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Annual Meeting of the Memphis Eye Society: April 5, 2014

Memphis Eye Society speaker photo Dr. Andrew Lee

Memphis Eye Society speaker photo Dr. Michael Snyder

Memphis Eye Society speaker photo Alan Reider


Saturday, April 5, 2014, 8 am-4 pm, the Memphis Eye Society and UT Hamilton Eye Institute will welcome three outstanding lecturers for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Memphis Eye Society: Andrew G. Lee, MD, chair of Ophthalmology at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College; Michael E. Snyder, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the Cincinnati Eye Institute; and Alan Reider, JD, MPH, partner in the FDA and healthcare practice group of Arnold & Porter, LLP, Washington, DC.

Full details and CME credit information are available in the Event Program link below. Please register as soon as possible to attend this exceptional event.



Medical Ethics Lecture March 27

Montgomery Lecture Brochure

Patients Rank HEI Docs in Top Ten

Patients Rank HEI Docs in Top Ten

Hamilton Eye Institute ophthalmologists have been consistently named among the best in Memphis for many years by sources such as "Best Doctors in America," Castle Connelly's "America's Top Doctors," and Memphis magazine's annual "Memphis' Top Docs" feature. Adding to the acclaim, Healthgrades.com, RateMDs.com and Vitals.com have each ranked the top ophthalmologists in the Memphis area based on patient reviews. Among the three lists, nine HEI clinical and academic faculty members are ranked in the top ten:

  • Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS - Ophthalmic Oncology, Orbital Disease, and Oculoplastics (Hamilton Professor and Director of the Hamilton Eye Institute)
  • Edward Chaum, MD, PhD - Vitreoretinal Diseases (Plough Professor of Retinal Diseases)
  • Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS - Ophthalmic Oncology, Orbital Disease, Oculoplastic Surgery and Ophthalmic Pathology (St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology)
  • Thomas J. O'Donnell, MD - Neuro-Ophthalmology and Low-Vision Rehabilitation (Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the HEI Lions Low Vision Center)
  • Faramarz "Fred" Hidaji, MD - Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology)
  • Sidney H. Kriger, MD - Comprehensive Ophthalmology (Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology)
  • Gary A. Passons, MD - Comprehensive Ophthalmology (Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology)
  • Richard E. Sievers, MD - Vitreoretinal Diseases (Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology)


Annual Basic and Clinical Science Review Course

group photo (From left) Drs. Risch, Pegram, and Hood join Dr. Wright after his lecture to gratefully accept a signed copy of his textbook.

January 31-February 2, 2014, the Hamilton Eye Institute held the Annual Basic and Clinical Science Review Course. This free program, which was offered to all residents and fellows in training, was organized by second-year ophthalmology residents T. Amerson Pegram, MD, Michael Hood, MD, and Patrick Risch, MD. It provided a series of didactic lectures by subspecialty experts in the field based on the core material from the Basic and Clinical Science Series published by the AAO.

Lecturers at the event included members of our own faculty as well as special guest speaker Kenneth W. Wright, MD, director of the Wright Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in Costa Mesa, Calif, who delivered an exceptional lecture on the anatomy of eye muscles. He also donated a signed copy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (3rd ed.), a leading pediatric ophthalmology textbook co-edited by Dr. Wright, to HEI's Haik Ophthalmology Library. We are grateful to Dr. Wright for his outstanding contributions to the ongoing education of our residents and fellows.



2015 Resident Matches

Congratulations to HEI's 2015 PGY-2 Residents!

2015 Resident Matches



Basic and Clinical Update Course

Basic and Clinical Update Course

FRIDAY1/31/2013 
9:45-10:00Registration, Welcome, and InroductionDr. Risch, Hood, and Pegram
10:00-11:30Pediatric Ophthalmology and StrabismusDr. Kenneth Wright
11:30-11:35Break 
11:35-1:00Pediatric Ophthalmology and StrabismusDr. Kenneth Wright
1:00-1:30Lunch 
1:30-3:00GlaucomaDr. Elliot Kanner
3:00-3:05Break 
3:05-5:00UveitisDr. Christopher Walton
5:00-5:10Distribution of Dinner 
5:10-8:00PathologyDr. William Morris
   
SATURDAY2/1/2013 
7:30-8:00Breakfast 
8:00-9:30Orbit and OculoplascticsDr. Brian Fowler
9:30-9:40Break 
9:40-10:45Orbit and OculoplasticsDr.Byron Wilkes
10:45-11:45Ophthalmic ImgaingDr. Asim Chaudhri
11:45-12:15Lunch 
12:15-2:15Neuro-ophthalmologyDr. Thomas O'Donnell
2:15-2:25Break 
2:25-4:00RetinaDr. Eric Sigler
4:00-4:05Break 
4:05-5:30RetinaDr. Eric Sigler
   
SUNDAY2/2/2013 
7:15-7:45Breakfast 
7:45-9:15Cornea and External DiseaseDr. Aaron Waite
9:15-9:30Break 
9:30-11:00Cornea and External DiseaseDr. James Freeman
10:35-10:45Closing Remarks and Evaluation

* denotes guest lecturers

Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to discuss relevant clinical entities and their appropriate medical and surgical management from the following topics: cornea and external disease, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular pathology and ophthalmic tumors, optics, orbit and oculoplastics, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, retina and vitreous, and uveitis.

Registration: This program is free of charge. Please register by January 1, 2014 to reserve course materials.

To Register Contact: Ms. Debra Trapp, dtrapp@uthsc.edu, (901) 448-5492

Required Information: Name, Training institution, Year of training or completion, contact phone number, e-mail address



Jena J. Steinle, PhD, Named Director of the Center for Vision Research

Jena J. Steinle, PhD

Jena J. Steinle, PhD, has been named Director of the Center for Vision Research at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute. Dr. Steinle, who joined the faculty at HEI in 2007, is a very successful scientist and researcher. She has received numerous grants for her work developing treatments to prevent or even reverse damage caused by diabetic retinopathy.

"Dr. Steinle has a remarkable enthusiasm," says Department of Ophthalmology chair James C. Fleming, MD, FACS. "She infuses our research group with an energy for innovation, creating a vigorous environment for discovery at the Hamilton Eye Institute."

Inside Memphis Business article about Dr. Steinle's appointment.



Save the Date: January 11, 2014 7:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

The 17th Annual Clinical Update for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist

William R. Nunery, MD William R. Nunery, MD


The 13th I. Lee Arnold, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor
William R. Nunery, MD, FACS

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology,
Indiana University, Indianapolis, In.
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology,
University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
Director of Oculofacial Plastic & Orbital Surgery,
University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.


Michael J. Taravella, MD Michael J. Taravella, MD


Invited Speaker
Michael J. Taravella, MD

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, Co.


Freeman Auditorium, UT Hamilton Eye Institute
930 Madison Avenue, Third Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38163

Register Now | Program (will be posted as soon as available)

For more information, contact Shirley Smith at (901)448-5883 or email heiacademic@uthsc.edu.


UT Ophthalmology Alumni Reception at New Orleans Westin

The Westin New Orleans Canal Place Photo from Westin.com  external link icon


This Sunday, November 17, the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will hold a reception for their alumni during the 2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The event will take place at the River Room in the Westin Hotel at 5:30 PM. All alumni of the UTHSC Department of Ophthalmology are welcome to attend.

UTHSC Ophthalmology Alumni Reception
November 17, 2013, 5:30-7:00 PM
The River Room at the New Orleans Westin
100 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 566-7006



Andrew G. Lee, MD, Delivers 16th Williford Lecture

Dr. Andrew Lee
Dr. Williford (left) presents the award to Dr. Lee

On October 24, 2013, the Hamilton Eye Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Ophthalmology in Memphis, Tennessee, was honored to welcome the 16th Annual William N. Williford, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor, acclaimed neuro-ophthalmology expert Andrew G. Lee, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Lee presented an outstanding and engaging lecture, "5 Neuro-Op Diagnoses You Cannot Afford to Miss." In gratitude for his service, William N. Williford, MD, presented Dr. Lee with an etched glass award commemorating his visit. The following day, Dr. Lee presented two extremely informative and engaging lectures for our ophthalmology residents. Several faculty members attended these presentations, as well. We are indebted to Dr. Lee for his remarkable and enriching presentations and for his outstanding service as the Williford Professor.

This annual event is named for Dr. Williford, a highly regarded anterior segment and cataract surgeon and an alumnus of the UT Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Williford is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American College of Surgeons, and he is a member of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology.



Ophthalmology Chair in USA Today

Dr. Fleming Dr. Fleming

James C. Fleming, MD, chair and Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology, was interviewed for an article that appeared in the October 17, 2013, issue of USA Today. In it, Dr. Fleming discusses haemolacria, a rare, unexplained disorder that causes a person to produce tears that are partially composed of blood. Four years ago, a teenager in East Tennessee suffered this condition. Now another Tennessean with haemolacria seeks answers.

Read more at the USA Today website.  external link icon



HEI Featured in Memphis Downtowner Magazine

Memphis Downtowner

Memphis Downtowner magazine today released their October issue, which features an outstanding four-page story about the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, as well as an article about the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, past and present. We are grateful to the staff of the Downtowner and to the UTHSC Office of Communications and Marketing for facilitating the publication of this wonderful article.



Memphis VisionWalk a Great Success

2012 visionwalk photo Some of the participants in the 2012 Memphis VisionWalk

On October 19, 2013, the Mid-South Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) held the Memphis VisionWalk at Overton Park, raising more than $43,000 in the fight against blinding retinal diseases. Chaired by Janice Caudill, this annual 5K was one of 51 walks taking place across the country this year. Since its inception in spring 2006, VisionWalk has raised over $28 million nationwide to fund sight-saving research. The UT Hamilton Eye Institute team, iWalk4iSight, raised more than $6,400 for this year's walk, led by team captain and FFB chapter president, Alessandro Iannaccone, MD, MS, director of HEI's Retinal Degeneration & Ophthalmic Genetics Service. Congratulations to Dr. Iannaccone, Ms. Caudill, and all of the teams and walkers for their outstanding work.

If you would like to become involved in next year's walk, please visit the Memphis VisionWalk web site or call Maria Donile, events manager for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, at 1-847-680-0100.

VisionWalk is a signature fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Over 10 Million Americans are affected by blinding retinal diseases including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and Usher syndrome. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is working to find treatments and cures for these devastating diseases by funding leading edge research in area such as genetics, gene therapy, transplantation, artificial retinal implants and pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is making a difference today to make the world a brighter place for those suffering with retinal degenerative diseases.

Related story

Tri-State Defender (Memphis) - 27 Sep 2012 - Alicia Hall talks about how a blinding disease has affected her son Gino's life, why people should participate in the Memphis VisionWalk, and what Hamilton Eye Institute Professor of Ophthalmology and world-renowned retinal surgeon Steve Charles, MD, FACS, is doing to help save Gino's vision.



Three HEI Faculty in Memphis Magazine's "Top Docs 2013"

Memphis magazine's annual "Top Doctors" issue has recognized three of our faculty members among the best in the city. Printed in the July 2013 issue of Memphis, the list was compiled by the New York-based research group, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which annually conducts national surveys of the best doctors in America.


Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS

Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS
Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, Hamilton Eye Institute
Specialty: ophthalmic oncology, orbital disease and oculoplastics


Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS

Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS
Hiatt Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, HEI Residency Program
Specialty: pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus


Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS

Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS
Professor of Ophthalmology
St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Ophthalmology
Specialty: ophthalmic oncology, orbital disease, oculoplastics and ophthalmic pathology



Hamilton Eye Institute Director Featured in Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons

Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS

Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, was extensively interviewed and quoted throughout an article by Tony Peregrin, which appeared in the April 2013 Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. In the article, "New surgical directions for ACS surgical education programs," Dr. Haik discusses the future of medical education, including new directions being taken in telesurgical education and 3-D technologies.



Incoming Residents Matched for 2014

Benjamin King, Emily McIntosh, Andrew Meador & Henry WynnFrom left to right:
Benjamin King, Emily McIntosh, Andrew Meador & Henry Wynn

We are pleased to announce the outcome of this winter's residency match. On July 1, 2014, the Hamilton Eye Institute's Ophthalmology Residency Program will welcome Benjamin King, MD, and Henry Wynn, MD from UTHSC, Emily McIntosh, MD, from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, and Andrew Meador, MD, from the University of Mississippi.
These four exceptional candidates were selected from among 44 who visited the institute for interviews, tours and an introduction to our Residency Program by its director, Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS. Those 44 were identified by the match process from among 358 applicants who listed our program among their top choices. Our faculty greatly anticipates the wonderful accomplishments that lie ahead for these four future residents at the Hamilton Eye Institute and in their future careers in ophthalmology.



HEI Site Visit to Quito, Ecuador

Dr. Haik and patient (LEFT TO RIGHT, SEATED) Dr. Haik, a parent and a child patient; (STANDING) a pediatric fellow, Drs. Eguiguren, Molinari and Sanchez.

Recently, Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, flew to Quito, Ecuador, with members of his team to visit Hospital Metropolitano, a site now under consideration for our Ayers International Outreach Initiative. Dr. Haik toured the facilities and met with key leadership and personnel. Representing the hospital were pediatric ophthalmologist Andrea Molinari, MD, and pediatric oncologist Jose Eguiguren, MD; representing the Sociedad de Lucha Contra el Cancer* (SOLCA) was pediatric oncologist Gissela Sanchez, MD; and representing the local Corazones Valientes Foundation were its directors, Hector Barahona and Karen Manjarrez. Strengths and opportunities were identified for a twinning partnership with St. Jude's International Outreach Program led by Ecuador Telemedicine Director Ibrahim Qaddoumi, MD, MS. Further discussions are forthcoming on how to best collaborate for the benefit of the children of Ecuador.

Dr. Haik exampines patient Dr. Haik examines an infant's eyes with an indirect ophthalmoscope at the Metropolitano Hospital in Quito, Ecuador.



Alumni/Residents' Day, May 31, 2013

Dr. Quillen

On Friday, May 31, the Hamilton Eye Institute celebrated the graduation of its senior residents and instructors at the 42nd Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Residents' Day. The event included case and research presentations by residents and faculty, but the centerpiece of the program was the 23rd George K. Kambara, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture presented by David A. Quillen, MD, the George and Barbara Blankenship Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Penn State Hershey Eye Center in Hershey, Penn.

