies funded by the Foundation in 2023 included the Australian Keratoprosthesis Service and a novel gut microbiome study to bring hope to people diagnosed with acute anterior uveitis known as the most common cause of blindness in Australia.

Six grants were awarded in support of programs to ensure equal access of eye care to all, now and in the future. One way this can be achieved is by improving pathways to care for patients in regional and remote areas of Australia through the Foundation’s Critical Care Fund. Other ways are by boosting eye-health literacy with the Sydney Eye Drop Project and the I-Share Outpatient Department program.

These two initiatives, along with a cataract clinical care project also include the opportunity for patients to share honest feedback to help the hospital understand their experiences, find areas to improve and ensure everyone gets the best care possible. By tracking these responses, the hospital will also be able to see how well treatments are working, so it can make smart decision to improve patient outcomes.

“Thanks to generous donations to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, the Cataract Clinical Care Project is setting the benchmark very high and leading the way for patient-reported outcome measures,” said Dr Pauline Rumma, Director of Clinical Services Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital.

In a special message Foundation chairman Assoc / Professor Andrew Chang said: “Community support is crucial, whether it’s bringing cutting-edge technology to the hospital, making groundbreaking medical discoveries, training future ophthalmology doctors and nurses or ensuring access to essential eye care for all.

“We know there is still so much to do to prepare for the next decade. And we are determined to support the hospital in meeting the demands head on.

“My thanks you to all who give and to those who are considering supporting our Foundation and improving eye health for all.”