Innovations: Letter from leadership 2021

A farsighted vision for the future

Friends and colleagues,

As we celebrate 75 years of our department, we recognize the efforts of our predecessors at OHSU Casey Eye Institute in creating a climate of innovation and collaboration that is still a driving force for us today. Today, we are making fantastic strides in performing gene-editing, harnessing artificial intelligence and using spectroscopic optical coherence tomography among other discoveries—all a distant dream in 1945.

For our next chapter, perhaps the most exciting endeavor will be our efforts to flip the traditional encounter model to a population-based approach. We are designing our programs to address the prevalence of blindness in Oregon, while seeking to overcome some of the inequities and barriers in the delivery of quality care. It is an ambitious project, but we are taking the first steps next year with the opening of two new clinics using a community based model.

One clinic will be located inside the Portland metro area and the other will be in Hood River, a more rural community about 65 miles outside of Portland. Community health workers will be trained to provide sophisticated evaluation of patients, including imaging with optical coherence tomography. Patient data will be transmitted to OHSU Casey Eye Institute for interpretation by an artificial intelligence algorithm to screen for patients who need specialist care. We anticipate expanding this model to 10 clinics over the next five years. As these clinics evolve, we want to improve the vision health among all Oregonians.

Our vision is to redefine the standards of eye care for the people whom we serve in Oregon and beyond. We are honored to share some of the highlights of this year’s transformative work occurring at OHSU Casey Eye Institute.

Casey Eye Institute Leadership Team: Dr. David Wilson, Dr. Andreas Lauer, Dr. David Huang