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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


SEI-Lions event commuicates vision care progress

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
SEI-Lions event communicates vision care progress More than 100 South Carolina Lions Club members attended the MUSC – South Carolina Lions Vision Symposium to learn about the latest trends in vision care and sight-saving research being done at MUSC Storm Eye Institute (SEI).

The event was organized by SEI development director Toni McHugh and SEI staff and members of the S.C. Lions Eye Research Committee.

Surfside/South Strand Lions Club members Bernie Bone, right, and Frank Losasso, check in with Storm Eye Institute's Jerald Brown as part of the SEI-Lions Vision Symposium.

“We were delighted to have the South Carolina Lions here at Storm Eye to learn how our vision scientists and physicians appreciate the support the Lions have given over the years and to provide information about eye care and research that the Lions can take back to their clubs,” said McHugh, who also is a Lions member.

The daylong program caught the attention of Richard “Grover” Cleaveland, who is president of the Hilton Head Island Noon Lions Club. Cleaveland made the 120-mile round trip and was pleased with what he heard at MUSC.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to visit Charleston and hear what I’ve heard today from eye specialists and researchers about the good work and advances being made in vision care and research at MUSC,” he said. “The program was well presented and provided a good overview of ongoing vision care and activities. It’s my goal to take this information and share it with the people of southern Beaufort County.”

The event opened with a welcome by M. Edward Wilson, M.D., SEI director and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and MUSC President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D. It featured brief presentations from SEI clinicians, clinical researchers and vision scientists who spoke about their work and expertise. The program also allowed time for questions and answers with the audience.

“It is important for the Storm Eye Institute and MUSC to communicate that we are of service to the entire state of South Carolina. Through the vision symposium, we were able to reach out to over 40 Lions clubs and 100 Lions from all parts of the state to share the significant advances that Storm Eye is making in vision research and patient care,” said Wilson, who also is a Lions member.

The morning session featured talks on clinical topics such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract and cornea transplants and recommendations for vision screenings and rehabilitation. After a midday lunch break, participants got an overview of vision research activities, including the training and preparation of doctoral-level vision scientists as described by Craig E. Crosson, Ph.D., vice chairman of SEI research. SEI researchers shared details about their current research in eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other retinal degenerative diseases. They also shared progress with new drug techniques and therapies to improve vision health.

The S.C. Lions have provided long-standing support to SEI and its mission to meet the eye care needs of South Carolinians. The organization continues to assist financially-challenged individuals who need eye surgeries and treatments, as it has done for more than 35 years. 

Through the years, S.C. Lions Clubs have supported pilot research projects at Storm Eye, raising more than $500,000 that was matched by the state to establish the Center for Economic Excellence’s Endowed Chairs Program. 

Crosson, who holds the Pawek-Valloton Chair in Ophthalmic Bioengineering, said it was essential to convey to Lions members how important their contributions have been to the success of the vision research at Storm Eye.

“Inviting them to hear about the projects that our vision scientists are investigating was a perfect way to share that information with them,” Crosson said.

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

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