View Program  PDF icon

Dr. Quillen offered lively discussion during the residents' presentations, and his lecture, "Most Missed Maculopathies," was outstanding and extremely well received. Following Dr. Quillen's presentation, an award was presented to him by Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, Hiatt Professor of Ophthalmology and HEI Residency Program director, in gratitude for his outstanding service as the 23rd Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor.

We offer our deepest gratitude to Dr. Quillen for his participation in the 42nd Annual Alumni/Residents' Day.



Dr. Jablonski Named Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs

Dr. Jablonski Dr. Jablonski at work in her laboratory with members of her vision research team.

Among her responsibilities in this position, Dr. Jablonski will attract strong candidates by promoting the university's programs, insure an optimal working environment for postdocs, assist mentors to help cultivate postdoc career development, and foster collegiality among postdocs. "Only about 20 percent of U.S.-trained postdocs are able to secure academic faculty positions," Dr. Jablonski notes, "So what do the other 80 percent do? To help our postdocs make informed decisions, we will bring in guest speakers to educate postdocs regarding other career paths, whether in business, a pharmaceutical company, an emerging biotech company, working in research administration or for a journal…. It's a relatively new way of working with postdocs to help them navigate toward their future occupations."

Dr. Jablonski was selected for this position from among eight outstanding applicants by a committee of faculty and members of the UTHSC Postdoctoral Association. "It is truly an honor to have been selected as the associate dean of Postdoctoral Affairs," says Dr. Jablonski. "I am very excited about my new role in the Graduate School and working with our postdoctoral trainees. This group is the next generation of scientists, and I look forward to working with them to strengthen our research program at UTHSC and expose them to the many professions in which they can use their training to flourish in their future careers."

"We are very excited about one of our outstanding researchers being chosen to foster the postdoctoral research program across the entire university," adds James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, Philip M. Lewis Professor and chair of Ophthalmology. "I am confident Dr. Jablonski will prove to be an enormous asset to UTHSC in this role."



Dr. Calzada Spearheads Baptist Comprehensive Eye Center

Calzada and infant photoDr. Calzada in the NICU

Thanks to an initiative led by vitreoretinal surgeon Jorge I. Calzada, MD, clinical associate professor of Ophthalmology at HEI, a Comprehensive Eye Center recently opened at Baptist Women's Hospital. The center was established for the diagnosis, treatment and early prevention of eye disorders, trauma, infection and diseases in children. In addition to providing seamless continuum of care for the 5,000 babies born at the hospital each year, it will also serve as a regional referral center.

When Dr. Calzada, who is also president of the Charles Retina Institute, was approached to provide essential surgical eye care at Baptist Women's Hospital by its administrator and CEO, Anita Vaughn, he took the idea a step further. Dr. Calzada proposed a comprehensive eye center equipped to provide not only surgery but also complete diagnostics and therapeutics. After the hospital generously agreed to fund a portion of the proposed center, Dr. Calzada brought a proposal to the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation to complete this ambitious effort. He was joined at the grant presentation by Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute. "Dr. Haik is very well known by everyone in the Baptist Hospital system," Dr. Calzada states. "He came in to lend his support, and I think it made a big difference. He was able to provide the broad view of the needs of the metropolitan community, and he gave the whole project academic and social credibility."

The combined funding totaled over $1 million and was used to purchase the newest technology in eye equipment, including a retinal imaging system, an electroretinograph, and a cutting-edge optical coherence tomography system. Dr. Calzada is deeply grateful to Stephen C. Reynolds, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital, J. Scott Fountain, senior vice president, chief development officer, and head of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, and the foundation's board of directors for their confidence in funding the center. "The Baptist Comprehensive Eye Center will be a source for the most advanced eye surgical cases for children," said Dr. Calzada. The center is currently building subspecialties, blocking surgery time, and credentialing physicians. For more information, please call Carol Thetford, chief nursing officer, at Baptist Women's Hospital at (901) 227-9103.



HEI Doctors Recognized as America's Best

Several faculty members in our department have been named to the 2013 listing of the Best Doctors in America®. The list is compiled by a survey of previous Best Doctors regarding their peers. The following HEI physicians were recognized in this year's list:


James C. Fleming, MD, FACS

James C. Fleming, MD, FACS
Chair, Department of Ophthalmology
Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, HEI Orbit Center
Medical Director, HEI Ambulatory Surgery Center
Specialty: orbital disease and oculoplastic surgery


Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS

Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS
Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, Hamilton Eye Institute
Chief of Ophthalmology, St. Jude CRH
Specialty: ophthalmic oncology, orbital disease and oculoplastics


Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS

Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS
Hiatt Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, HEI Residency Program
Specialty: pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus


Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS

Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS
Professor of Ophthalmology
St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Ophthalmology
Specialty: ophthalmic oncology, orbital disease, oculoplastics and ophthalmic pathology


Mary Ellen Hoehn, MD

Mary Ellen Hoehn, MD
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, HEI Special Projects
Specialty: pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus


Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS

Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, HEI Glaucoma Service
Specialty: glaucoma


Dr. Haik was also recently named among America's Top Doctors® by Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., a company that guides consumers to the nation's best health care providers. Their physician-led research team rigorously screens nominees' educational and professional experience to identify those who are at the top of their specialty. Dr. Haik also received a special award for appearing on their Top Doctors list for ten consecutive years.

We congratulate all of our faculty members who were recognized among the top ophthalmologists in the country.


Basic and Clinical Science Review Course

Drs. Huddleston, Wright and Kosko Drs. Huddleston, Wright and Kosko

March 1-3, 2013, the Hamilton Eye Institute held the Annual Basic and Clinical Science Review Course. This free program was organized by second-year ophthalmology residents Stephen Huddleston, MD, and Mark Kosko, MD, and was offered to all residents and fellows in training. The course provided a series of didactic lectures by subspecialty experts in the field based on the core material from the Basic and Clinical Science Series published by the AAO.

Dr. Harris Dr. Harris

Lecturers at the event included members of our own faculty as well as guest speakers David J. Harris, Jr., MD, FACS, with University Eye Surgeons, Knoxville, Tenn., and Kenneth W. Wright, MD, director of the Wright Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Costa Mesa, Calif. This year's topics included cornea and external disease, refractive surgery, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular pathology and ophthalmic tumors, ophthalmic radiology, orbit and oculoplastics, retina, and uveitis. We are grateful to Drs. Harris and Wright for their participation in this year's course.

cover of Basic and Clinical Science Review Course PDFBasic and Clinical Science Review Course  PDF icon



Dr. Hamilton Spotlighted in Memphis Medical News

In the January 2013 issue of Memphis Medical News, a full-page article spotlights UTHSC Professor of Ophthalmology Ralph S. Hamilton, MD. In the article, Dr. Hamilton discusses his remarkable life and career, from his youth in East Tennessee to the securing of his legacy at the Hamilton Eye Institute.



Dr. Haik in ACS Centennial Book

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recently celebrated their centennial anniversary by publishing Remembering Milestones and Achievements in Surgery: Inspiring Quality for a Hundred Years, 1913-2012. This collection of writings by several nationally and internationally recognized surgeons discusses the evolution of surgical practice over the past century.

Among those invited to contribute was Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, who was honored to share his thoughts on the evolution of ophthalmic surgery over the past 100 years. Dr. Haik wishes to thank everyone who contributed suggestions and assistance in the writing of this article. To view the article, please select the image to the left.



Annual Convention of the Memphis Eye Society & Tenn. Academy of Ophthalmology

Drs. Wallace, Olivier, Lazarro and Sternberg Drs. Wallace, Olivier, Lazarro and Sternberg

February 16, the Hamilton Eye Institute hosted the annual meeting of the Memphis Eye Society and Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology. At this event, ophthalmologists convened for updates across the scope of ophthalmic practice, addressing areas of needed improvement and updating knowledge within the specialty.

As director of the annual meeting, Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, associate professor of Ophthalmology and director of HEI Glaucoma Service, was pleased to welcome our distinguished speakers for this year's event: Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD, professor and chair of Ophthalmology, and the Richard C. Troutman, MD, Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology & Ophthalmic Microsurgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, NY (Specialty: Cornea & External Disease); Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD, FACS, assistant dean for Diversity, associate professor of Ophthalmology, Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin, University of Medicine and Science, Chicago, Ill. (Specialty: Glaucoma); Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, G.W. Hale Professor & Chair of Ophthalmology, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Nashville, Tenn., President, American Academy of Ophthalmology (Specialty: Retina); and R. Bruce Wallace III, MD, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Tulane & LSU Medical Schools, Alexandria, La. (Specialty: Cataract/IOL & Refractive Surgery).


White House Honors Mid-South Lions CEO Brad Baker

White House Honors Mid-South Lions CEO Brad Baker Lions Champions of Change: (Left to right) Laura Rieg, Maria Emee M. Nisnisan, Paul Berman, OD, Nadine Nishioka, Karla N. Harris, Debbie Whittlesey, Douglas D. Rodenbeck, Gregory L. Jeffrey, Robert W. Massof, Brad Baker, and Mike Buscemi.

Brad Baker, CEO of the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, Inc., was recently honored as a "Champion of Change" by our nation's capitol. Baker and ten other key members of Lions Club International were invited to the White House to share their ideas for "winning the future" with government leaders including Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama. We congratulate Mr. Baker and the Mid-South Lions for this incredible achievement.

This story was recently spotlighted in the Lions Quarterly video magazine. The video segment also features the Adult Specialty Center and the Lions Low Vision Center at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, where comprehensive ophthalmologist Alinda McGowin, MD, and low-vision therapist Orli Weisser-Pike can be seen interacting with Lions patients.

For more information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/lions-club-international



16th Annual Clinical Update for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist Held

December 8, 2012, the Hamilton Eye Institute hosted the 16th Annual Clinical Update for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, where our faculty and honored guests presented the latest discoveries, techniques and scientific data from their areas of ophthalmic subspecialty.

Dr. Matthew Wilson and Dr. Costarides
Dr. Matthew Wilson (left) presents Dr. Costarides an award in gratitude for his participation as an honored guest lecturer

Photo of Dr. Matthew Wilson (left) presents Dr. David Wilson
Dr. David Wilson (right) also received an award, in gratitude for his participation as the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Professor


We were particularly gratified to welcome our illustrious visiting speakers for this year's event. The I. Lee Arnold, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture was delivered by David J. Wilson, MD, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Oregon Health and Science University and director of the Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Ore. Dr. Wilson also holds the Theile-Petti Chair in Ophthalmology and is director of the Christensen Eye Pathology Laboratory. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in vitreoretinal disease, ocular oncology and ophthalmic pathology.

We also welcomed featured guest lecturer, Anastasios Costarides, MD, PhD, the Pamela Humphrey Firman Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the glaucoma fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Costarides is a nationally and internationally recognized glaucoma expert and has been on Emory's faculty since 1999.

Dr. Wilson's and Costarides' lectures were very well received and informative. Following the lectures, Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS, St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Oncology and activity medical director for this event, presented to Dr. David Wilson the I. Lee Arnold, MD, Award for his outstanding contribution as this year's Arnold Distinguished Visiting Professor. Dr. Costarides also received an engraved award for his participation. We thank them and all of our participating faculty for their involvement in this year's clinical update meeting.



HEI Vision Screening

Dr. Pegram discusses the importance of regular eye exams with a patient Dr. Pegram discusses the importance of regular eye exams with a patient at the vision screening event.

HEI was invited by Walter Rayford, MD, PhD, MBA, UTHSC Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, to participate in a recent health fair at the Brown Baptist Church in Southaven, Miss. More than 60 people were screened for glaucoma, cataracts, vision impairment, dry eye, presbyopia and other eye problems. Performing the screenings were HEI ophthalmology resident Trey Pegram, MD, and Maira Morales, MD, a physician from Brazil participating in our International Outreach Program. Assisting with screenings were UTHSC medical students Christopher Knight, Joshua Little and Henry Dodd, and visiting UK medical student Brian Bodnarchuk.

Nearly 20 people at the screening received referrals. Most were due to early warning signs of glaucoma such as high eye pressure, some had impaired vision, a few had cataracts, and one even had symptoms of a lymphatic disorder. "This was a very rewarding experience, and I was grateful for the opportunity," Dr. Pegram said.



AOC Certifying Exam Held at HEI

Photo of HEI orthoptists that received AOC certification LEFT to RIGHT: Chantel Devould, CO, Aaron Miller, MD, Melinda Rainey, MD, Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, Claire Hennessey, CO, Alex Christoff, CO, Leslie France, CO.

In October, the American Orthoptic Council (AOC) held its annual oral certification exam at HEI. This event is held in a different city each year, and was last held at HEI in 2007. Orthoptics is an ophthalmic field dealing with the evaluation and treatment of patients with visual system disorders involving binocular vision and eye movements. After two years of course work, those pursuing orthoptist certification complete a written test and then attend this final examination.

HEI orthoptist Chantel Devould, CO, was one of three orthoptists who helped organize the exam, recruit volunteer patients, set up the exam rooms, and keep each phase of the exam on time. To evaluate each candidate's performance, several orthoptists and ophthalmologists from around the country were on hand to proctor the examinations, including HEI Professor of Ophthalmology Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, who is also president of the AOC. This year, an impressive 14 orthoptists received certification at the event, the highest number in recent years.



Congratulations to Dr. Steve Charles

Steve Charles in Lab Steve Charles, MD, FACS, has been inducted to the Board of Governors of the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research

HEI Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology Steve Charles, MD, FACS, has been inducted to the Board of Governors of the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research. Established in 2001 by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), this foundation exists to provide ongoing support for innovative and novel vision research, particularly work with translational impact that fosters collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists. The foundation also encourages the development of new scientists in the field of vision research, as well as researchers in developing countries. As a member of the Board of Governors, Dr. Charles will help set the strategic direction for this important organization.

Dr. Charles also recently delivered the keynote address at ZeroTo510 Investor Day, a program of the Greater Memphis Accelerator Consortium hosted at the Memphis Bioworks Conference Center. His lecture followed opening remarks by entrepreneur and longtime HEI supporter, Joseph R. "Pitt" Hyde III, founder of Autozone and chairman of the board of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and GTx, Inc. This event helps medical device entrepreneurs navigate the start-up process, refine business models, and file for commercial deployment through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 510(k) clearance process. As a world renowned vitreoretinal surgeon, engineer, and ZeroTo510 board member, Dr. Charles is a highly prolific medical device developer himself, and the ideal choice to deliver the keynote lecture.

