UNMC eye institute will revolutionize eye care in Nebraska


Will bring new faculty and services to state

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC Public Relations

OMAHA, Neb. (May 22, 2013)–Today the University of Nebraska Medical Center joins the ranks of leading ophthalmology centers with the opening of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute.

TruhlsenRendering_front_angledThe new Truhlsen Eye Institute is poised to revolutionize eye care in the region and will allow UNMC to join the ranks of other centers of excellence such as the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The Truhlsen Eye Institute is named after legendary Omaha ophthalmologist Stanley M. Truhlsen, M.D., an Omaha ophthalmologist who has been affiliated with UNMC for more than 40 years and made the lead gift on the facility. Dr. Truhlsen, 92, is active in numerous national ophthalmology organizations.

Located at 40th and Leavenworth streets, the Truhlsen Eye Institute is poised to become a center of excellence for eye care and research. This premier eye institute combines state-of-the art diagnostic medicine with the latest advances in clinical research to bring hope to patients suffering from blinding eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, corneal dystrophies, uveitis and other ocular inflammatory diseases.

“The Truhlsen Eye Institute positions UNMC to become a world leader in clinical care, research and education in vision disorders,” said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. “More importantly, it elevates eye care for the citizens of Nebraska and brings it to their front door. We thank Dr. Truhlsen and all the donors for making this possible.”

Three of the unique features of the Truhlsen Eye Institute are the:
• Carl B. Camras, M.D., Center for Innovative Clinical Trials in Ophthalmology;
• Ocular Imaging Research and Reading Center; and
• Children’s Eye Care Center.

“The Truhlsen Eye Institute bestows upon us an unprecedented opportunity to combine over 10 ophthalmic subspecialty services together in a state-of-the-art facility,” said Quan Dong Nguyen, M.D., chairman of the UNMC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, McGaw Memorial Endowed Professor and director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute.

“Our outstanding faculty along with our dedicated staff will flourish in this amazing establishment and they will have every resource available to treat patients of all ages and diseases. This institute also provides a state-of-the-art facility that allows us to recruit new faculty,” Dr. Nguyen said.

Dr. Nguyen, a uveitis and retinal specialist from Johns Hopkins, and his wife Diana V. Do, M.D., a retina surgeon who serves as vice chair for education and director of the department’s residency training program, joined UNMC earlier this year to lead the new eye institute.

“The creation of the Camras Center will allow for rapid expansion in eye research and will triple UNMC’s clinical research study volume,” Dr. Do said. “We can now offer the latest novel therapies in both retinal diseases and anterior segment disorders to patients.”

She said the increased research combined with the Ocular Imaging Research and Reading Center will aid in the diagnosis and management of ocular diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic eye disease.

The Camras Center is named after the late Dr. Camras, who served as UNMC’s chairman of ophthalmology from 2000 to 2009. In 1996 he was one of the developers of latanoprost (trade name Xalatan), a glaucoma drug that is still widely used today as first-line therapy for many patients.

A $20 million, 54,536-square-foot facility, the Truhlsen Eye Institute also features outpatient eye exam facilities, an optical shop, and a comprehensive regional diagnostic center. Plans are in the works for an eye surgery center to be built at a future date. The surgery center will be connected to the Truhlsen Eye Institute to provide maximum convenience and best possible care for patients.

“Situated just two blocks west of the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation which specializes in helping people with low vision, the Truhlsen Eye Institute is uniquely positioned to treat all aspects of eye disorders,” Dr. Nguyen said.

“The Truhlsen Eye Institute will be transformative, not just for the city, but for the entire state,” said David W. Parke II, M.D., executive vice president and CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology. “It will foster the close, collaborative interaction of scientists, clinicians, teachers and learners that generates discovery — benefiting thousands every year. I can think of no greater legacy that any man or woman could leave their beloved state.”

For more information about the Truhlsen Eye Institute, links to press kit materials and sound bites go to: https://www.unmc.edu/eye/truhlseneye.htm

UNMC logoThrough world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

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