Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
|Bascom Palmer Eye Institute|
|Location||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Affiliated university||University of Miami
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
|Founded||January 20, 1962|
|Lists||Hospitals in Florida|
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, is a center for ophthalmic care, research, and education. Faculty and staff treat patients from around the world in facilities in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Collier County. The Institute’s full-time faculty encompass many ophthalmic sub-specialties and has been consistently ranked as the best eye hospital in the country US News & World Report.
The Institute’s clinical faculty treats more than 250,000 patients each year, provides 24-hour emergency care, and is the only community-based ophthalmic care for indigent and low-income patients of Miami-Dade County.
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was founded by Edward W.D. Norton, M.D., a neuro-ophthalmologist, retinal specialist, administrator and teacher, who joined the University of Miami School of Medicine with dreams of building a regional ophthalmic center in South Florida. The Institute was named after Dr. Bascom H. Palmer, a Miami ophthalmologist who settled in Miami in the 1920s.
Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine began in 1955 and attained departmental status in 1959 one year after Dr. Norton became the first full-time chairman.
The “founding five” physicians of the Institute included Dr. Norton and four others: Dr. Victor Curtin, the first faculty member who was hired in 1959. He established the Pathology Laboratory and the Eye Bank, which through the auspices of the Florida Lions, has provided ophthalmologists with donor eye tissue for more than 30,000 patients since its founding in 1962. Dr. J. Lawton Smith, a neuro-ophthalmologist created the nation’s first post-graduate neuro-ophthalmology course. Dr. J. Donald M. Gass, a macular degeneration specialist developed the use of fluorescein angiography as a diagnostic tool, and Dr. John T. Flynn, a pediatric ophthalmologist established the Institute’s Children’s Clinic. The Institute was officially opened on January 20, 1962.
John Clarkson, M.D., a vitreoretinal specialist and surgeon, succeeded Dr. Norton in 1991 and chaired the Institute until 1996. Richard Parrish, M.D., a glaucoma sub-specialist, became the Institute's third chairman in 1996 and served for three years. Richard Forster, M.D., a cornea and external disease specialist served as interim chairman from 1999 until 2001. Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., a vitreoretinal specialist and surgeon, was appointed chairman of the Institute and medical director of Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital in July 2001 and served until October 2007. Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., a cornea and external disease specialist is currently leading Bascom Palmer Eye Institute as its chairman.
In the beginning of the Institute's development, Bascom Palmer physicians, Noble J. David, J. Lawton Smith, Edward W. D. Norton and especially J.Donald M. Gass along with a young medical photographer, Johnny Justice, Jr., pioneered the use of fluorescein angiography for the diagnosis of macular and retinal diseases, which led to the accurate description and effective treatment of retinal disorders.
Bascom Palmer surgeons performed the first modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis surgery in the United States and restored vision to a woman who had been blind for 9 years. The procedure involved several surgeries culminating in implanting her tooth in her eye, as a base to hold a prosthetic lens.
Bascom Palmer faculty member, Robert H. Machemer conducted the first successful vitreous surgery and was responsible for the invention of miniature surgical instrumentation required for the procedure 
Bascom Palmer Research Investigators established the clinical value of vitrectomy (removal of the vitreous humor) to treat retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases of the eye and severe ocular trauma.
In a successful effort to restore the vitality to ocular mucus membranes, Bascom Palmer faculty introduced limbal cell transplantation therapy, which now can prevent potentially blinding corneal scarring.
24-hour emergency care and the only community-based ophthalmic care for indigent and low-income patients of Miami-Dade County are provided. Faculty and staff service of patients with eye disorders and diseases in the following areas:
Retina and Vitreous Diseases and Surgery
Corneal & External Diseases
Laser Vision Center
Ophthalmic Plastic and Orbital Surgery
24-hour Emergency in Miami
Contact Lens Service
Low vision Rehabilitation
U.S. News & World Report
In 2013, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was ranked as the #1 Ophthalmology hospital in the United States for the tenth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.
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- "Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Ranked Nation’s #1 in Ophthalmology for 8th Consecutive Year". Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
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- "Bascom Palmer Eye Institute: Patient Services"
- "Top-Ranked Hospitals for Ophthalmology". US News & World Report. Retrieved December 18, 2013.