Congratulations to Dr. Charles on his outstanding accomplishments.



Life-Changing Mission for Panama Children

Dr. Oester with several Panama children Dr. Oester with several Panama children

Strabismus is the medical term for crossed or misaligned eyes, and ptosis is the term for droopy eyelids. These conditions not only affect the visual system's development, but are often emotionally debilitating to a child's self-esteem. Ophthalmologists in the Republic of Panama have been working to eliminate these conditions in as many children as possible through Niños Sanos, Niños Felices, a program of the Fundación Pro-Integración directed by Panamanian ophthalmologists Jorge Arrue, MD, and Felix Ruiz, MD, and coordinated by trustees Virginia Alvarado, Soraya Bhiku and J. Thomas Ford.

The Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) has been participating in this program since 2010, thanks to Ernesto A. Calvo, MD, a UT clinical professor of Ophthalmology who is based in Panama who recommended our institute to the program directors. This year, HEI was again invited to take part in this wonderful event. Participants from HEI included Dr. Haik, oculoplastic surgery instructor Margaret Phillips, MD, UTMG/HEI surgery center anesthesiologist DeRayne Boykins, MD, and HEI alumni Alan E. Oester, MD, and Adham Al-Hariri, MD.

Pre-screened children and their families were brought to the El Vigia Hospital in the village of Chitré, where more than 140 surgeries were performed by volunteer ophthalmic surgeons from Panama and the United States. Many were also screened for eye cancer, congenital cataracts and other conditions.

As children recovered in the post-operative recovery area, the effect of their repaired lids and corrected eye alignment was obvious. Children who previously felt ashamed of their appearance were beaming with confident smiles. "Most of these children are less than 10 years old," said Ford. "They are at an age where they can get back their self-esteem. That's just as important as recovering eyesight. We have changed their lives."

When the mission was complete, Drs. Arrue, Ruiz, Haik, and world-renowned pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Kenneth W. Wright were invited to a special ceremony at the Presidency of the Republic. There, the first lady of Panama, Marta Linares de Martinelli, presented special presidential awards to them in recognition of their ongoing selfless work improving the lives of the children of Panama.

An eye cancer patient awaiting his evaluation with his dad An eye cancer patient awaiting his evaluation with his dad

A child smiles with newfound pride in his appearance after surgical repair of a droopy eyelid A child smiles with newfound pride in his appearance after surgical repair of a droopy eyelid

Dr. Haik with some of the happy Panamanian children in the program Dr. Haik with some of the happy Panamanian children in the program

Panama's first lady presents a presidential award to Dr. Haik Panama's first lady presents a presidential award to Dr. Haik



Southeast Eye Meeting 2012

Photo from the Southeast Eye Meeting 2012 (Left to right) Dr. Feist, Dr. Dale Heuer (professor and chair, Medical College of Wisconsin), Dr. Salim, Dr. Gregory Skuta (professor and chair, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine), and Dr. Haik.

The annual Southeast Eye Regional Meeting, co-sponsored by the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee Academies of Ophthalmology, was held in Destin, Fla., July 26-28, 2012. The meeting was co-chaired by Richard M. Feist, MD, associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and by Sarwat Salim, MD, associate professor of Ophthalmology and Glaucoma Service director at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute.

The meeting was a resounding success, featuring internationally renowned speakers presenting on topics in all subspecialties of ophthalmology. Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, was a featured speaker at the event. He presented the 2012 Roger L. Hiatt, MD, Lecture, a comprehensive update on retinoblastoma.

Drs. Feist and Salim are grateful to Sue Chasteen and Mike Merrill, the executive directors of the Tennessee and Alabama Academies of Ophthalmology, respectively, for their dedication and exceptional organizational skills.



HEI Welcomes New Faculty and Residents

Faculty


Alinda Guynes McGowin, MD
Assistant Professor - Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. McGowin received her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She completed residency training here at the Hamilton Eye Institute.


Shiva Nobar, MD
Assistant Professor - Pediatric Ophthalmology
Dr. Nobar received her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. She completed residency training at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and her fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at Children's Mercy Hospital.


Byron N. Wilkes, MD
Assistant Professor - Oculoplastic Surgery and Orbital Disease
Dr. Wilkes received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed residency training at the University of Oklahoma Department of Ophthalmology, and his fellowship in oculoplastic surgery and orbital disease at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.


Brian T. Fowler, MD
Instructor - Ocular Oncology
Dr. Fowler received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed residency training at the Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


Carolee Cutler Peck, MD
Instructor - Oculoplastic Surgery
Dr. Peck received her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine. She completed residency training at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jackson.


Eric C. Sigler, MD
Instructor - Vitreoretinal Surgery
Dr. Sigler received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He completed residency training at Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine.

Residents


Austin P. Bell, MD
Dr. Bell received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


Michael P. Hood, MD
Dr. Hood received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma.


T. Amerson Pegram, MD
Dr. Pegram received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


Patrick W. Risch, MD
Dr. Risch received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma.



Art Sale Benefiting UTHSC


Click image to preview some of his art.

Several original artworks and prints by the late Paul Penczner are currently on display and available for sale in 930 Madison, Suite 100, the main academic offices of the Hamilton Eye Institute. Penczner, a renowned artist whose works hang in the Vatican and the White House, died in 2010 at the age of 93. His wife, Jolanda, has given the University of Tennessee Health Science Center more than 400 of his works so that funding from their sale can benefit its programs and research. Distribution and sale of the artwork is being handled by Dr. Kathleen Stern, wife of College of Medicine Executive Dean David M. Stern, MD. Each month, additional works will be featured at the Paul Penczner Art Gift website. To inquire about purchase of these or other works by Paul Penczner, please contact Dr. Stern at pencznergift@gmail.com.



Famed Glaucoma Surgeon Delivers 15th Williford Lecture

lecturer portrait M. Bruce Shields, MD

On September 13, 2012, the Hamilton Eye Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Ophthalmology in Memphis, Tennessee, hosted the 15th Annual Williford Distinguished Visiting Professorship. This event featured a lecture by world-renowned glaucoma expert, M. Bruce Shields, MD, the Marvin L. Sears Professor and Chair Emeritus of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the Yale School of Medicine.

A very large crowd of physicians representing many medical specialties attended Dr. Shields's lecture. His topic, "Glaucoma: Past, Present and Future," was extremely well received. Following his lecture, William N. Williford, MD, presented Dr. Shields with a custom-engraved award in gratitude for presenting the 15th Williford Lecture.

Dr. Williford established this distinguished visiting professorship in 1997. He is a highly regarded anterior segment and cataract surgeon and an alumnus of the UT Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Williford is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American College of Surgeons, and he is a member of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Shields has gained international acclaim for significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma over the course of his illustrious career. Link to Williford Distinguished Visiting Professorship PDF View Program Prior to his service at Yale, Dr. Shields served 22 years as a faculty member in the department of ophthalmology at Duke University, where he directed their Glaucoma Service, developing laser treatments to treat the most advanced types of glaucoma. In 2006, he patented a glaucoma treatment device called the Aquashunt, which reduces intraocular pressure by allowing excess fluid in the eye to exit naturally. He has written more than 200 scientific journal articles and book chapters. His best-known work is the Textbook of Glaucoma, which is now in its sixth U.S. edition and has also been translated into German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

View the Recorded Event



HEI Unveils Wall Honoring Donors

Donor Wall 1. Members of UTHSC administration and HEI faculty, (left to right) Dr. Fleming, Dr. Jerre M. Freeman, Dr. Ken Brown, Dr. David Stern, Dr. Hamilton, Chancellor Schwab, Dr. Haik, and Dr. Richard D. Drewry, Jr. 2-5. The donor wall is officially unveiled at the end of the ceremony.

On Tuesday, June 12, 2012, the Hamilton Eye Institute unveiled its new donor wall. Constructed of etched glass and brushed metal, this monument honors those who have helped make the Hamilton Eye Institute into the world-class eye center it is today.

Department of Ophthalmology Vice-Chair Dr. James C. Fleming welcomed donors, university and community leaders, physicians and members of the press to the ceremony. UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab praised the institute as a "national-caliber" research, education and patient-care facility. "It is my distinct pleasure to be here as we unveil this wall that reflects the commitment of so many to build a world-class institution here in Memphis, Tennessee," he said.

The chancellor and other UTHSC administrators commended the vision of Dr. Ralph Hamilton for the institute's creation. A grateful Dr. Hamilton thanked everyone for their words of praise and humbly stated, "I think you are giving me way too much credit here. Dr. Haik is the man who really did this." He then recounted the story of his vision for the institute and the difficulties he encountered over 35 years of trying to establish it, until the leadership of Dr. Barrett Haik and the generosity of many supporters enabled his dream to come to life.

Dr. Haik also praised the donors for making the institute a reality. "It's because of the faith of the individuals here on this wall that we were able to complete this facility and offer hope to all in need of vision preservation and restoration," he stated.

We thank Chancellor Schwab and the leadership of UTHSC for their participation in this historic unveiling. Further, we wish to express our ineffable gratitude to our donors who make all things possible at the Hamilton Eye Institute through their tremendous generosity.



21st Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Residents' Day

Dr. Traboulsi (at podium)

Friday, June 1, faculty, alumni and residents of the Hamilton Eye Institute convened for the 41st Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Residents' Day. The event included case and research presentations by residents and faculty, but the centerpiece of the program was the George K. Kambara, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professorship Lecture presented by Elias I. Traboulsi, MD, vice-chair for Education, professor of Ophthalmology, and head of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Drs. Traboulsi and Haik watch Dr. Mills work on the HEI surgical simulator

Dr. Traboulsi participated in numerous Q & A sessions following resident lectures, and his lecture, "Differential Diagnosis and Management of the Patient with Ectopia Lentis with Emphasis on Marfan Syndrome," was of very high interest to the audience of physicians and residents. Following his presentation, Dr. Kerr presented a plaque to Dr. Traboulsi in gratitude for his outstanding service at the 22nd Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor.

We offer our deepest gratitude to Dr. Traboulsi for his participation in the 41st Annual Alumni/Residents' Day.

HEI faculty and residents with Dr. Traboulsi

Plaque presented to Dr. Traboulsi



Dinner Honors Graduating Residents and Instructors

Drs. Fowler, Jerkins, Kerr, McGowin and Bennett

Alumni/Residents' Day is not just about presenting interesting surgical cases and new ophthalmic research - it is also a celebration. At the end of the day of lectures, our faculty, residents, alumni and guests gathered for a dinner in honor of graduating residents, Drs. Daniel K. Bennett, Brian T. Fowler, Brian M. Jerkins and Alinda G. McGowin. At the ceremony, Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, HEI Residency Program director, awarded diplomas to the graduating residents. "There is no way I can put into words what this group of graduating residents has meant to me," said Dr. Kerr. "It has been an extraordinary year in the life of this program, and they have all been members of my family."

Drs. Phillips and Haik

Next, graduating instructors Drs. Beth Phillips (oculoplastic surgery), John C. Randolph, (vitreoretinal surgery), Emily T. Graves (pediatric ophthalmology), Chainarong Luengchaichawang (glaucoma research) and M. Aladdin Rashwani (ocular oncology research) received special awards in recognition of their outstanding performance and service to the department. Finally, special awards were presented to two faculty mentors by the graduating residents, honoring Jorge I. Calzada, MD, with the Philip M. Lewis Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in clinical service, and Elliot M. Kanner, MD, with the Roger L. Hiatt, MD, Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in academic development.

Drs. Kerr, Graves and Hoehn

Drs. Randolph and Calzada

Drs. Jerkins, Fowler, McGowin, Kanner and Bennett

Drs. Bennett, Calzada, Jerkins, McGowin and Fowler

Drs. Luengchaichawang, Haik and Rashwani



Memphis Eye Society/TNAO Annual Meeting 2012

Drs. Stephen Christiansen, Richard Braunstein, Ralph S. Hamilton, Sarwat Salim, James Freeman, Carla Siegfried, Lynn Gordon, Barrett G. Haik, and William Rich III

The Memphis Eye Society (MES) and Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology (TNAO) held their annual meeting on Saturday, May 19, in the HEI Freeman Auditorium. This year's event was highly attended, and outstanding, informative lectures were provided by esteemed guest lecturers:


  • Richard E. Braunstein, MD, Miranda Wong Tang Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Columbia Medical Center (specialty: anterior segment and refractive surgery),
  • Stephen P. Christiansen, MD, professor and chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine (specialty: strabismus and pediatric ophthalmology),
  • Lynn K. Gordon, MD, PhD, professor of Ophthalmology and associate dean, Diversity Affairs, Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA (specialty: neuro-ophthalmology),
  • William L. Rich III, MD, FACS, medical director of Health Policy, American Academy of Ophthalmology (specialty: health care policy), and
  • Carla J. Siegfried, MD, professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine (specialty: glaucoma).

Dr. Salim (center) receives an award from Drs. Freeman and Schanzer.

All visiting lecturers were presented with commemorative awards for their service. Additionally, MES President James F. Freeman, MD, and Secretary-Treasurer M. Cathleen Schanzer, MD, presented an award to Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, director of HEI Glaucoma Service, for 5 years of service as program director of this annual meeting. The MES, TNAO, and HEI are grateful to all participants and attendees of this year's event



Dr. Hiatt Awarded at World Cataract Foundation Sight Night

Dr. Jerre Freeman and his sons, Drs. John and James Freeman, present the Freeman Vision Award to Dr. Hiatt.

May 5, 2012, at the World Cataract Foundation (WCF) annual Sight Night, Jerre M. Freeman, MD, founding director of the WCF, presented the Freeman Vision Award to UTHSC Department of Ophthalmology Professor Emeritus Roger L. Hiatt, MD, who has dedicated his career and his life to preserving and saving sight, advancing ophthalmic research, reaching out to those less fortunate, and educating future generations of ophthalmologists. At the event, Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and department chair, also gave a presentation on how to create twinning programs to help fight blindness worldwide, as the Hamilton Eye Institute has done in collaboration with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ORBIS International, FedEx Corporation, and the Ayers Foundation. We offer our gratitute to Dr. Freeman and our sincere congratulations to Dr. Hiatt for this outstanding honor.

Dr. Haik presents a lecture on fighting blindness worldwide.



