Graduating senior residents were recognized in June with a celebration at River Hills Club. Although our numbers remained smaller, our faculty and residents were able to celebrate with this year's graduates. Drs. Clayton Patrick, Erin Petersen, and Kevin Mays joined group practices, either private or academic, while Dr. Sean Carter pursued a glaucoma fellowship.
The Ching-Jygh and Lin Chen Endowed Chair for Excellence in Ophthalmology is established to honor the dedication and contributions of Drs. C.J. and Lin Chen to the field of Ophthalmology. A native of Taiwan, Dr. Chen arrived at UMMC in 1979 as an assistant professor of surgery. Since that time, the department has been the beneficiary of his passion for research to improve treatment and patient outcomes and his commitment to raising the bar of standards of care. His enthusiasm for education has been evident throughout his tenure at UMMC.
To honor Dr. C.J. and Lin Chen's commitment to the department and ophthalmological disease research, this professorship will support advancing the field of Ophthalmology research and education. On August 21, 2021, Dr. C.J. Chen recognized Dr. Kimberly Crowder as the first Ching-Jygh and Lin Chen Endowed Chair for Excellence in Ophthalmology.
On Aug. 21, 2021, the department successfully hosted ophthalmologist and ophthalmic technicians from all over Mississippi for the 2021 Ophthalmology Update and Ching J. Chen Lecture. The full day session was held in two lecture halls at the new School of Medicine building. It consisted of lectures and training by the department faculty and staff, as well as guest lecturers Dr. Royce Chen, Dr. Mitchell Weikert, Dr. Leslie Jones, and Sue Vicchrilli, COT, OCS, OCSR. Dr. Weikert gave two lectures on IOL calculations and presbyopia correction, Dr. Jones lectured on glaucoma, and Sue addressed E/M documentation guidelines and coding for 2021. Dr. Royce Chen presented the 2021 Ching J. Chen Lecture on "Retinal Imaging: Past, Present, and Future." Pictured are Dr. CJ Chen, Dr. Kimberly Crowder, and Dr. Royce Chen.
The UMMC Department of Ophthalmology was not surprised to learn that our very own Dr. Albert Lin was elected to the UMMC Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate has the power to act in an advisory capacity to the administration on policies affecting UMMC, to make the general faculty aware of ongoing activities an projects currently being discussed by the Senate, and to keep the general faculty informed of its recommendations.
Congratulations, Dr. Lin!!!!
Members of the Department of Ophthalmology participated in the 2021 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.
Our department won this year's t-shirt contest. Pictured are WJTV 12's Byron Brown and Darla, the ophthalmic tech who designed the shirts.
Our ophthalmology team is no stranger to giving back. Below are a few of the mission trips our faculty and residents have taken. Unfortunately, COVID has affected any possible mission trips for 2020 or 2021.
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.
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.