Friday, March 18, 2011

Health Care Hero: Gerami Seitzman, Sinai Hospital

The Maryland Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards ceremony honors special caregivers who exemplify extraordinary commitment to their profession. The breakfast to honor the 2011 finalists, which includes Sinai's Gerami Seitzman, is on Wednesday, March 23.

Gerami D. Seitzman, M.D.

Two words come to mind when anyone thinks, or speaks, of Gerami D. Seitzman, M.D., excellence and compassion.

Dr. Seitzman is director of Cornea, External Disease and Uveitis at Sinai Hospital’s Krieger Eye Institute. She is an ophthalmologist skilled in caring for patients with very complicated and various inflammatory eye diseases.

Dr. Seitzman was the first Maryland doctor who implanted an artificial lens and iris into a patient who sustained a terrible screwdriver accident to an eye. She had to secure special FDA approval to implant the device. The outcome is that the patient has regained his pilot's license.

And when it comes to compassion, Dr. Seitzman is unparalleled in her selfless service to those in need. She has volunteered with the Maryland Society for Sight Vision Van for nearly ten years. She began volunteering in 2000 as a resident at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and continues to this date.

In that role, she provides vision screenings for those some may think of as “the least among us.” The homeless and the indigent people Dr. Seitzman sees at the Vision Van probably are unaware they are being examined by a top-notched medical specialist. If one of these patients needs follow-up care, Dr. Seitzman will make certain they know of the services available at the Krieger Eye Institute.

When she began work as an attending ophthalmologist, Dr. Seitzman learned about the Chase Brexton Organization, a community health care center. She learned that this organization had no medical providers who could evaluate their patients for eye diseases. Dr, Seitzman did not hesitate to step up where she saw a void. Since 2005, every three to four months Dr. Seitzman has been examining Chase Brexton patients at the Vision Van, some with HIV or other illnesses.

Dr. Seitzman, who is described by her peers as “a brilliant resident teacher” and “outstanding surgeon” saw that too may Baltimore residents are going blind from preventable diseases. She decided that as part of Sinai’s ophthalmology residency, residents would have regularly rotations on the Vision Van. She believes it is crucial that doctors know of the barriers some people face in getting decent medical care.

. If looking for a ophthalmologist who is successful with patient outcomes and who also believes in treating every person with respect and dignity, one can do no better than Dr. Gerami Seitzman.

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