41st Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Residents Day

Featuring the 22nd Annual George K. Kambara, MD Distinguished Visiting Professor

Elias I. Traboulsi, MD Vice-Chair for Education
Professor of Ophthalmology and Head of the
Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
Cole Eye Institute
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio

Friday, June 1, 2012 · 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Freeman Auditorium, Third Floor, 930 Madison Ave., Memphis, Tenn.
View program Link to Acrobat file


Congratulations:

Residency Graduates


Fellowship Graduates

Resident Photos Emily Taylor Graves, MD

Resident Photos Margaret E. Phillips, MD

Resident Photos John D. Hyatt, MD




Sight-Saving Mission in Indonesia

The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital recently visited Surabaya, Indonesia, to provide sight-saving surgeries and to enhance the training of local eye care professionals. Among the surgeons and medical staff who volunteered for this mission was James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, the Philip M. Lewis Professor and vice-chair of Ophthalmology at HEI. Dr. Fleming worked together with other surgeons who performed many sight-saving surgeries in local hospitals as well as on the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital airplane. It was a very rewarding experience, and Dr. Fleming was extremely gratified to participate in this outstanding program. We are truly grateful to FedEx for their participation and their continued technical support of the ORBIS DC-10/Flying Eye Hospital.

Dr. Fleming improved quality of life for many grateful patients and their families, performing eye surgeries on board the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital and at local hospitals in Surabaya.



Mid-South Lions Leaders Weekend

Participants, lecturers and organizers of the 2012 Lions Leaders Weekend

The recent Mid-South Lions Leaders Weekend at the Hamilton Eye Institute was a roaring success. This annual event, organized by Mid-South Lions CEO, Brad Baker, is open to anyone who wants to learn about the Midsouth Lions Sight and Hearing Service.

The day began in the HEI Freeman Auditorium with stimulating lectures about the latest developments in eye-care technology by Drs. Edward Chaum and Margaret E. Phillips. Next, attendees were treated to an exciting demonstration of the HEI's new 3-D surgical video system. Finally, volunteer members of our faculty and staff, Ed Richter and Drs. Kanner, Iannaccone, Mills, Calderwood and Swaminathan, led over a hundred Lion visitors through our specialty clinics, research floor, and surgery and skills transfer centers.

We enjoyed the opportunity to exhibit the Hamilton Eye lnstitute's facilities and programs for the Mid-South Lions leadership, members and supporters. We treasure our collaboration with the Lions in our shared mission to fight blindness.



Eleventh Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship

Thursday, April 26, 2012, the Hamilton Eye Institute hosted the 11th annual Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship for Creativity and Innovation in Medicine and Ophthalmology, an annual, black-tie event at the HEI Freeman Auditorium. This year, the Ridley Lecture was delivered by Steve Charles, MD, FACS, founding director of the Charles Retina Institute and clinical professor of ophthalmology at UTHSC. His outstanding lecture on the revolutionary and evolutionary aspects of of surgical technology was enjoyed by all in attendance, as well as a worldwide audience who watched the event via live webcast. You can view the recorded webcast or photos from the event.



Colombian Ophthalmological Society and American Academy of Ophthalmology

Invited speaker Dr. Brennan, program co-chairs Drs. Salim and Rey, and invited speakers Debbie Osborn and Dr. Natalio Izquierdo

Recently, Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, associate professor of ophthalmology and HEI Glaucoma Service director, and Sandra Belalcázar Rey, MD, assistant instructor of ophthalmology at University of Rosario in Bogota, Colombia, conducted a symposium at the 19th Regional Colombian Ophthalmology Society Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. This multidisciplinary symposium, "Meeting the Challenges of Education, Career, and Leadership in Our Multicultural Society," was part of an ongoing collaborative dialogue between the Colombian Ophthalmological Society and American Academy of Ophthalmology. It addressed a wide spectrum of issues relevant to most ophthalmologists, including education, career paths, leadership, public service, professional advocacy, and international partnership. Dr. Salim is grateful to Dr. Michael Brennan, past president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, for his guidance and support for this educational program and its overall success.



Aaron Waite, MD, Visiting Lecturer at HEI Grand Rounds

On April 13, 2012, we proudly welcomed guest lecturer Aaron N. Waite, MD, an alumni of the HEI Residency Program, to speak at HEI Grand Rounds. After completing his residency at HEI, Dr. Waite went on to complete his Corneal External Disease and Refractive Surgery fellowship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in June 2011. Dr. Waite now specializes in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at New Eyes Ophthalmology in Las Vegas. His visit was a delight and his lecture stimulated a great deal of interest and discussion among the faculty and residents. Many thanks to Dr. Waite for his outstanding presentation.



Major Grant Funds Gene Therapy Research

image

Tonia Rex, PhD, assistant professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Anatomy and Neurobiology, has received a major, 5-year grant from the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health. The award will provide funding for research into an alternative treatment for glaucoma using systemic neuroprotective gene therapy.

"I am grateful to have received this grant in this competitive environment," Dr. Rex states. "I am excited about performing this translational research geared towards providing important insights into the pathogenesis of glaucoma and the development of much-needed treatments for this blinding disease."



Annual Basic Science and Clinical Review Course

Lauren Ditta, MD Lauren Ditta, MD, second-year ophthalmology resident, introduces the course.

February 24-26, 2012, UT ophthalmology residents and faculty participated in the Hamilton Eye Institute's Annual Basic and Clinical Science Review Course. This free program is organized by the second-year ophthalmology residents and offered to all residents and fellows in training. The course provides a series of didactic lectures by subspecialty experts in the field based on the core material from the Basic and Clinical Science Series published by the AAO. This year's topics included cornea and external disease, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular pathology and ophthalmic tumors, optics, orbit and oculoplastics, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, retina and vitreous, and uveitis.

Lecturers at the event included members of our own faculty as well as several guests: Roger Deshaies, MD, a private practice ophthalmologist in Memphis, Tenn.; David J. Harris, Jr., MD, FACS, with University Eye Surgeons, Knoxville, Tenn.; Ming Wang, MD, PhD, director of the Wang Vision Institute, Nashville, Tenn.; and Kenneth W. Wright, MD, director of the Wright Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Costa Mesa, Calif. We are deeply grateful to our guest lecturers, faculty and residents for their participation, and to Alcon, Inc., for their support of this educational event.



Steve Charles, MD, Delivers Pakistan Lecture

Dr. Charles Dr. Charles (seated at bottom foreground) can be seen on-screen (upper right) as he delivers two lectures to an audience in Karachi, Pakistan.

As one of the world's leading vitreoretinal surgeons, Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology Dr. Steve Charles has developed many of the techniques and devices used by all vitreoretinal surgeons. He is also a prolific public speaker who has delivered more than 1,000 lectures in more than 50 countries. On January 28, 2012, he added Pakistan to that list.

Invited by Dr. Rehman Siddiqui at the Shahzad Eye Hospital in Pakistan, Dr. Charles appeared at an event sponsored by Alcon and attended by a large audience of vitreoretinal surgeons and comprehensive ophthalmologists in Karachi, Pakistan - and he did it without ever having to pack a bag, board a plane or show a passport. Through the HEI Telemedicine Program, Dr. Charles was able to deliver his lectures from the HEI Freeman Auditorium over 8,000 miles away. His topics, "Updates in the Management of Diabetic Retinopathy," and "25G Vitrectomy for Diabetic Traction Retinal Detachment," generated a great deal of interest and led to a lively "Q & A" discussion following his presentations.

Drs. Charles and Siddiqui are now planning an even more ambitious undertaking for this summer: Dr. Charles will perform a live vitreoretinal microsurgery at the HEI Surgery Center while an audience in Pakistan observes. This extraordinary demonstration will provide an opportunity for ophthalmic surgeons in Pakistan to enhance their knowledge and proficiency in vitreoretinal surgery through first-hand observation and discussion with an internationally acclaimed leader in the field.



Fifteenth Annual Clinical Update Meeting

Freeman Auditorium Top left: Drs. Barrett G. Haik, James C. Fleming, Louise A. Mawn, Matthew W. Wilson, and Peter A. Netland.
Top right: Drs. Haik and Wilson present Dr. Netland with an award for his service as the Arnold Professor.
Bottom: Dr. Fleming presents a 3D corneal transplant video in the Freeman Auditorium.

On Saturday, December 10, the Hamilton Eye Institute convened its 15th annual clinical update meeting. At this event, UT HEI faculty and honored guests share presentations on the latest discoveries, techniques, and scientific data from their areas of ophthalmic subspecialty with an audience of local and regional ophthalmologists. We were particularly gratified to welcome our illustrious visiting speakers for this year's event. Serving as this year's Ira Lee Arnold Distinguished Visiting Professor was Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD, the DuPont Guerry III Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. We also proudly welcomed visiting speaker, Louise A. Mawn, MD, FACS, associate professor and director of the Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Service in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Among the edifying lectures, the audience was treated to a special high-definition, 3D surgery lecture by department vice-chair, James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, using the special 3D projection system that was added to the Freeman Auditorium earlier this year. The event, which was organized by Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS, professor of Ophthalmology and St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Oncology, was a resounding success for all who attended. We thank Drs. Netland and Mawn for their outstanding participation.



Dr. Walton Appointed to Endowed Professorship

Dr. Walton

R. Christopher Walton, MD, MHA, has been named to the Baptist Memorial Health Care Clinical Professorship in Ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in the College of Medicine. Dr. Walton, a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, subspecializes in uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases. He is a nationally and internationally recognized authority in ophthalmology. Dr. Walton is also known for his commitment to Graduate Medical Education and has been the recipient of multiple awards given by residents over the years.

"Dr. Walton's extensive clinical skills as a physician and ophthalmic surgeon, broad academic experience as a clinician educator, and significant medical management training and experience have been invaluable to our department and UTHSC," said Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of Ophthalmology. "Additionally, as director of Ophthalmology at the Memphis Veterans Administration, he has dramatically improved care for our nation's veterans.

"His leadership in the Department of Ophthalmology was critical to developing the design of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute and its clinical, educational and public health initiatives," Haik added. "The 930 Madison building that houses the Hamilton Eye Institute was a gift to UTHSC from Baptist Memorial Hospital in 2001. With the establishment of this professorship, the leadership of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation has provided further support for the Hamilton Eye Institute's mission to help patients with vision-threatening disorders, and we are deeply grateful."


Annual Meeting of American Academy of Ophthalmology

Residents with Dr. Salim at AAO 2011 Drs. Brian Fowler, Sarwat Salim, Dan Bennett and Brian Jerkins at the AAO annual meeting in Orlando, Florida

In October, Department of Ophthalmology faculty and residents traveled to Orlando for the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), and the American Orthoptics Council (AOC). Over 25,000 physicians and health professionals attend these meetings each year to present new research, transfer skills, and share knowledge.

Faculty members, residents and research staff representing the Hamilton Eye Institute attended events, presented scientific posters and participated in invited lectures and instructional courses. Several faculty members also served on special committees and moderated events at the meetings.

In addition, HEI professor Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, was awarded the AAO Senior Achievement Award at the meeting, and associate professor Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, received both an AAO Achievement Award and AAO Secretariat Award. We congratulate our faculty, residents and research staff on their many achievements at this year's meetings.


Major Achievements by Research Faculty

Drs. Steinle and Rex Tonia S. Rex, PhD - Jena J. Steinle, PhD

Jena J. Steinle, PhD, associate professor of Ophthalmology and Anatomy and Neurobiology, has been awarded a grant for $495,000 by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The award will be used to develop her research project titled, "Compound 49b Prevents Diabetic Retinopathy through IGFBP-3." Dr. Steinle and her team have developed a new eye drop that may be used to prevent diabetic retinopathy. "The JDRF grant is vital for continuing our work..." said Dr. Steinle. "Our hope is that the drops will eventually be used in patients to reduce concerns about this problem."

Tonia S. Rex, PhD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Anatomy and Neurobiology, will be awarded the Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research at the meeting of the Glaucoma Research Foundation in San Francisco on February 2, 2012. Each year, the Shaffer Prize recognizes a researcher whose project, funded by a Shaffer Grant, best exemplifies the pursuit of innovative ideas in the quest to better understand glaucoma. Dr. Rex will receive the award for her work that resulted in the publication, "Systemic delivery of a neuroprotective agent to protect against glaucomatous cell death in the DBA/2J mouse."


HEI Resident's Spouse Spotlighted in Memphis Business Journal

On September 16, Sumpter McGowin II, husband of third-year Ophthalmology resident Alinda Guynes McGowin, MD, appeared in the Memphis Business Journal's"In the Spotlight" feature. As an attorney at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP, McGowin works on mergers and acquisitions, tax planning and health-care-related transactions. The McGowins are expecting their first child, a son, in November.


Department Chair and Vice-Chair Appointed to Positions of State and National Impact

Drs. Haik and Fleming Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS - James C. Fleming, MD, FACS

Recently, Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of Ophthalmology, and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, was appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the Board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA). The Tennessee HSDA is responsible for regulating the health care industry in Tennessee through the Certificate of Need Program, which assures that health care projects are accomplished in an orderly, economical manner, consistent with the development of adequate and effective health care for the people of Tennessee.

James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, Philip M. Lewis Professor and vice-chair of Ophthalmology, was also recently appointed to a two-year position as chair for the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) southeast Tennessee delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA). The nation's largest group of physicians, the AMA advocates issues vital to the nation's health and helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.

Commenting on the overall appointments to Tennessee boards and commissions for 2011, Gov. Haslam said, "The state will be well represented, and I want to thank these men and women who are committed to serving the state."


David T. Tse, MD, FACS, Provides Outstanding Instruction as 14th Annual Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor

Drs. Fleming, Brian Tse, David Tse, Hoehn, Wilson, Phillips, and Haik (Left to right) James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, Brian C. Tse, MD, David T. Tse, MD, FACS, Mary Ellen Hoehn, MD, Matthew W. Wilson, MD, Margaret E. Phillips, MD, and Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS

The Hamilton Eye Institute was proud to welcome our 14th William N. Williford, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor, David T. Tse, MD, FACS, Professor of Ophthalmology, Dr. Nasser Al-Rashid Chair in Ophthalmic Plastic, Orbital Surgery and Oncology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fla.

Dr. Tse presented the Williford Lecture, "Emerging Therapeutic Advancements for Orbital Diseases," sharing very insightful instruction with an audience of ophthalmologists and health care providers. Following his enlightening lecture, Dr. Tse received a custom-designed plaque etched with an artistic rendering of the Hamilton Eye Institute.

