Dr. Patricia Era Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who invented what is considered to be one of the most important surgical tools in history is being honored.
The innovative researcher and laser scientist will be honored for her historic contributions to the medical field, in the newly announced Inductee Class of 2022 by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, according to PR Newswire.
In 1986, Dr. Bath changed the world of ophthalmology when she invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment —one of the most important surgical tools in the history of ophthalmology that is still being used on a global scale today.
The Harlem, N.Y., native used the Excimer Laser to develop a device and method for minimally invasive cataract surgery. Bath’s method involved using a faster technique that would eventually establish the foundation for eye surgeons to use lasers to restore or improve vision for millions of patients suffering from cataracts worldwide.
Dr. Bath was the first African American woman physician to receive a patent for a medical invention, and now along with Marian Croak, they will secure historic spots as the first two Black women joining the NIHF Inductee Class of 2022 on May 5.
“To know that my mother is part of the 2022 class of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees is an unbelievable honor,” said her daughter Dr. Eraka Bath. “Her incredible path- and her contributions to the study of ophthalmology, cannot be understated. The NIHF distinction is an overdue recognition of her accomplishments.”
As the world celebrates her historic achievement, there is now official Dr. Patricia Bath merchandise that’s available for purchase through the new online store, WE RSTEM. The store includes items like mugs, tote bags, t-shirts, and more. Each purchase will go toward a scholarship fund designed specifically for underrepresented students in STEM.
“Today is truly a special day, and I wish my mother could be here,” continued Dr. Eraka Bath. “ Launching the WE RSTEM store allows us to celebrate her life, honor her achievements and inspire future generations.”
Dr. Bath will be recognized at two ceremonies in 2022: an “Illumination Ceremony” at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Alexandria, VA on May 4th, and the 2022 National Inventors Hall of Fame “Induction Ceremony” in Washington, D.C. on May 5th.