It is a pleasure for me to provide my annual update on the recent accomplishments and future directions of the Department of Ophthalmology. We continue to focus on collaboration in our core missions of academic health care: patient care, education, research and service as we build on our relationships with faculty from other departments at Loyola as well as other institutions.
Our Patient Care Services have expanded in scope and depth. We have been providing our full line of eye care services to patients at the Burr Ridge office since 2010 with great patient satisfaction. We will soon be opening temporary Pediatric and Neuro-ophthalmology services at Homer Glen starting in October 2013 with Patricia Davis, MD serving in this capacity, which will expand to a full line of eye care services with 4 exam rooms, diagnostic testing, and a procedure room by 2015. Shivan Tekwani is the Director of our new Diagnostic Testing Service (DTS), which provides referring physicians and optometrists the opportunity to send patients for ophthalmic testing at our Maywood and Burr Ridge office locations. The DTS will provide reports through EPIC to the referring physicians and optometrists. Patients will certainly appreciate the convenience of this added service. In September 2013 we will open our long awaited tele-retina service at the Loyola Center for Health in Elmhurst satellite office in September 2013. The addition of a small pupil fundus camera at this office will enable diabetic patients to have their annual retinal screening exam without making a separate eye appointment.
Our Educational Programs remain strong. We provide outstanding resident training as one of the best clinical programs in Chicago and the Midwest. Our department is leading the way in educational technology. All full-time faculty and residents use iPads for clinical and educational programs, and we recently added iPod Touch wireless connectivity from the teaching slit lamps to wall mounted monitors. We are also promoting a Chicago Educational Consortium, which will link the educational programs of all Chicago area academic centers through the file-sharing program Dropbox. Loyola will host -- for a second time – a citywide wet lab planned for October 2013. This event will focus on non-cataract microsurgical techniques and will be available to the 66 residents from the 6 Chicago training programs. Most of the departmental educational and research programs have been supported over the years by generous annual gifts from the Perritt Charitable Foundation.
Our CME Programs consistently offer outstanding content for both national and local attendees. Our Fall Cataract/Glaucoma Symposium, Alumni/Mission Day and Chicago Subspecialty Guest Lecture Series presented speakers and agendas of interest to the comprehensive ophthalmologist. Our weekly Grand Rounds, which occur each Wednesdays at 4:30, have been augmented to include a Loyola guest speaker outside of ophthalmology to provide a more interdisciplinary interaction. My intent is to emphasize collaboration and encourage a broad exchange of ideas to create the highest quality residency-training program. This year the Department sponsored an exciting DMEK wet lab for Chicago Cornea Surgeons. This was held at the SSOM Advanced Procedure Education Center (APEC). Two national leaders in DMEK surgery, Mark Terry, MD from Devers Eye Institute, Portland Oregon and Ken Goins, MD from University of Iowa, led the program.
Our Research Enterprise continues to grow. Ping Bu, MD, Kelly Langert, PhD, Evan Stubbs, Jr., PhD, and Cynthia Pervan, PhD constitute our core research team located at the Hines VA Hospital. Department faculty member Omer Iqbal, MD, and Jawed Fareed, PhD, from the Department of Pathology contribute significantly to our basic science research focus on Steven’s Johnson Syndrome. As Director of Basic Science Research Services in the department, Dr. Stubbs has established a solid research program for the residency, improved our submission process and fostered further collaborative efforts with the basic science faculty. This year we received grant support from the Midwest Eye Bank and Transplantation Center (MEBTC), Merit (Hines VA), the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and a major gift from the Richard A. Perritt Charitable Foundation. In 2013, Loyola received 8 ISPB grants totaling $20,000, which was almost 40% of the grants awarded to members of all 6 Chicago Academic Medical Centers. Bruce Gaynes, OD, Pharm D., continues to serve as the Director of Clinical Research Programs for residents and medical students. All residents are assigned faculty mentors for research, with the goal of an ARVO presentation and manuscript submission for each resident. In 2012, Loyola residents also received the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Beem Fisher Awards from the Chicago Ophthalmological Society (COS) for outstanding research by Chicagoland residents. Two new areas of research focus will be genetic studies of rare disease and data mining. Through collaboration with Loyola’s Information Technology Department, we will access the Clinical Research Data Base system, which currently contains 500 million bits of data. Finally, The Loyola Center for Translational Research and Education broke ground Aug 16, 2013. This center will establish a significant translational research presence in the Chicagoland Area.
Our tradition of International Service was buttressed in 2010 by a generous gift from the Thomas Stamm Family. The Stamm Foreign Mission Endowment will provided support for 2 mission trips per year by faculty and residents. In 2012, we partnered with Loyola Alumnus, Ahsan Khan (2004), Director of Humanity First Guatemala, to serve the patients in Guatemala together with ophthalmologists from University of Illinois. In another partnership with University of Illinois, James McDonnell, MD, will travel to Guatemala in February 2014 to provide pediatric surgical services.
I am excited about our recent accomplishments and look forward to achieving our goal of becoming an academic and educational leader in the Midwest, and I am proud of the professional and administrative staff that enables us to continuously improve. I welcome your feedback and appreciate your continued support. I look forward to seeing many of our alumni and friends at the Annual AAO Loyola Alumni Reception on Friday, November 15, 2013 at Antoine’s Restaurant, in New Orleans.
Charles S. Bouchard, MD
The John P. Mulcahy Professor and Chairman
Department of Ophthalmology