Dr. Tse also provided the residents of the Hamilton Eye Institute with an engaging discussion of a range of ophthalmic surgery pearls and principles. Then, at HEI's weekly grand rounds, Dr. Tse presented an array of fascinating oculoplastic surgery case reports, each with particular lessons to be learned from them.

We were delighted to have Dr. Tse with us, and we sincer.ely appreciate his outstanding service as the fourteenth Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor.


SIGIO Holds First Meeting of Academic Year

Dr. Morris teaching at the digital whiteboard. Associate professor of Ophthalmology, William R. Morris, MD, uses a digital whiteboard to instruct students in fundamental concepts of ophthalmology.

This academic year's first meeting of SIGIO (Student Interest Group In Ophthalmology) was held on Thursday, August 11, 2011, on the third floor of the Hamilton Eye Institute. This initial meeting provided an introduction for M1 students interested in or curious about ophthalmology. The Hamilton Eye Institute's SIGIO welcomes all UTHSC students to attend and learn more about ophthalmology as a career choice.



40th Annual Alumni/Residents Day

R. Michael Siatkowski, MD, delivers the 21st Annual Kambara Lecture.

Friday, June 17, the Department of Ophthalmology faculty, alumni and residents convened for the 40th annual Alumni/Residents' Day, a program that celebrates the graduation of our third-year residents and instructors while also welcoming our new first-year residents. The event includes research presentations, a graduation reception, and the centerpiece of the event: the George K. Kambara, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor. The event, which was webcast live to a worldwide audience, was organized by program director Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, professor of Ophthalmology and director of the HEI Residency Program, and Mary Ellen Hoehn, MD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology and director of special events for HEI.

The morning began with case and research presentations by our residents. Next, the 21st annual Kambara Lecture was presented by R. Michael Siatkowski, MD, the James P. Luton Professor of Ophthalmology and vice chair for Academic Affairs at Dean McGee Eye Institute at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Siatkowski's excellent lecture was titled, "Potential Pitfalls in Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmology: Avoiding Common Errors." During breaks in the program, attendees viewed posters featuring recent HEI research studies. Then, following Dr. Siatkowski's lecture, several of our faculty members presented discussions of their recent research.

We offer our deepest gratitude to Dr. Siatkowski for his participation in the 40th Annual Alumni/Residents' Day.


Alumni/Residents Day Graduation Reception

Following the eventful presentations of Alumni/Residents' Day, the faculty and alumni assembled for a reception in honor of our graduating residents and fellows. At the ceremony, Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, awarded diplomas to graduating residents, Julie L. Foreman, MD, Thomas L. Nix, MD, Siva S. R. Iyer, MD, and Emily Taylor Graves, MD. "This year's graduating residents have distinguished themselves as strong patient advocates, each one bringing unique skills and qualities to their practice of medicine," said Dr. Kerr of the graduates. "We look forward to their continued excellence as physicians and citizens of their respective communities."

Next, special awards were presented to two faculty mentors by the graduating residents, honoring James Freeman, MD, with the Philip M. Lewis Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in clinical service, and Thomas C. O'Donnell, MD, with the Roger L. Hiatt, MD, Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in academic development. David F. Jones, MD, graduating oculoplastics instructor; Brendan P. Girschek, MD, vitreoretinal instructor; and Sumalee Boonyaleephan, MD, glaucoma research fellow, also received special awards in recognition of their outstanding performance and service to the department.


Carnival Memphis Bestows Highest Honor on Ralph S. Hamilton, MD

Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Ralph S. Hamilton, MD, and Jess Wesberry, MD

Each year, Carnival Memphis recognizes and promotes an industry that has a major economic impact on the Mid-South. For the 25th anniversary of this annual industry salute, Carnival Memphis honored the health care industry and bestowed their highest honor, the Cook Halle Award, on Ralph S. Hamilton, MD, professor of Ophthalmology at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI), during an awards luncheon at Hilton Memphis.
Dr. Hamilton was selected by the Carnival awards committee in recognition of his dedication to helping patients and educating the next generation of physicians throughout his career, culminating in the creation of the HEI. "This was an outstanding opportunity not only to recognize Dr. Hamilton, but also to tell the story of the institute, which was a vision of his for so long," said the 2011 Carnival Memphis president, Jess Wesberry, MD, himself an outstanding anterior segment surgeon at HEI.
The Cook Halle award recognizes outstanding contributions to industry and community, and in previous years has been awarded to such influential Memphians as Fred Smith, Jack Belz and Isaac Hayes. Other health care industry leaders honored at this year's event included King's Award recipient, Gary S. Shorb, chief executive officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; President's Award recipient, William H. West, MD, founder of the West Clinic and chairman of the Prevention Group; and Chairman's Award recipient, Kevin T. Foley, MD, director of complex spine surgery at Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute and chairman of the board and medical director of the Medical Education & Research Institute.


Department Chair Honored with St. Jude Plaque

R. Brad Martin, former chair and CEO of Saks, Inc., bestowed an outstanding honor on Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of the UTHSC Department of Ophthalmology, director of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, and chief of the Ophthalmology Division at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In appreciation of Dr. Haik, Martin made a generous donation to ALSAC, the hospital's fundraising arm. A surprise ceremony in honor of Dr. Haik was then arranged.

Just outside of the St. Jude eye clinic, Martin -- accompanied by ALSAC CEO Richard C. Shadyac and ALSAC Executive Vice-President & COO David L. McKee -- unveiled a wall plaque bearing the words, "In Honor Of Dr. Barrett Haik By The R. Brad Martin Family."

On behalf of the entire St. Jude eye clinic team, Dr. Haik expressed his deepest gratitude to Martin for his kindness and his family's thoughtful and generous support of research efforts in the fight against cancer and blindness for the children of St. Jude and throughout the world.


Tenth Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship

On March 31, 2011, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute hosted the Tenth Annual Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship for Creativity and Innovation in Medicine and Ophthalmology in the Freeman Auditorium of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute.

The Ridley Lecture was created by Jerre M. Freeman, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology at UTHSC and founding chairman of the World Cataract Foundation. Dr. Freeman created this professorship to celebrate the careers of people who have led the way in changing the face of American medicine.

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of this lectureship, the selection committee and previous participants asked Dr. Freeman himself to deliver the lecture. His presentation, "Why Creativity is Still Needed Today," was both inspirational and profound, epitomizing the ideals upon which the Ridley professorship was founded. The video of the Tenth Annual Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship may be viewed at the link to the right.


2011 Annual Meeting of the Memphis Eye Society

On Saturday, March 12, in the Freeman Auditorium of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, the resoundingly successful Memphis Eye Society Annual Meeting took place. This year's event was highly attended, with an audience of over 75 physicians, residents, medical technicians, and students.

The event, sponsored by the Memphis Eye Society, UT Hamilton Eye Institute, and Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology, welcomed four guest lecturers: Michael W. Brennan, MD, past president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, now in private practice in Burlington, NC; oculoplastic specialist James W. Gigantelli, MD, FACS, professor of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE; cataract and refractive surgeon Warren E. Hill, MD, medical director of East Valley Ophthalmology in Mesa, AZ, and Banner Gateway Hospital in Gilbert, AZ; and glaucoma specialist Malik Y. Kahook, MD, associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado in Denver, CO.

Following their outstanding presentations, each guest lecturer received a commemorative award presented by UTHSC associate professor of Ophthalmology and director of Glaucoma Service, Sarwat Salim, MD, FACS, who served as program director for the annual meeting. At the end of the event, Steve Charles, MD, demonstrated an exciting new display system that allows audiences for the first time to view ophthalmic microsurgery with the critical dimension of depth via high-definition 3-D technology.

The sponsors are grateful to all participants and attendees of the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Memphis Eye Society.


Hamiltons Honored at Methodist Center of Excellence Grand Opening

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare officially opened its new Center of Excellence in Faith & Health, a collaborative center of research, innovation and training that occupies 16,000-square-foot of newly renovated space at Methodist University Hospital. It contains a family care center, family education library, consultation space for families and physicians, and a state-of-the-art studio area for training and teleconferencing.

HEI Professor of Ophthalmology, Dr. Ralph S. Hamilton, and his wife Barbara Hamilton, a dedicated volunteer with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for the past 41 years, generously donated the initial funds for construction of the center. At the February 22 grand opening ceremony, a dedication plaque was unveiled honoring Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton for their gift. Many heath care and community leaders attended the event, including Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of Ophthalmology and director of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, and James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, professor and vice-chair of Ophthalmology at UT HEI, who both congratulated the Hamiltons on the honor they received for their outstanding generosity.

The inscription on the dedication plaque reads, "Methodist Healthcare recognizes the generous lives of Dr. Ralph and Barbara Hamilton who exemplify the enduring virtues of integrity, compassion, creativity and faithfulness. The Center of Excellence in Faith and Health is a testament to their lifetime of spiritual development. May all who come to this space to learn, teach or receive care further their legacy."


HEI Welcomes UT Medical Students for Annual "Student Day" Event

Every spring, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute opens its clinics to the entire second-year class of UT medical students. This year's "Student Day" took place on January 31. The event is organized annually by William R. Morris, MD, associate professor of Ophthalmology. It serves as part of Dr. Stephanie Connelly's course "Doctoring: Recognizing Signs and Symptoms."

Following an introductory lecture, students separated into groups of four or five each, joining ophthalmologists in examination rooms to receive instruction in ophthalmic evaluation technologies and techniques. Many UT and regional private ophthalmologists provided instruction for HEI Student Day, as well as several ophthalmology residents. More than 165 students participated in this year's event.


14th Annual Clinical Update for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist

The UT Hamilton Eye Institute hosted its annual clinical update meeting in December, where distinguished visiting speakers and UT HEI faculty shared the latest discoveries, techniques, and scientific data from their areas of specialty with an audience of local and regional ophthalmologists. We were honored to welcome the Ira Lee Arnold Distinguished Visiting Professor, Geoffrey Broocker, MD, FACS, Walthour-DeLaPerriere Professor of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory Eye Center, Atlanta, GA. We also proudly welcomed visiting speaker Quang H. Nguyen, MD, Director, Glaucoma Service, Scripps Clinic, Division of Ophthalmology, La Jolla, CA.


HEI Patients & Physicians Help Establish Extended-Stay Lodge for Cancer Patients

At the ACS Harrah's Hope Lodge ribbon-cutting ceremony: (left to right, front row) Whitney Weeks, Jacquelyn Buchanan, Dr. Matthew W. Wilson, Susan Clark, Judy Edge, and Mark Clark; (left to right, back row) Billy Powell and Michael Stinson.

In July 2007, UT Hamilton Eye Institute patient Susan Clark read a story about plans for an American Cancer Society Harrah's Hope Lodge (ACSHHL) in the Commercial Appeal. The facility would provide housing for adult patients traveling to Memphis for cancer treatment. The project had already received major gifts from Harrah's Entertainment, the UT Health Science Center, the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, and the Plough Foundation, but more funds were still needed. Ms. Clark's battle with metastatic disease from malignant melanoma had made her aware of the need for extended-stay facilities for cancer patients receiving treatments away from home. She brought the project to the attention of Matthew M. Wilson, MD, FACS, UTHSC professor of Ophthalmology and St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Oncology, who began working with her to devise a fundraising strategy.

Partnering with Terrapin Racing Triathlon Team (TRTT) in Memphis, Ms. Clark and Dr. Wilson raised funds and increased awareness about the project through the Janus Charity Challengeexternal link (JCC) as part of the 2008 Ironman Lake Placid event. Major contributions to the JCC included Dr. Ralph S. and Mrs. Barbara H. Hamilton, who contributed $100,000; and grateful HEI cancer patient Billy Powell, a FedEx pilot, who secured a $100,000 gift from FedEx with the aid of Judy Edge, FedEx VP of Human Resources. Dr. Wilson, Ms. Clark, and the TRTT also canvassed the community, collectively securing an additional $120,000 in gifts. Subsequently, Dr. Wilson was awarded the ACSHHL Distinguished Service Award, a patient suite was named in Ms. Clark's honor, and the fitness room at the facility was named for Terrapin Racing in honor of Dr. Wilson.

The ACSHHL grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 718 Union Avenue in Memphis on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 2:00 P.M. For more information about the facility, visit the ACS Harrah's Hope Lodge websiteexternal link or Facebook page,external link or call 1-800-227-2345.


Vice-Chair Receives 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award

Dr. Fleming receives the award from Dr. Jim Morris, past president of the Medicine Alumni Council

James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, the Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice-Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and Director of the HEI Orbit Center, was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award at the UT College of Medicine Alumni Weekend. The UT Alumni Council presents this award in special recognition of University of Tennessee graduates who have distinguished themselves in their medical practices, their professions, and their communities.



Drs. Charles & Calzada Publish 5th Edition of Vitreous Microsurgery

Drs. Steven Charles and Jorge Calzada

The UT Hamilton Eye Institute is pleased to congratulate HEI clinical faculty Drs. Steven Charles and Jorge Calzada on the publication of the 5th edition of their book, Vitreous Microsurgery. Throughout his career, Dr. Charles has been a pioneer and innovator in vitreoretinal surgery. As an outstanding ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Calzada possesses particular expertise in complex retinal detachment repair, pediatric retina surgery and management of uveitis and inflammatory eye diseases. Their clinically proven methods, described in this book, continue to impart their knowledge of vitreoretinal surgery to ophthalmologists throughout the world. Previous editions of Vitreous Microsurgery have been translated to Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese and Spanish languages. The book's publisher provides an apt description of the book:

... Vitreous Microsurgery is a comprehensive how-to guide to all vitreoretinal procedures. This thoroughly updated Fifth Edition describes many new techniques and refinements of established procedures. More than 170 three-dimensional full-color illustrations-many by the Charles Retina Institute's resident medical artist, Byron Wood-enable surgeons to clearly visualize the techniques.


HEI Participates in Annual AAO and ASOPRS Meetings

In October, faculty and residents of the University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute (UTHEI) traveled to Chicago to participate in the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). Over 25,000 physicians and health professionals attend these meetings each year to present new research, transfer skills, and share knowledge. This year's AAO meeting was also their first joint meeting with the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO).

