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Departmental News

Graduation CelebrationDr. Dhannawat, Dr. St. John, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Feng

Graduating senior residents were recognized in June with a celebration at River Hills Club.  Although our numbers were much smaller, our faculty and residents were able to celebrate with this year's graduates. Drs. Jonathan Feng, Lee Jones, and Jeffrey St. John all joined group practices while Dr. Sneh Dhannawat pursued a glaucoma fellowship. 

Update Conference

The UMMC Department of Ophthalmology Update Conference scheduled for Aug. 22, 2020 was postponed to Fall 2021.

On Aug. 24, 2019, the department successfully hosted ophthalmologist and ophthalmic technicians from all over Mississippi for the 2019 Ophthalmology Update and Ching J. Chen Lecture.  The full day session consisted of lectures and training by the department faculty and staff, as well as guest lecturers Dr. Steven Safran and Dr. Richard B. Rosen.  Dr. Safran gave three lectures on disphotopsia, zonular deficiency cataract surgery, and IOL exchange cases while Dr. Rosen presented the 2019 Ching J. Chen Lecture on OCT Angiography. 

A Year of FirstsDr. Tieu introducing Dr. Ameri. 

Welcome to 2020 ... the year that should have started with a warning sign.  This year has created a lot of firsts for everyone and that includes many for our department. 

  • Our PGY2s started January 2020 by going to Columbia University Medical Center in New York City (for the FIRST time) for the BCSC course.   
  • During UMMC's COVID-19 response, we split our residents into two groups:  hospital and clinical.  We also split our departmental employees into a "business as usual" (staffing our clinics) group and a "working at the State Fairgrounds" group administering COVID tests.
  • The OKAPS were postponed then administered (and don't forget monitored) on campus.
  • We hosted our very first VIRTUAL Samuel B. Johnson, M.D. Memorial Lecture Series and Residents Research Day on June 19, 2020.  (pictured right:  Dr. Tieu introducing Dr. Ameri.)
  • Ophthalmology Update and Ching J. Chen Lecture were, unfortunately, postponed from August 2020 to Fall 2021.  Please continue to look for those details this spring.
  • This year's "interview season" will be done virtually, as well.  

GWIMS awards celebrates one of our own

The UMMC Department of Ophthalmology was not surprised to learn that our very own Dr. Kimberly Crowder, professor and chair, was awarded the 2019-2020 Helen Barnes, M.D. Diversity and Inclusion Award.  Dr. Crowder was nominated because she:

  • Aspires to empower others, regardless of race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Promotes the inclusion of minority and underrepresented faculty, staff, and students.

 To learn more please visit the Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) page.  Congratulations, Dr. Crowder!!

Walk participants

2019 Diabetes Walk participantsMembers of the Department of Ophthalmology participated in the 2019 walk and fundraiser benefiting Mississippi Diabetes Foundation. People with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness than people without the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Faculty mission trips

Our ophthalmology team is no stranger to giving back.  Below are a few of the mission trips our faculty and residents have taken. Dr. Watkins and Dr. Green performing surgery in Jamaica.

2019:  In July of 2019, Dr. John Green journeyed to Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica.  He traveled with a Christian mission group from Dublin, Georgia who has been giving back to Jamaica for 40 years by spreading the gospel and bringing sight to the blind.  Dr. Green was accompanied by 5 other MDs, 1 optometrist, 1 optician, 3 surgical scrub techs, 1 RN, and 20 support team members.  They held clinic for 5 days while simultaneously doing surgery for 6 days.  Within those 6 days, they saw 1000 patients in clinic and performed 134 surgeries.  For those who speak "eye doctor," 120 of the surgeries were extracapsular cataract extractions and 14 were pterygium excisions.  It's also worth noting that many of the cataract surgery patients were functionally blind prior to having surgery.  The clinical team served to diagnose sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma, and to find candidates for surgery.  They were also able to refit hundreds of pairs of donated glasses and refer patients with chronic diseases to the local ophthalmologist.

2018: Similar to Dr. Green's story, Dr. William Watkins trekked to Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica, the previous year.  His team performed surgery, diagnosed, and treated all who needed it.  They were also able to match donated glasses to patients.  A tertiary goal for Dr. Watkins was to get to know the group who organizes the trip and the area they serve.  His hope is to build a good rapport for all who wish to help on future trips.

2017:  Drs. Kyle and Andrea Lewis, along with ophthalmology resident Jonathan Carrere and ENT resident Lauren Buck, journeyed to Montellano, Guatemala, in November 2017 as part of a surgical mission. The weeklong trip was coordinated through Health Talents International, a ministry with a long-standing presence in Guatemala.Dr. Lewis and Dr. Carrere performing surgery in Guatemala

Together with two other comprehensive ophthalmologists, the team performed over 100 oculoplastic, cataract, pterygium, and ENT cases. Memorable cases included watching vision be restored to a 2-year-old who was blind from congenital cataracts, hearing being restored to a woman who could not hear for many years, and an 8-month-old with orbital extension of a large dacryocystocele that was treated and binocular vision restored. This last case will be submitted to a medical journal due to its rarity.