Innovations 2022: Letter from Leadership

Long-term vision yields innovations

After celebrating 75 years as an institute, we reflect that innovation rarely happens in a flash of brilliance. Instead, innovations change health care after building on a sustained commitment to discovery. Throughout our history, OHSU Casey Eye Institute has invested in the long-term, foundational aspects of innovation, which has led to remarkable breakthroughs in vision health. In just one example, consider the advent of optical coherence tomography (OCT). This invention went from an interesting gadget to an essential tool that is rapidly advancing into new and novel applications. Many of our clinician scientists are stretching the concepts of what’s possible with this technology, including investigating opportunities in ultrawide-field and visible-light OCT, handheld operation, artificial intelligence algorithms and more.

Another hallmark of our institute is the openness to multidisciplinary collaborations. Whether in cross-functional teams among our faculty or in multidisciplinary clinics across our health system, we see added value for our patients by working together. When someone suffers facial paralysis, for example, we are part of the team providing treatments to preserve corneal sensation and nerve transfer procedures.

Through all this work, we are also creating the clinicians and researchers of tomorrow. As examples, glaucoma researcher Ted Acott, Ph.D., has taught and mentored some of today’s leading scientists in glaucoma research and John Ng, M.D., is one the most highly recognized instructors for oculoplastics in the country.

Still, we need more trained people to create access to eye care for preventing blindness, especially among the underserved and underinsured. That’s why we are investing in community health programs to expand our reach throughout Oregon. We are currently training community health workers and clinical staff as vision health navigators in the Oregon Vision Health Network. Our first cohort
of nine community health workers have finished training and are serving the rural community of Hood River, Oregon. We are honored to share some of the highlights of this year’s transformative work occurring at OHSU Casey Eye Institute. We are proud to be on the leading-edge of discovery while perpetuating inspiration in a new generation of innovators.

Thank you,

David J. Wilson, M.D.
Professor and Paul H. Casey Chair
Director, Casey Eye Institute

Andreas K. Lauer, M.D.
Professor and Thiele-Petti Chair
Chair, Department of Ophthalmology

David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Director, Casey Eye Institute