Faculty members, residents, and research staff representing the UTHEI attended these events, collectively participating in 18 invited lectures and instructional courses, and presenting 5 scientific posters. Several faculty members also served on special committees and moderated events at both meetings. We congratulate our faculty, residents, and research staff on their successful participation and high level of involvement in this year's AAO and ASOPRS meetings.


Discovery TLC Network to Air Story of Bloody Tears Patient and Hamilton Eye Institute's Search for Answers

Over the past several months, local, national, and international news agencies have been following the story of Calvino Inman, a young man with unexplained bloody tears, or "haemolacria." In fact, the UT Health Science Center recently won its first two VOX Awardsexternal link from the Public Relations Society of America for features published about this story. Dr. Barrett G. Haik, director of the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI), and Dr. James C. Fleming, Department of Ophthalmology vice-chair and director of the Orbit Center at HEI, have been searching for answers to the cause of Inman's condition. "The Boy with Bloody Tears," a documentary about the condition and the search for its cause, premiered in December 2010 on Discovery TLC. It featured interviews with Inman, his family, and Dr. Fleming.


Third Annual Memphis VisionWalk a Success

The HEI team, iWalk4iSight, at Overton Park for the Memphis VisionWalk

With 17 teams and 550 people in attendance, the third Memphis VisionWalk benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness was the biggest and best VisionWalk to date. Hosted by the Foundation's Mid-South Chapter of Memphis, the event took place October 23 at Overton Park. The UT Hamilton Eye Institute team, iWalk4iSight, was led by HEI's Retinal Degeneration & Ophthalmic Genetics Service director, Alessandro Iannaccone, MD, MS. Among those participating were patients and their families, as well as faculty, residents, and medical students. The team raised over $10,000, the single largest amount raised by any individual team in the history of the Memphis VisionWalk. Since its inception in spring 2006, the Foundation Fighting Blindness national VisionWalk program has raised over $13 million to fund sight-saving research. Event chair Tim Smeltser opened the event. Then, Dr. Iannaccone, as chapter co-president and VP of fundraising, introduced the honorary chair, Congressman Steve Cohen. Emphasizing the importance of eyesight, Congressman Cohen expressed gratitude to HEI vice-chair James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, and clinical professor Steve Charles, MD, for saving his vision.

Organizers for the 2011 Memphis VisionWalk will begin planning next year's event soon. If you would like to know more or become involved in future walks, please visit the Memphis VisionWalkexternal link web site or call Tim Marabella at 1-847-680-0100. The Foundation Fighting Blindness Mid-South Chapter of Memphis holds meetings at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute. Attendance and parking are free. For information about upcoming meetings, please contact Q. Hutchinson, 1-800-683-5555 (ext. 1629).


George J. Florakis, MD, Shares Outstanding Lectures as Thirteenth Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor

The Hamilton Eye Institute was proud to welcome our thirteenth William N. Williford, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor, George J. Florakis, MD, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center, Director of Cornea Clinic, Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, New York.

His first presentation was a lecture presented to the HEI residents, followed by a lively discussion. Then, the residents presented Dr. Florakis with a plaque commemorating his service to them. A few hours later, the evening's main event took place. Following introductions by R. Christopher Walton, MD, MHA, and Andreea E. Partal, MD, Dr. Florakis presented the Williford Lecture, "Evolution of Endothelial Keratoplasty."

Following Dr. Florakis's enlightening lecture, Dr. William N. Williford presented him with a custom-designed plaque, etched with a beautiful artistic rendering of the Hamilton Eye Institute. We were delighted to have Dr. Florakis with us, and we sincerely appreciate his outstanding service as the thirteenth Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor.



Special Lectures by Visitor Richard K. Lee, MD, PhD

On September 20, a special guest joined the UT Hamilton Eye Institute for its weekly Methodist Grand Rounds: Richard K. Lee, MD, PhD, associate professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Neuroscience, from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine. The topic he presented for our faculty, residents, and live webcast audience was "Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma: current management and pathophysiology concepts." Following this engaging discussion, he then presented a lesson on "Red Disease versus Real Disease" for the HEI residents. Dr. Lee's visit was both educational and enjoyable, and it was an honor to welcome him here.



Mrs. Barbara H. Hamilton Awarded for Inspiring Service

Mrs. Barbara H. Hamilton, was awarded the 2010 Methodist Healthcare Foundation Living Award at an awards benefit held August 24, 2010, in the Grand Ballroom of the Peabody hotel. This annual award recognizes those who have a profound impact on healthcare locally, nationally and globally through leadership and commitment to the mission of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

For over 41 years, Mrs. Hamilton has been a dedicated volunteer at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and significantly contributed to the advancement of their mission. The generosity of Mrs. Hamilton and her husband of 58 years, Ralph S. Hamilton, MD, was instrumental in the construction of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute. Her generosity also helped build the chapel at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital and laid the foundation for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare's Center of Excellence in Faith and Health. She has also contributed significantly to the Germantown United Methodist Church, Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, and Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi.


Lions Club Donates $150,000 to UT Hamilton Eye Institute to Support Lions Low Vision Center

On Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m., at a check presentation ceremony and reception in the HEI lobby, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute received a deeply appreciated donation of $150,000 to support the Lions Low Vision Center. The Lions Club International donated $100,000 of this amount, and the remaining $50,000 was contributed by the Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service and the 930 Friends foundation. The donation is the second installment from the Lions Club. The Lions Low Vision Center was established at the HEI with the group's initial 2007 donation of $150,000. This additional aid will extend services to a waiting list of 170 disadvantaged patients needing eye surgeries.

"We are grateful for the Lions' support and will continue working together to increase the number of indigent patients served," said James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, Philip M. Lewis Professor and vice chair of Ophthalmology at UTHSC. Dr. Fleming also directs the Orbit Center, a service at the HEI to treat orbital disease and trauma.

Other community leaders participating in the event included Brad Baker, CEO of the Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service; Howard Jenkins, president of the Mid-South Lions and past director of Lions Club International; Steve Schwab, MD, chancellor of UTHSC; Kennard D. Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief of staff of UTHSC; and Keith Carver, PhD, interim vice chancellor for UTHSC Development & Alumni Affairs. Legislative officials along with a number of major donors, patients and supporters of both HEI and the Lions organization were also present.

"Because of HEI's amazing clinicians, sight is being restored to many in need," stated Baker, adding, "Mid-South Lions members are committed to exploring future projects with the institute's leadership." Earlier this year, Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of Ophthalmology at UT Health Science Center, and director of HEI, was inducted into the L. B. Baker Hall of Fame, the highest honor awarded by the Mid-South Lions. Dr. Haik earned the honor for what the Lions describe as "his untiring efforts to improve the lives of patients with sight problems."


Hamilton Eye Institute Celebrates 39th Annual Alumni/Residents' Day

The end of each academic year at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) is marked by a celebration. As new residents and fellows are welcomed, seasoned graduates of our program prepare to move on to the next level of their careers in ophthalmology. In honor of this matriculation, each year, faculty, alumni, residents, and friends convene for Alumni/Residents' Day. This annual event includes research presentations, a graduation reception, and the invitation of the George K. Kambara, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor.

The 39th Annual Alumni/Residents' Day took place on Friday, June 25, and the entire event was webcast live to a worldwide audience. The program began with case and research presentations by our residents. Next, the Kambara Lecture was presented by our very special guest, Michael A. Kass, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Kass discussed the management of patients with ocular hypertension, sharing results and observations gathered from the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study. His presentation was very impressive and sparked much discussion and interest among those in attendance. During breaks in the program, attendees were welcomed to view 16 research posters displayed in the auditorium, while the authors stood nearby to answer questions. To conclude the program, several of our faculty members then presented discussions of some of their recent research findings.

We offer our sincere thanks to Dr. Kass, the 20th Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor, for his participation in the 39th Annual Alumni/Residents' Day.


Many Honored at HEI Alumni/Residents' Day Award Reception

After a day filled with engaging presentations and discussion, the evening of Alumni/Residents' Day commenced a reception in celebration of our graduating residents, Drs. Steven R. Ballard, John D. Hyatt, David F. Jones and Aaron N. Waite. At the ceremony, HEI Residency Program Director Dr. Natalie C. Kerr awarded symbolic diplomas to the graduating residents. "This has been a very special group," said Dr. Kerr. "They all brought amazing talents, unique skill sets, and have all worked so well together. They have made this a better residency program and a better Hamilton Eye Institute."

The graduating residents then presented special awards to three of their faculty mentors who they felt deserved particular honors: Dr. Kathryn L. Reed received the Phillip M. Lewis Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in clinical service, Dr. R. Christopher Walton received the Roger Hiatt Award for outstanding contributions to resident instruction in academic development, and Dr. Ivan Marais received a special recognition award for his unflagging dedication to outstanding teaching service. Special awards were also presented by HEI faculty members to fellows Drs. Alan "Chip" Oester and Heather Hancock.


HEI Residents & Fellows Depart as New Arrivals Welcomed

We congratulate our graduating residents and know that they will excel as they take the next steps in their careers: Dr. Steven R. Ballard, a captain in the U.S. Army, will practice ophthalmology for one year at Fort Riley in Kansas City, Kansas, before moving on to a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship; Dr. John D. Hyatt will continue his medical education with HEI in a retinal fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Charles; Dr. David F. Jones will also remain with us as he begins an oculoplastics fellowship with Dr. James C. Fleming; and Dr. Aaron N. Waite will begin a fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute in Denver, Colorado, specializing in cornea and external disease.

We also congratulate our graduating fellows: Dr. Yevginey (Eugene) Shildkrot begins a retina fellowship with Dr. Evangelos S. Gragoudas at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston, where Dr. Maria Kirzhner has also accepted a fellowship in pathology with Dr. Frederick Jacobiek; Dr. Heather Hancock moves on to join the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Mississippi in Jackson; Dr. Alan "Chip" Oester begins his second year oculoplastics fellowship with Dr. Ralph Wesley in Nashville, Tennessee; and Dr. Brendan P. Girschek continues his fellowship here in Memphis under Dr. Steven Charles.

In addition to our heartfelt congratulations to all our departing graduates, we also gladly welcome our incoming first-year residents, Drs. Lauren Ditta, Katie Mills, Lauren Harris, and Brian Tse, for whom many challenges and accomplishments lie ahead as they join us at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute.



UT HEI Faculty Attend 2010 ARVO Meeting

The UT Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) made an excellent showing at the 2010 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Our 25 participating faculty members, residents, and research staff presented 24 posters and 5 papers at the event, as well as moderating sessions and hosting special interest groups.

ARVO travel grantsexternal link were awarded to HEI instructor Yevgeniy (Eugene) Shildkrot, MD, and HEI graduate students Tim Sullivan, Robert (Jason) Walker and Kim Williams. This award provides travel support to researchers showing potential for future significant research accomplishments, and whose research findings, selected to be presented at the ARVO meeting, are considered of high interest to the ophthalmology community.

During the ARVO meeting, a special poster Link to Acrobat file was displayed by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), an office of the headquarters of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. This poster revealed 9 proposals that were selected from among 120 submissions for funding research into treatment of visual dysfunction and eye injuries caused by trauma. One of those proposals selected was "Treatment of Traumatic Vision Loss in a New Mouse Model of Blast Injury," by UTHSC Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology Tonia S. Rex, PhD. This grant will provide over 3 quarters of a million dollars in funding for this project over the next three years. Dr. Rex also recently received the Glaucoma Research Foundation Shaffer Award, which provides a 1-year, $40,000 grant for her project, "Systemic delivery of a neuroprotective agent to protect against glaucomatous cell death in the DBA/2J mouse."

Our congratulations to Dr. Rex for her outstanding achievements and to all faculty who participated in the 2010 annual ARVO meeting.


Hamilton Eye Institute Welcomes Ninth Ridley Professor

Each year, Dr. and Mrs. Jerre M. Freeman and the Hamilton Eye Institute proudly welcome an ophthalmologist of exceptional creativity, innovation, perseverance and productivity to serve as the Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professor. For this year's Ridley professorship, it was our honor to welcome D. Jackson Coleman, MD,external link the John Milton McLean Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Ophthalmology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.

The evening began with a welcome from Dr. Spencer P. Thornton, the first Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2001, who was master of ceremonies at the event. Then, via live teleconference, several of the previous Ridley professors honored the assemblage with a few words: Dr. Danielle Aron-Rosa (2008), Dr. Manus C. Kraff (2005), and Ann Kelman, wife of the late Dr. Charles D. Kelman (2004).

After final welcoming words from Drs. Jerre Freeman and Barrett G. Haik, Dr. Coleman delivered the 2010 Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship lecture. He discussed a range of topics including presbyopia, vitreous support, and hydrolic support of catenary. His outstanding presentation not only engaged and educated the audience in attendance at the Freeman Auditorium, but also reached an audience of hundreds more who viewed the event live on the internet. If you would like to view a recording or additional photos of the event, please click the corresponding button below.



Jerre M. Freeman, MD, Shares Hamilton Eye Institute History

The Memphis Medical History Society hosted an event at the Hamilton Eye Institute's Freeman Auditorium that was both historical and, itself, historic. "Hamilton Eye Institute: History & Development" was presented by Jerre M. Freeman, MD, founder of Memphis Eye & Cataract Associates and chairman of the World Cataract Foundation.

Dr. Freeman-for whom the Freeman Auditorium is named-recounted the development of ophthalmology in the Mid-South, featuring the careers of some of the key visionaries and benefactors whose dedication led to the founding of a world-class eye institute in Memphis. The event was shared worldwide via live webcast and will remain a permanent and treasured historical document in our online video archive.


HEI Awards Jerre M. Freeman, MD, at 6th Annual Sight Night

The World Cataract Foundationexternal link (WCF) held its 6th annual Sight Night event on April 17, 2010. This year's event marked a special celebration: 40 years of humanitarian service in Mexico. During the event, Dr. Jerre Freeman, UTHSC Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and founder of the WCF, presented the Freeman Vision Award to this year's recipients, Drs. Ariel Ramírez Aguayo and Alfredo Amigó Rodriguez.

In addition to bestowing awards, Dr. Freeman also received a very special award. Dr. Barrett G. Haik, Hamilton Professor and chair of the UT Department of Ophthalmology, presented Dr. Freeman with a custom designed, etched glass plaque bearing an artistically rendered image depicting Dr. Freeman with a pediatric patient during a sight-saving mission trip. The award honors Dr. Freeman's accomplished ophthamology career and his humanitarian work through the WCF.

