The foundation's history
The Masket Foundation is the research and education arm of Advanced Vision Care in Los Angeles, California. It was established in 2013 to help support eye surgery research, as previously available funding sources have become severely limited. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to inform patients and the profession about our ongoing research and its impact on patient care. We at Advanced Vision Care believe that patients have the Right to See, that the public has the Right to Know, and that physicians have the Right to Learn.
All of the Missions relate directly to clinical research at Advanced Vision Care where the physicians have been active in research for more than 40 years and have published extensively in the peer–reviewed professional literature. Unfortunately, owing to changes in laws, regulations, and the economy, once plentiful research funds from commercial sponsors are dwindling. As a result, patients must often pay for investigational devices. The Foundation plans to use donations and grants as available to support our clinical research as appropriate.
Among current projects at Advanced Vision Care is participation in the US FDA trial of the Humanoptics Custom Artificial Iris Implant. (The Iris is the colored part of the eye.) We are very proud to have been selected as one of just twelve approved sites nationwide for inclusion in the FDA trial. And, we have more experience with the device than any practice west of the Mississippi. The artificial iris is placed in the eye at surgery for patients who have birth defects or injuries that have caused them to lose part or all of the iris; this problem can have very serious negative impacts on vision and quality of life. Partial or complete loss of the iris is associated with horrific glare, a marked cosmetic deformity, and blurred vision. We are extremely pleased with our patients’ outcomes and wish to continue to serve additional patients as they are referred for care. However, the device is very costly, in excess of $5000, and insurance companies do not cover the expense as it is still under investigation. In years past, the manufacturer would supply investigational devices at no charge to the patient. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. We hope that the Foundation will be able to cover the cost of the investigational Artificial Iris for those patients in genuine financial need.