Our common goal is to provide excellent care to all who enter the Eye Institute, whether they are private patients seeing their own personal physician or among the financially disadvantaged receiving care in the public clinic.
- Robert Wood Johnson – Nancy Barrand, MPA, Senior Advisor for Program Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Aravind Eye System – Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director LAICO
- Jules Stein Eye Institute – Bradley Straatsma, MD, JD, – Co-founder Jules Stein Eye Institute
- William B. Stewart, MD – Co-founder and Medical Director Emeritus at Sutter Health Institute for Health & Healing
- IDEO – Tim Brown, President and CEO of IDEO LLP
- Charlotte Mailliard Shultz – San Francisco Chief of Protocol
Serious work and some fun were part of a planning session held October 29, 2016 to refine the strategic plan for the development of The Eye Institute. Invited participants were the Board of Directors of PVF, faculty chiefs of the CPMC Ophthalmology Department, and representatives from partner organizations CPMC, Lions Eye Foundation, and Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.
The Eye Institute stands in common with top regional Ophthalmology centers in the United States as a magnet for talented young physicians competing for a limited number of national residency training slots, at a time when the need for eye care is increasing and the supply of specialized ophthalmologists is decreasing. We stand apart from these institutions in our commitment to expand high quality ophthalmology care to an increasing number of patients who lack the ability to
pay for it.
Spearheaded by the Pacific Vision Foundation (PVF), this is being accomplished by bringing together long-time partners into The Eye Institute, headquartered at 711 Van Ness Avenue, and by creating a comprehensive regional network of eye care services.
The partners of PVF—faculty physicians, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Department of Ophthalmology, The Lions Eye Foundation (LEF) and Lions Eye Clinic, the Frank Stein and Paul S. May Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation, and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (SKERI)—have a long history in support of vision care, medical education and research.
Economically disadvantaged persons are served when a member Lions Club identifies needy patients. CPMC residents diagnose and treat them at no cost in CPMC facilities, while the faculty ophthalmologists supervise the patient care and teach the residents. Across more than five decades, this arrangement has resulted in 4200 patient visits per year. Now a new network of participating physicians and community clinics will be added to the model in order to expand the synergy between education and subsidized care.
This regional care network will be created by linking The Eye Institute to primary care sites across the region where specialized eye care for the economically disadvantaged is not available. The Eye Institute will bring eye care to the affiliated sites, and also accept referrals for advanced services at 711 Van Ness. Each affiliation will be tailored to the needs of the population. Two pilot programs with Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC) are currently being negotiated to test the concept and to refine the plan.
This bilateral approach—the traditional partnerships and the new regional care network—means the high quality care and education that are hallmarks of the CPMC Ophthalmology Department, and Residency and Fellowship Programs, will continue, plus it will allow a major expansion of care for the disadvantaged. Inspiration comes from India’s Aravind Eye Care System, the world’s largest eye care provider and the gold standard for affordability, efficiency, and compassion in developing nations. Aravind has influenced eye care worldwide but never before in the United States. Modified for U.S. laws and culture, the Aravind model will inspire a distinctly Western version of compassionate care on a large scale.
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
At the heart of San Francisco’s new Eye Institute is a culture of service and dedication to healing for all who are battling the loss of eyesight.
Rooted in the first practice of ophthalmology in the West dating back to 1873 and enriched by the unique collaboration in 1960 of healers and Lions Club visionaries, Click for History, the humanitarian goals of excellent and equal eye care for all serve as the guiding principle for today’s Eye Institute.
The Eye Institute was inspired by the world famous and innovative Aravind Eye System in India. In 1976 the beloved late Dr. Venkataswamy started an 11-bed eye hospital in Madurai, India which has grown into the largest provider of eye care in the world. Based on his own deeply spiritual values, his goal was to provide a high volume of high quality care in order to “eliminate needless blindness” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr70IrWM-n8
The Eye Institute in San Francisco is the first organization in the West to emulate these ideals of service.
Today in San Francisco, this culture of humanitarianism is being created among the partners collaborating to form the Eye Institute. Most of the CPMC Ophthalmology residents elect to serve a rotation to Aravind in their third year of residency and many faculty members visit Aravind as well. A formal exchange program makes it possible for physicians to share their knowledge and expertise.
Serving as mentor and guide to aid the establishment of a unique culture of healing for all patients, is Dr. William Stewart, renowned Ocularplastic Surgeon and former CPMC Department Chair of Ophthalmology, who co-founded the Institute of Health and Healing at Sutter Health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5X6L-4GaHM