Friday, May 27, 2011

2011 John Harry King Memorial Lecture - Professor Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD

Prof. Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami presented the John Harry King Memorial Lecture today at the annual Walter Reed Army Medical Center ophthalmology meeting. Dr. Flynn, a distinguished retina surgeon, spoke specifically on endophthalmitiis, a devastating inflammatory infection that can follow severe injury to the eye; certainly a risk in severely injured military fighters. He has conducted major studies on endophthalmitis, its variations and treatments, and is an expert in this area.

Dr. Flynn served at the Brook Army Hospital in Texas in the 1970’s. In his comments, he expressed his great regard for the work of military ophthalmologists, the challenges they face, and the critical research they produce given their patient base. Dr. King would have been very proud of Dr. Flynn’s presentation given in his name and the tremendous work being carried on at Walter Reed. He would be just as proud of the work carried on by IEF today.

To honor IEF’s 50th anniversary, a certificate was presented to Dr. Flynn. Dr. Marcus Colyer at Walter Reed was pleased to have IEF present as it bridges the old Walter Reed now closing to the new Walter Reed being built at Fort Belvoir. The end of one era and the beginning of another. Interestingly, the lecture was established in 1986, the year of Dr. King’s death, so it’s 25 years on. Dr. King was Walter Reed’s very first ophthalmology resident in 1948. Serving in both the Pacific and European theaters in World War II, Dr. King ended his Army career as Chief of Ophthalmology at Walter Reed in 1955. He was the personal ophthalmologist to Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Pictured to right is a photo of framed spectacles belonging to Presidents Truman (12K gold plated trifocals) and Eisenhower (gas mask glasses) presented to IEF by the late Suzanne King Clark and Susan Eisenhower in 1997. IEF hopes that when the new Walter Reed Army Hospital is completed, the John Harry King Memorial Lecture will continue.

The Lecture and presentation served as a powerful way of honoring Dr. King, his contribution to military ophthalmology, eye banking, and his contribution to international ophthalmology through the International Eye Foundation.

Photo at top: Dr. Flynn on the left followed at right by Dr. Paul Gavaris, Victoria M. Sheffield, and Dr. Howard Cupples. Drs. Gavaris and Cupples represented the IEF Board.

Photo at bottom L-R: Thomas H. Price, III, Suzanne King Clark, Susan Eisenhower, Victoria M. Sheffield, Prof. R. Sagdeev (Mrs. Eisenhower’s husband)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Congressional Record - Honoring IEF's 50 Years

US Representative Chris Van Hollen honored the International Eye Foundation in the Congressional Record on May 2, 2011. We are thrilled and grateful for the recognition by Congressman Van Hollen of IEF's 50 years of saving sight worldwide.

In his statement, the Congressman noted "Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize the International Eye Foundation for its 50 years of extraordinary work and wish it continued success in making a difference in the lives of millions of people throughout the world."

Read the Complete Statement

Thursday, May 12, 2011

We've Changed the Date to Celebrate

We've changed the date to celebrate IEF's 50th Anniversary! Instead of a Gala, we are having a party and wine tasting - Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Join old friends and new at the beautiful home of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Hopping in Bethesda, MD for an exciting afternoon of tasting fine wines and festivities marking our Golden Anniversary.

For half a century, IEF has been fulfilling it's mission of preventing blindness and restoring sight worldwide. Come party with us as we celebrate past achievements and look forward to new and exciting challenges on the horizon.

Invitations and details will follow, but mark your calendar NOW for September 18th. For more information, call: 1 (240) 290-0263 or email:

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Last Thursday, April 28, Patricia de Arzu, wife of the Mayor of Guatemala City along with members from the Mayor’s Office and representatives from the media, spent time at Visualiza where she was welcomed by the Board of Directors and led on a full tour of the hospital. Accompanied by Visualiza’s staff, Mrs. de Arzu then traveled to 8 public schools in Guatemala City to observe the VENTANITAS DE LUZ (Windows of Light), Visualiza’s eye care program for children. Prior to the visit, 1800 children were screened, 220 needed glasses and 4 children required sight-restoring surgery; which Dr. Mariano Yee performed. Mrs. de Arzu was delighted to be present and to see at first hand the children receiving their new spectacles.

In Visualiza’s Outreach Coordinator, Carlos Balcarcel own words "She saw perfectly how this amazing Program benefits all those poorest kids in Guatemala."

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Photo caption: Patrica de Arzu, the Mayor’s wife (far right) observing as a child receives her new spectacles

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IEF Celebrates 50th Anniversary - The Beginning

International Eye Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! In 1961, Dr. John Harry King, Jr., a corneal transplant pioneer founded the International Eye Bank under the arm of CARE/Medico at the urging of Dr. Tom Dooley, the missionary in Thailand. After a distinguished military medical career, Dr. King retired as Chief of Ophthalmology at the Walter Reed Army Hospital and focused entirely in promoting corneal transplant surgery and urging Lions Clubs to build eye banks around Washington, DC. Dr. King soon realized however, that much of the blindness in the developing world was preventable and much could be done before people became blind. He changed the name to the International Eye Foundation (IEF) in 1965 and the mission focused on prevention of blindness and primary eye care.

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