Dr. Freeman and the WCF provide free cataract surgery in impoverished countries, accompanied by volunteer surgery teams including UT Hamilton Eye Institute physicians Dr. James C. Fleming and Dr. Aaron N. Waite.


Dr. Barrett G. Haik Awarded at Lions Leaders Weekend

The 2010 Lions Leaders Weekend at the Hamilton Eye Institute was a "roaring" success. The event included a tour of the institute's facilities and the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service,external link as well as lectures and other activities.

During the event, a special honor was bestowed on Dr. Barrett G. Haik, the Hamilton Professor and chair of the UT Department of Ophthalmology. Mid-South Lions CEO Brad Baker presented Dr. Haik with the L.B. Baker Hall of Honor Award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding service over the course of many years to Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing. The award was named for L.B. Baker, past president of the Mid-South Lions, who passed away in March of 2006. He was inducted as the first member of the Hall of Honor in 2003.


Aaron N. Waite, MD, Third-Year Hamilton Eye Institute Resident, Receives Award From ASCRS

The UT Department of Ophthalmology is proud to congratulate Dr. Aaron N. Waite, third-year resident at the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI), who has been awarded a $1,000 travel grant by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. This goal of this grant is to fund the attendance of extraordinary residents at the ASCRS Annual Symposium and Congress, April 9-14, 2010, in Boston. Only ten ophthalmology residents nationwide receive this honor. Recipients are selected for exemplary performance in the areas of research, patient care, leadership and education.

In addition to the travel grant, recipients of this award also receive complimentary symposium registration, housing, and invitations to its leadership and social events, providing excellent networking opportunities.

Dr. Waite, who was nominated for this award by HEI Residency Program Director Dr. Natalie C. Kerr, will complete his residency at HEI this summer. He then begins a fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute in Denver, Colorado, specializing in cornea and external disease.


Local News Reports on Hamilton Eye Institute's Search for Answers in Bloody Tears Case

Local news affiliate WREG-TV Channel 3 presented a news story on Calvino Inman, a young man with bloody tears, or "haemolacria." Dr. Barrett G. Haik, Director of the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI), and Dr. James C. Fleming, Director of the Orbit Center at HEI, who have been searching for answers to the cause of Inman's condition, were featured in the report.



Hamilton Eye Institute Welcomes UT Medical Students for Annual "Student Day" Event

Each year at the Hamilton Eye Institute, the first Monday in February marks an event for which our clinics are opened to the entire second-year class of UT medical students. This "Student Day" is organized annually by William R. Morris, MD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, in cooperation with Dr. Gail Beeman, Associate Professor of Pediatrics. "Dr. Beeman is the Course Director for Doctoring: Recognizing Signs and Symptoms, and this event is just one part of that," said Dr. Morris.

This year's program began with a welcome address from Barrett G. Haik, MD, Hamilton Professor and Chair of the UT Department of Ophthalmology, followed by an introductory lecture on "The Eye Examination" by Dr. Morris. The event then moved to the Hamilton Eye Institute clinics. There, students separated into groups of four or five and joined ophthalmologists in examination rooms to receive instruction in ophthalmic evaluation technologies and techniques that every physician should know.

More than thirty UT and regional private ophthalmologists and several ophthalmology residents participated in this year's event, which was attended by 152 students.


Drs. Haik and Wilson Receive High Honors at AAO

At the 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting in San Francisco, two UT Hamilton Eye Institute faculty members were honored with awards. Dr. Barrett G. Haik received the AAO Life Achievement Honor Award. This award is bestowed for extraordinary contributions to the academy, its scientific and educational programs, and to ophthalmology. Additionally, Dr. Matthew W. Wilson received an AAO Senior Achievement Award. Drs. Haik and Wilson both received certificates at the annual meeting to mark these distinguished accomplishments. AAO is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Approximately 25,000 people attended the 2009 meeting in San Francisco.


HEI Presents Thirteenth Annual Clinical Update Meeting for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist

View this conference online:


Drs. Matthew W. Wilson, Constance L. Fry, Gary W. Abrams, and Barrett G. Haik at the Thirteenth Annual Clinical Update Meeting Drs. Matthew W. Wilson, Constance L. Fry, Gary W. Abrams, and Barrett G. Haik at the Thirteenth Annual Clinical Update Meeting.

December 5, 2009 -- The UT Department of Ophthalmology proudly hosted the annual Clinical Update in the Hamilton Eye Institute's Freeman Auditorium. This year, we welcomed two highly respected ophthalmologists as our guest speakers.

The first, Gary W. Abrams, MD, is chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Wayne State University and director of the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, Michigan. He served as the I. Lee Arnold, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor for this year's event, speaking on topics including proliferative vitreoretinopathy and retinal angiomatous proliferation.

Our other guest, Constance L. Fry, MD, is an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Fry discussed cranial nerve seven palsy and malignant neoplasms of the eyelid. We were honored to have both Dr. Abrams and Dr. Fry as our guests.

Over a dozen other physicians and scientists representing the UT Department of Ophthalmology faculty also spoke at the clinical update meeting, sharing the latest discoveries, techniques, and scientific data from their areas of specialty with a large audience of local and regional ophthalmologists.


Lanning B. Kline, MD, Presents Outstanding Lecture as Twelfth Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor

September 24, 2009 -- Today, the Hamilton Eye Institute welcomed our twelfth William N. Williford, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Lanning B. Kline, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

The event began with a warm welcome by Dr. Barrett G. Haik, director of the Hamilton Eye Institute. Next, Dr. Peter A. Netland extolled the major accomplishments of both Dr. Kline's and Dr. Williford's esteemed careers in ophthalmic medicine and then welcomed Dr. Kline to the stage. In Dr. Kline's excellent lecture, "Practice Pearls in Ophthalmology," he discussed the top ten things physicians should know in the diagnosis and treatment of neuro-ophthalmologic conditions.

Following Dr. Kline's lecture, Dr. William N. Williford and Mrs. Gloria Williford presented him with a commemorative plaque. This custom-designed award, etched with a beautiful artistic rendering of the Hamilton Eye Institute, is the first of its kind. We were delighted to give it to Dr. Kline in appreciation for his outstanding service as the twelfth Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor.


Major Brazilian Network News Program Interviews UT Hamilton Eye Institute Physicians

September 11, 2009 -- Today, a reporter from the Fantastico news program (Brazil's equivalent to 60 Minutes) spoke with Drs. Barrett G. Haik and James C. Fleming about a young man with haemolacria (bloody tears) who recently gained international media attention. The Hamilton Eye Institute welcomed the film crew from Globo TV, Brazil's largest television network and the fourth largest commercial network in the world. The Fantastico news program has about 40 million viewers in Brazil alone. Globo also has an international satellite channel broadcasting the show to 48 countries worldwide.


UT Hamilton Eye Institute Director Dr. Barrett G. Haik Discusses Bloody Tears Case on CNN

A teen who cries unexplained tears of blood has recently captured media attention. On Thursday, September 3, the teen, his mother, and UT Hamilton Eye Institute Director Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS appeared on CNN to discuss this rare condition called haemolacria. View the video on CNN.comexternal link


Hamilton and Semmes Murphey Present Edward R. Laws, MD, FACS, at World-Class Pituitary Symposium

August 14, 2009 -- The Hamilton Eye Institute and Semmes Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute proudly welcomed Dr. Edward R. Laws, a visiting professor from the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston. Dr. Laws was our honored guest for a symposium entitled, "Managing Pituitary Disorders."

Dr. Thomas O'Donnell opened the event with a discussion of how ophthalmology can help physicians when dealing with pituitary disorders. Next, Dr. L. Madison Michael discussed radiation options for pituitary tumors. Then, following an introduction by Semmes Murphey Chairman Dr. Clarence Watridge, Dr. Laws took the stage and gave a fascinating talk on the evolution of the surgical management of pituitary adenomas. Finally, he spoke about the diagnosis and management of craniopharyngiomas.

After the meeting, Dr. Laws and our visitors from Semmes Murphey joined HEI Director and Department Chair Dr. Barrett G. Haik on a guided tour of the Hamilton Eye Institute.


The Hamilton Eye Institute Welcomes the 19th Annual George K. Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor to the 38th Annual Ophthalmology Alumni-Residents' Day

On Thursday, June 25, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute hosted the 38th annual Ophthalmology Alumni-Residents' Day and the 19th annual Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professorship. Our guest of honor was Nicholas J. Volpe, MD, the Adele Niessen Chair in Ophthalmology at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Volpe engaged the audience with his lecture on the differential diagnosis of the swollen optic disc.

In the course of the day, second- and third-year residents presented the results from their research projects. First-year residents also presented challenging cases to Dr. Volpe which led to spirited discussions regarding diagnosis and treatments. At the conclusion of the program, Dr. Natalie C. Kerr presented Dr. Volpe with a plaque honoring his place as the 19th Kambara Distinguished Visiting Professor.

At a reception following the lecture program, three additional awards were presented. Dr. Kerr received the Roger L. Hiatt Award for teaching (full-time faculty), alumnus Dr. Kenneth Fung received the Philip M. Lewis Award for teaching (clinical faculty), and alumnus Dr. Gary Jerkins received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his overseas missionary service and dedication to excellence in ophthalmology. The graduating fellows and residents were also honored for their achievements.



James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, and Natalie C. Kerr, MD, FACS, Honored at UT Health Science Center Commencement

On May 29, 2009, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center congratulated Drs. James C. Fleming and Natalie C. Kerr for their acquisition of endowed professorships in 2008. Dr. Fleming was recognized as the Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology, while Dr. Kerr was recognized as the Roger L. Hiatt Professor of Ophthalmology. Both were gratified to receive this distinction from the university. View select pages from the commencement program Link to Acrobat file


Hamilton Eye Institute Faculty Presents Innovative Research at Two National Ophthalmology Conventions

Faculty from the Hamilton Eye Institute presented twenty-four posters and six papers at two national ophthalmology meetings this spring. First, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) held its 35th annual meeting April 17-21 in San Francisco. Two weeks later, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held its annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale. During the keynote session at ARVO, Dr. Alessandro Iannaccone received an ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. This award recognizes significant research and consists of a plaque and a $2,000 grant. We are proud to congratulate him for this accomplishment.


Hamilton Eye Institute Continues to Receive International Attention

Friday, May 8, 2009 -- Drs. Xiaorong Li and Jiantao Wang, the director and vice-director of the Tianjin Eye Institute-one of the most advanced eye centers in China-visited the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI). Dr. Qiang Wu, vice-president of the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), accompanied the delegation. Siegal Professor of Ophthalmology Dr. Peter A. Netland arranged the visit after the president of the TCCC, Dr. Ming Wang, recommended our institute to Dr. Li as the highest ranked ophthalmology program in the state.

Dr. James C. Fleming, Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology, welcomed the delegation and led them on a tour of our facilities. On the research floor, Dr. Eldon E. Geisert, Jr., director of the Center for Vision Research, showed our guests many of the advances in ophthalmic science being made here at the Hamilton Eye Institute. Next, Dr. Mary Ellen Hoehn, assistant professor of ophthalmology, and Orli Weisser-Pike, assistant director of low vision services, provided a closer look at the pediatric and low vision clinics.

The visitors were impressed by our sophisticated telemedicine system, advanced ophthalmic photography center, state-of-the-art surgery center, and skills transfer lab. They enjoyed exploring the ophthalmology surgical simulator, a highly advanced system designed to safely train medical students and residents in delicate eye surgeries. The tour culminated with a luncheon in which our guests joined Drs. Sarwat Salim, Jerre M. Freeman, Ralph S. Hamilton, and several other HEI faculty members to discuss the similarities and differences in ophthalmology between China and in the United States.

It was an honor to receive this delegation from the Tianjin Eye Institute. We are grateful to them and the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce for choosing to learn more about the Hamilton Eye Institute.


Eighth Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professor: Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD

May 14, 2009 -- Dr. Claes H. Dohlman, the Eighth Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professor for Creativity and Innovation in Ophthalmology, was welcomed to the Hamilton Eye Institute this evening to present his lecture on keratoplasty, keratoprosthesis, and the prevention of corneal blindness. Dr. Dohlman's surgical innovations in keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis have made him internationally recognized as the founder of modern corneal science. It was our honor and pleasure to present Dr. Dohlman with the Ridley medal in recognition of his achievements and congratulate him in joining the seven previous Ridley Professors.


New UT Ad Campaign Features Hamilton Eye Institute Research

An exciting new advertising campaign has been initiated by the University of Tennessee. Its goal is to promote awareness of the university's presence in and impact on the Memphis community. The "Right Here in Memphis" ad campaign currently features three eye-catching designs, one of which highlights the research of Dr. Edward Chaum here at the UT Hamilton Eye Institute.

In cooperation with Ken Tobin, PhD, at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Dr. Chaum has developed a method for physicians at remote locations to photograph patients' retinas and instantly send those images to an online database where the photos are compared to thousands of other photos of diseased retinas. The system then returns a diagnosis to the remote location, informing the physician whether the patient may have a retinal disease such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration and suggesting a course of action. Read more about this exciting new technology.external link

Posters featuring the new ads are currently displayed on downown trolleys and at Memphis International Airport. Radio spots have been highlighting the campaign as well, appearing on stations such as WKNO 91.1 FM, WHBQ 560 AM, and WHBQ 107.5 FM. Take a look at some of the posters and other ads in the campaign.


Dr. Alex V. Levin is 2008 I. Lee Arnold, MD Distinguished Visiting Professor at 12th Annual Clinical Update for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist

Saturday, December 6, 2008 -- The Hamilton Eye Institute was honored to welcome two outstanding ophthalmology professors to speak at this year's Clinical Update meeting. Each of them shared very engaging presentations and participated in lively discussions with our faculty, making this year's update a great success.

This year's I. Lee Arnold, MD Distinguished Visiting Professor was Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc, FAAP, FAAO, FRCSC, a Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Genetics, and Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is a funded investigator with interests in child abuse and ophthalmic genetics, and he has authored over one hundred peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. A dedicated and enthusiastic teacher, he has trained over 65 clinical fellows in pediataric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics. At the meeting, he spoke on the topics of ocular genetics and pediatric retinal haemorrhage and its connections with child abuse investigation.

