Update From the Chair

Thomas Hejkal, M.D.
Thomas Hejkal, M.D.

Eye Institute Progress
The blueprints are almost ready. Pending approval from the Board of Regents, we are hopeful that construction of the Truhlsen Eye Institute will begin in June. Next quarter I may have some early pictures of the new construction to share with you. We continue to work with colleagues in Omaha and greater Nebraska to ensure that the Eye Institute will address the needs of our region. If you have ideas regarding the services, equipment or educational programs that you think are needed please let me know.

Community Service Projects

An important part of our mission at UNMC is to provide outreach to underserved populations. While the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has always played a major role in providing this care in our community, new projects have extended this outreach. A free glaucoma screening day was organized by Dr. Sushma Rai at the UNMC Physicians’ Eye Specialties clinic on Friday, March 11. She partnered with Prevent Blindness Nebraska to hold the event during World Glaucoma Week in an effort to raise awareness of this disease. Dr. Rai along with other faculty members and residents saw more than 40 patients during this event.

Our faculty, residents and fellows have long been volunteering at the UNMC student-run SHARING clinic to offer free screening exams for diabetic patients. Dr. Michael Griess has recently organized an effort to provide more complete eye exams for patients seen in the SHARING clinic. The first SHARING eye clinic began in March and will not only provide care to the underserved patients in our community, but also provides an opportunity for medical students to get some practical experience in ophthalmology.

Also in the last year, our ophthalmology residents have joined one of our volunteer faculty members, Dr. Richard “Skip” Legge, for a monthly free pediatric eye clinic at his office. In addition to the service this provides patients in our community, it is providing excellent additional experiaence for our residents in evaluating and treating children.

I recently attended to annual meeting of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). Dr. Nasca, who heads the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) spoke about improving resident education. Studies show that one of the best predictors of clinical performance of resident is the quality of care in the hospital or teaching program where they train. With that in mind, my plan is to develop new quality measures in our department and implement quality improvement and safety programs. This will also help us meet new accreditation standards that require residents to be involved in quality improvement programs during residency.

See our residency program update for details incoming residents and fellows for 2011 and 2012.

Gifford-Truhlsen Day 2011 and 2012

Be sure to join us for a great lineup of speakers on Friday, June 17, 2011. Dr. Susan Day will be the Truhlsen lecturer. She is a pediatric ophthalmologist, past president of AAO and very active in resident education on a national level. Dr. Mark Humayan from USC/Doheny is the Gifford lecturer and will speak on “Bioelectronics in Ophthalmology.” The banquet will be at Omaha Country Club. This year’s event coincides with the College World Series so that we can treat Dr. Day, a long-time fan of college baseball, to a game or two at the CWS.

I am anxious to hear your thoughts, should you want to share them, on any of these issues. I can be reached at truhlseneye@unmc.edu.

Contact Information
To comment or ask questions about the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute:
(402) 559-4276