Legacy Devers Eye Institute

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Legacy Devers Eye Institute
Typenot-for-profit healthcare,
not-for-profit research
FounderArthur Devers
HeadquartersPortland, Oregon

The Legacy Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, is one of the few private, non-profit centers for ophthalmological care, research, and training in the United States.[1] The institute is affiliated with Legacy Health, a network of seven hospitals in Portland and Southwest Washington.[2] Legacy Devers includes the Thelma and Gilbert Schnitzer Comprehensive Glaucoma Center.


The institute offers fee-for-service and charitable eye care.[1] Part of its mission is to provide universal eye care in the Portland, Oregon, area.

The institute also trains post-graduate professionals and conducts research. Scientists from Devers have refined how to interpret visual field testing,[3] a standard part of the assessment of glaucoma. They have also improved corneal transplantation through innovations in DLEK (deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty)[4] and DSEK (Descemet's stripping with endothelial keratoplasty).[5]

History and funding[edit]

The Devers Eye Institute was founded in 1959 thanks to a million-dollar bequest from Arthur Devers, a coffee merchant who suffered from retinal degeneration.[1][6]

Good Samaritan Hospital hired Dr. Richard Chenoweth in 1972 as the first Chief of Ophthalmology. He was the first to publish on retinal toxicity secondary to gentamicin (a common antibiotic), acute placoid chorioretinitis from syphilis, and neuroretinopathy from intravenous contrast media. He helped develop ground-breaking treatments for diabetic retinopathy and retinal disease. He retired in 1990. He died in 2020.[7][8]

The second Chief of Ophthalmology and first holder of the Chenoweth Chair was Dr. Edward Michael Van Buskirk, appointed in 1990. He helped understand the vascular effects of glaucoma medications and how decreased blood flow may relate to glaucoma. He was the President of the American Glaucoma Society and inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Glaucoma. He helped to pioneer the understanding of laser trabeculoplasty, a common treatment for glaucoma today. In 2001 the Good Samaritan Foundation established the Edward Michael Van Buskirk chair for ocular research in his honor.

The third Chief of Ophthalmology and second holder of the Chenoweth Chair was George A. “Jack” Cioffi, M.D, appointed in 2004.

The fourth Chief of Ophthalmology was James T. Rosenbaum. He is now chief emeritus.

The current Chief and holder of the Chenoweth Chair is Steve Mansberger, M.D., M.P.H.

In 2007, the Schnitzer/Novack Foundation gave the Institute one million dollars to endow the Thelma and Gilbert Schnitzer Comprehensive Glaucoma Center.[9]

The Institute's total endowment is now approximately twenty-five million dollars, held primarily by the Legacy Health Good Samaritan Foundation. Part of its research activity is supported through grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Staff and alumni[edit]

The Devers Eye Institute staff includes fourteen ophthalmologists, four physician fellows, two clinical optometrists, and four additional senior scientists performing research. The Discoveries in Sight Research Laboratory is headed by Claude Burgoyne, M.D., 2015 winner of the American Glaucoma Society Clinician Scientist Award.[10] The clinics are directed by Steve Mansberger, M.D., M.P.H., epidemiology section editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology.[11] The cornea service is headed by Mark Terry, M.D., 2016 recipient of the Eye Bank Association of America R. Townley Paton Award.[12]

Notable former staff and graduates of the training program include—


  1. ^ a b c "Legacy Devers Eye Institute". Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Devers Memorial Eye Clinic". Legacy Health. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  3. ^ L. Deng; S. Demirel; S.K. Gardiner (June 2014). "Reducing variability in visual field assessment through filtering that combines structural and functional information". Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 13: 13813.
  4. ^ Fernandez, MM; Afshari, NA (2010). "Endothelial Keratoplasty: From DLEK to DMEK". Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 17: 5–8. doi:10.4103/0974-9233.61210. PMC 2880365. PMID 20543930. (mentioning the work of Devers ophthalmologist Mark Terry)
  5. ^ "DSEK Pearls from Mark Terry, M.D." ophthalmologyweb.com. 28 May 2008.
  6. ^ Rumler, J. (January 2014). "Renowned Devers Eye Institute Expands". The Scribe. Portland, Oregon: Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland. 32 (1): 1.
  7. ^ "Richard "Dick" Chenoweth, MD". visiongift.org.
  8. ^ "Richard Chenoweth Obituary". oregonlive.com.
  9. ^ "Schnitzer/Novack Foundation Donates $2 Million to Portland's Two Nationally Known Eye Care Institutes".
  10. ^ Rumler, J. (March 2015). "Devers researchers in national spotlight". The Scribe. Portland, Oregon: Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland. 33 (3): 1.
  11. ^ "Editors biographies". American Journal of Ophthalmology. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  12. ^ "R. Townley Paton Award". Eye Bank Association of America. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  13. ^ "UAB - SOM - Dept of Ophthalmology - J. Crawford Downs, Ph.D." uab.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  14. ^ "Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics". ocularbiomechanics.com.
  15. ^ "Baylor College of Medicine Appoints Dr. Timothy Stout Chair Of Ophthalmology". BioNews Texas.
  16. ^ Samanlego, Chiles Aedam R. (29 April 2014). "New therapeutic dimensions in corneal transplantation". Eyeworld Daily News. p. 20. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  17. ^ Boyle, Erin L. (February 2014). "DMEK experts offer pearls, pitfalls for performing procedure". Eyeworld. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Chicago".
  19. ^ "Cornea Clinic".