Our other invited speaker, G. Baker Hubbard, III, MD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University, has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His research interests include retinal vascular disease as well as ocular oncology, and he is an investigator for the ongoing Children's Oncology Group retinoblastoma studies. Dr. Hubbard is a committed educator, currently serving as Director of the Vitreoretinal Fellowship at Emory. At the meeting, Dr. Hubbard spoke about pediatric retina and new research in the area of diabetic retinopathy.


Dr. F. Hampton Roy Introduces New Tool for Differential Diagnosis

Visiting Professor Dr. F. Hampton Roy with HEI Director Dr. Barrett G. Haik

Monday, October 20, 2008 -- This week, the Hamilton Eye Institute enjoyed a visit from F. Hampton Roy, MD, FACS from Little Rock, AR. Dr. Roy introduced our physicians, fellows, and residents to the Medflow DDS database web site, an extensive online tool for medical use. The Medflow DDS site provides a new, convenient, and comprehensive method for physicians to explore options for differential diagnosis. During his lecture, Dr. Roy demonstrated how to use the database; with it, one can enter a symptom in a search box and receive a list of possible causes along with links to abstracts and other resources. Dr. Roy is an accomplished ophthalmologist and prolific writer. Full-text versions of two of his books are available on our web site, thanks to his generous permission.


Hamilton Eye Institute welcomes Christopher T. Westfall, MD, FACS, the 11th William N. Williford, MD Distinguished Visiting Professor

Christopher T. Westfall, MD, FACS, the 11th William N. Williford, MD Distinguished Visiting Professor, discusses orbital fractures with residents and faculty

Friday, September 26, 2008 -- This morning, residents and faculty of the Hamilton Eye Institute enjoyed an engaging presentation from Dr. Christopher T. Westfall from the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Westfall presented a variety of orbital fracture and other eye injury cases, which prompted an interactive discussion with the residents as they worked together to determine the best methods of identifying and treating these injuries. Faculty members were also on hand to share insights and ideas with Dr. Westfall, whose presentation was enjoyable and highly educational for everyone in attendance.


Children's Vision Rehabilitation Project: Outstanding Seminar Heightens Interest in Low Vision Rehabilitation

Photo highlights from the Low Vision Rehabilitation seminar

Friday, August 15, 2008 -- Terry Schwartz, MD, and Rebecca Coakley, MEd, of the West Virginia University Eye Institute visited the Hamilton Eye Institute today to present "Children's Vision Rehabilitation Project: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Low Vision Rehabilitation in Children." Physicians, therapists, students, and even some parents and teachers of children with low vision were in attendance for this lively and enlightening discussion.

The morning began with a warm welcome and introduction by Dr. Thomas O'Donnell and Orli Weisser-Pike, Director and Assistant Director of Low Vision Services at HEI, respectively. Then, Dr. Schwartz and Ms. Coakley shared their perspectives with an overview of the Children's Vision Rehabilitation Project followed by low vision case studies and a discussion of the tools available for diagnosing low vision in children.

Next, all attendees were invited to participate in a fascinating hands-on demonstration of the many technological, optical, and non-optical tools available for low vision rehabilitation. The presentation was very engaging and shared many useful insights for a better understanding of low vision diagnosis and rehabilitation in children.


Eye Institute is Completed

August 4, 2008: new signage is unveiled at a ceremony celebrating HEI's completion

Monday, August 5, the Hamilton Eye Institute celebrated its official completion and unveiled new signage on the building at 930 Madison Avenue. The Commercial Appeal covered the story in their Business section. (Click the link and scroll to bottom.)
Read the articleexternal link



Four Articles in Recent Memphis Medical News

In July, the Hamilton Eye Institute was the focus of four articles in the Memphis Medical News. These stories discuss the exciting development of our telemedicine program, the success of the new surgical center, and Dr. Barrett Haik's recent honor as recipient of the 2nd Freeman Vision Award, while a "Physician Spotlight" article also highlights the work of HEI glaucoma specialist Dr. Sarwat Salim.
Read the articles Link to Acrobat file


Giving Thanks for Donor Generosity

In a recent issue of Achievement, a special edition of Alumnus magazine, much gratitude was expressed toward the donors who make possible the life-changing, sight-saving work we do here at the Hamilton Eye Institute.
Read the article Link to Acrobat file


Landmark Vietnam Teleconference

The Hamilton Eye Institute in collaboration with St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital recently held its first telesurgical conference with a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The article appears on page 7 of the recent UT Record newsletter.
Read the article Link to Acrobat file


Occupational Therapy for Low Vision at HEI

The Hamilton Eye Institute has added Occupational Therapy to its interdisciplinary approach to treating patients. Director of Low Vision Services, Dr. Thomas O'Donnell, and occupational therapist Orli Weisser-Pike are treating patients and training residents and students about this growing area of practice.
Read the article Link to Acrobat file


Recent news from St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

The winter 2007 issue Link to Acrobat file features an article on a promising new treatment for childhood eye cancer, while the spring 2007 issue Link to Acrobat file tells the story of one family's battle against inherited retinoblastoma.

You may also listen to a recent "St. Jude Medical Minute" (MP3), in which the chair of our institute, Dr. Barrett Haik, remarks on our outreach efforts in cooperation with St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital to save children's sight in Panama.


UT Hamilton Eye Institute and St. Jude ALSAC representatives Provide new RetCam™ System to Honduras Pediatric Care Center

Dr. Barrett Haik, Dr. Judith Wilimas, Mr. George Velez, Ms. Blanca Phillips, and other international outreach representatives from St. Jude ALSAC traveled to Honduras February 17-21 to install a RetCam™, a retinal diagnostic system that is the standard of care for imaging pediatric retinoblastoma (eye cancer). It is also used extensively in the evaluation of retinopathy of prematurity, a potentially blinding disease that is increasing due to the growing number of surviving preterm infants, and in diagnosing shaken baby syndrome, congenital glaucoma, and most other pediatric eye diseases.

The visiting physicians also trained local Honduras doctors--who are experienced in the treatment of retinoblastoma using laser and cryotherapy--how to use the new equipment as well as the Orbisexternal link and Cure4Kidsexternal link web sites, which will be used for consults.

The goals of this project are to improve the survival rate of children with retinoblastoma in Central America and save the sight of these children by improving the infrastructure for therapy, providing necessary equipment and consultative support, and training physicians. It will also help save families of afflicted children the cost of having to travel to Guatemala for treatment.

View photos from the outreach visit


Hamilton Eye Institute Doctors Among Best in America

Memphis, Tennessee (January 27, 2006) - The 2006 listing of the Best Doctors in America® was released this month, and among the UT physicians on the list were several Hamilton Eye Institute faculty. Drs. Barrett G. Haik, Peter A. Netland, James C. Fleming, Natalie C. Kerr, Edward Chaum, and Matthew Wilson were among those honored.

The Best Doctors in America® database is widely regarded as a high-quality reference guide to the medical profession. The list is based on an exhaustive survey in which more than 35,000 doctors are asked to rate the clinical abilities of their peers. Participants are asked, "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?"

(more information)


Retinoblastoma targeted therapy featured on Memphis Fox 13 News

On December 5, 2006, Fox affiliate WHBQ-TV in Memphis featured this "Health Matters" segment during their 9:00 P.M. news broadcast. The feature focused on the great promise shown by new targeted therapies in treating retinoblastoma to destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue.
Watch Video


International Symposium aboard ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital

On January 13, 2006, an international teleconference symposium was held aboard the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, with live, two-way video links to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute, and outreach treatment sites in Guatemala and Honduras. Fox 13 News covered the story.


Marlo Thomas Discusses Retinoblastoma on the Today Show

On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2004, Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, appeared on the Today Show to spotlight Zachary Noblett and his family. Zachary has retinoblastoma, a form of cancer causing potentially life-threatening and blinding tumors in the eyes. Without treatment, Zachary and others like him could lose their sight and even their lives. But doctors at UT and St. Jude are working to prevent that. Watch this video to view the Today Show story and learn more about this disease and its treatment.


Retinoblastoma Treatment at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

On February 3, 2004, WREG News Channel 3 in Memphis ran this story on the treatment of retinoblastoma at St. Jude and UT.
Watch Video


Hamilton Eye Institute Quickly Gaining Global Reputation

The Commercial Appeal, January 4, 2007 Link to Acrobat file


Orbit Center offers expanded patient services for complex eye diseases

by Dr. James C. Fleming, Dr. Barrett G. Haik, and Dr. Gregory S. Carroll

Patients with complex eye diseases should benefit most from a multispecialty treatment program recently launched by UT Medical Group's Department of Ophthalmology and UT Bowld Hospital. The center is made possible through a multiyear grant by the UT Medical Group Development Fund and matching funds from UT Bowld. The Orbit, Oculoplastic and Ophthalmic Oncology Center, which is based at UT Bowld, provides surgical and medical management to patients suffering from ophthalmic cancers, inflammatory conditions, and the sequelae of facial and ophthalmic trauma.

"A lot of pieces of this have been available to people in the past few years, but it hasn't been put together until now," says James Christian (Chris) Fleming, M.D., the center's Director and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology.

A graduate of UT Memphis, Dr. Fleming is a specialist in the diagnosis and management of orbital disease and trauma with extensive subspecialty training in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery.

"Dr. Fleming is an internationally recognized authority in the field and a master clinician and surgeon," says Ophthalmology Department Chairman and Professor Barrett G. Haik, M.D. "We are extremely fortunate to have him directing this unique and critically important center for the care of patients with life and vision-threatening disorders. We are also grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Woodside of UT Bowld Hospital and Mr. Steve Burkett of UT Medical Group, Inc. for their support and encouragement during the formation of this center," he says.

Dr. Fleming says the center will unite the skills and resources of various medical specialties, such as head and neck surgery and neurology, into a single, coordinated team of experts. Although these resources already exist individually within the university system, he says the center will offer patients a more easily accessible framework that will facilitate physician-to-physician consultation and comprehensive treatment. At the same time, he hopes the multispecialty effort will raise the care to a new level, lending greater support to the university's research and education objectives.

Prior to his appointment as Director of the center, Dr. Fleming maintained an ophthalmologic practice in Memphis for more than 15 years. Since 1987, he has been the Chief of Service, Trauma and Emergency Ophthalmology, for the UT Memphis Department of Ophthalmology. He is the 1996-97 President of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology and is past President of both the Memphis and Shelby County Medical Society and the Memphis Eye Society.

In addition to Dr. Fleming, patient care services at the center will be provided by Drs. Haik and Gregory S. Carroll. For more information, call 448-6650.

This article is reprinted with permission from UT Bowld Hospital's BOWLD STAFF Newsletter.


Le Bonheur, UT Developing Pediatric Retinal Laboratory

With the financial backing of the Mid-South Lions Club, the University of Tennessee, Memphis Department of Ophthalmology and Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center are collaborating to create a retinal electrophysiology center for the Mid-South. UT Memphis recruited ophthalmologist Alessandro Iannaccone, M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania to help create the lab and to become director of the Center for Visual Electrophysiology.

The Lions Club donated more than $42,000 to the project, says Lions Executive Director Brad Baker.

Since arriving in Memphis in November, Iannaccone, who is a member of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision, has been working on plans for the center.

"Electrophysiology is actually one of the best ways to assess damage," says Iannaccone, adding that electrophysiology can detect subtle dysfunction that occurs before anatomical dysfunction becomes noticeable.

Ophthalmologist Barrett Haik, M.D., chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Memphis, says the Mid-South has a definite need for this type of center, as the closest currently is located in St. Louis. The goal of the new electrophysiology center is to find defects early enough when they are reversible to alter treatments to protect a child's vision, says Haik.

Iannaccone says that the field of hereditary eye diseases probably will benefit the most from electrophysiology assessment of visual function. Hereditary eye diseases are often separated into two main categories: those that affect the optic nerve and those that affect the retina, such as retinitis pigmentosa, which is an X chromosome-linked genetic disease.

"There are children born with hereditary defects that will cause them to lose vision over a significant period of time," Haik says. "Being able to identify those children and properly prepare them for the future is very important, as well as to counsel them in terms of their risks of passing on diseases to the next generation and to monitor any new treatments that may be beneficial in halting these conditions."

Haik says that some drugs used for treatment of cancer have side effects that can compromise vision in some children, and electrophysiology can help predict this occurrence. Then doctors can alter the treatment that a child is receiving.

"That's exactly what we're hoping to do," Haik says. "We see patients who are going to receive certain types of radiation or chemotherapy for tumors that are in the eye and also for tumors that are around the eye. We'll be monitoring their retinal function before and after radiation and chemotherapy.

"It may be that we can't alter the treatment, because we have to protect the child's life first. On the other hand, we may find strategies that allow us to give medicine that can block that damage inside the eye itself" he says.

"You've got to make sure that there's a reasonable outcome that justifies" exposing a child to radiation, Haik says.

Working with children often poses problems for doctors hoping to obtain verbal responses from their patients. One of the most important reasons for developing a visual electrophysiology center for children is the fact that electrophysiology assessments do not require verbal cooperation on the part of the child.

"Most of the children we deal with are preverbal," says Haik. Electrophysiology assessments, unlike visual fields and eye charts, do not require a child to give an answer back to the doctor.

"It a very objective test that tells you what's functioning or what isn't, and the child doesn't have to tell you a word," Haik says.

Because a typical exam includes a test that requires putting an electrode on the eye, small children may not want to undergo testing. "We are going to have the potential also to do exams under anesthesia, so that is always an option" for a child who is unwilling or unable to cooperate or is anxious," says Iannaccone.

The center is under construction on the ground floor of Le Bonheur near the emergency department entrance on Adams. It will contain an office, a testing room, a waiting room and a recovery room. The center also will have a special adaptation room, which children will enter before undergoing testing.

"You want their retina to adapt a stable condition, and darkness is the most stable," Iannaccone says. Adaptation typically takes about 30 minutes.

"We have special electrodes that we use to record a signal," says Iannaccone. He says that one way is to use flashes of light, and the responses are monitored by the electrodes to be displayed on a computer screen.

"Electrophysiology itself isn't the end to everything, but it's a very important tool," Haik says. "It will guide either treatment of further molecular genetic testing that we're working on, and hopefully various treatments in the future, such as gene therapy."

This article originally appeared in the August 8, 1997 issue of Health Care News. It is reprinted with permission.


Fleming elected president of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

UTHSC News Stories