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Press Releases 2009

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Elects New Members to its Board of Directors

Boston (Dec. 29, 2009) — The Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Inc., has elected four new members to its Board of Directors: Jonathan Kutchins, Bill Roman, Harvey Frieshtat and Jonathan Uhrig.

Jonathan Kutchins, a resident of the Back Bay in Boston, Mass., is the CEO and founder of the Exeter Group, an international strategic consulting firm based in Cambridge.  Jonathan has been a trustee at Mass. Eye and Ear since 2000 and has served as a member of the hospital’s Information Technology committee.

Bill Roman, a resident of the Back Bay in Boston, Mass., manages the Boston office of the investment banking firm Harris, Williams and Company. He has been a Trustee at Mass. Eye and Ear since 1988.  He has made many valuable contributions, including serving on the hospital’s Development Committee and most recently, on its Trustee Leadership Committee. 

Harvey Frieshtat of Boston, Mass., is the recently retired Chairman of the worldwide law firm, McDermott, Will and Emery.  He a founding partner of McDermott’s Health Law Practice, as well as its Boston office. 

Jonathan Uhrig, a resident of Weston, Mass., is a partner in MTS Capital, a Boston-based wealth management firm, and was previously a fund manager of Standish-Mellon.  

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/

 

The Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Inc., Appoints New Trustees 

Boston (Dec. 29, 2009) — The Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Inc., has appointed 11 new Trustees. The Trustees serve as special advisors to the Board of Directors and Senior Management of Mass. Eye and Ear and its affiliates. These new Trustees include: 

• Stuart Abelson of Gloucester, Mass., who is president and CEO of ORA Clinical
 Research and Development. ORA provides consulting, clinical trials, marketing of new drugs, comparative studies and formulation for ophthalmic products;

• Bob Atchinson, a resident of Lexington, Mass., and a managing director of Adage
Capital Management, a money management firm that focuses on managing S&P
 500 assets predominantly for endowments and foundations;

• John Bertucci, a resident of Lexington, Mass., and the executive chairman of
MKS Instruments Incorporated, a global provider of process-control solutions for advanced manufacturing processes;  

• Robert Boucai, of New York, N.Y.,  a co-founder of New Brook Capital, an
investment firm in New York;

• Philip Bullen, who is a resident of Manchester-by-the-sea, Mass.,  and was most
recently a general partner responsible for asset management at Battery Ventures in Waltham, a 25-year-old company that is currently investing in their eighth venture fund;

• Francis Carroll, a resident of  Worcester, Mass.,  who is the founder, chairman
and CEO of Carroll Enterprise, Inc., and of the Small Business Service Bureau;

• Grant Gund, a resident of Weston, Mass., and a managing partner of Coppermine
Capital, a Boston-based venture capital firm;

• Marguerite Piret, a resident of Belmont, Mass., who co-founded Newbury, Piret
 and Company, a leading middle market investment banking firm providing corporate finance services;

• Grant Wilson, who is a resident of Carlisle, Mass., and  is a principal of Cohasset
Capital Corporation, which he founded;

• Robert Scott, a resident of Manchester, Mass., and the president and CEO of
North American Management, a global wealth management firm founded in 1928, and a founding member of Holyoke Partners, LLC; and

• Jennifer Uhrig, who is a resident of Weston, Mass. She was previously a fund
 manager for Fidelity’s Blue Chip Fund and  now works in an advisory capacity at the firm.         

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

 


Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group at Mass. Eye and Ear

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 20, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is forming a Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group. Thyroid Eye Disease is a result of too much or too little thyroid hormone, which can cause a range of eye and vision problems, including a "staring" appearance, dry eyes, double vision, and protrusion of the eyes or swelling of the eyelids and tissue around the eye. All symptoms can be treated medically and/or surgically. Any eye problem should be treated by an ophthalmologist specializing in Graves’ disease. Only an ophthalmologist can provide total care for your eyes: medical, surgical and optical.

The group will allow members to express their experiences and concerns about this chronic illness, which will help them form a social connection with others and improve coping skills.  The meetings will also provide an open forum for physicians from multiple specialty areas to share with members the latest medical and surgical treatment options in a group clinic setting.

The first meeting will be held Jan. 21, 2010.  This will be a physician-led group, a first for New England. For more information and to be added to the group's mailing list, please contact Rose Shea at 617-573-5548 or email rose_shea@meei.harvard.edu.   

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Daniel G. Deschler, M.D., of Mass. Eye and Ear Receives Award from National Medical Society

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340
 
Boston (Oct. 30, 2009) – Daniel G. Deschler, M.D., director of the Division Head and Neck Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a resident of Lexington, Mass., received the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Distinguished Service Award at the opening ceremony of the 2009 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.
 
The Academy presents Distinguished Service Awards to medical professionals in recognition of extensive meritorious service through the presentation of instructional courses, scientific papers, participation on a continuing education committee, or for holding an Academy leadership position.
 
Dr. Deschler also serves as the director of the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Mass. Eye and Ear, the director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, and is an Associate Professor in Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School. His primary research focus is in the evaluation of laryngeal speech following total laryngectomy and pharyngeal reconstruction. He is currently an Associate-editor for Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and served as an editor and co-author for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Clinics of North America on the topic of “Voice Following Laryngeal Cancer Surgery.”
 
Dr. Deschler received his bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Among his awards are the Synthes Award for Reconstructive Surgery of the Head and Neck from the American Head and Neck Society, the William Wayne Montgomery Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Otology and Laryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Best Cancer Doctors in America 2007.
 
About Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary
Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.
 
About the AAO-HNS
The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization’s vision: “Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care.”

 

Mass. Eye and Ear Launches Facebook and Twitter Pages

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

BOSTON (Oct. 26, 2009) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary announced it has joined the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, in efforts to better engage current and future patients and the general public. These pages provide easy access to information about Mass. Eye and Ear including daily news, upcoming events and current updates on activities at the hospital such as advances in patient care and research.

In addition, Mass. Eye and Ear’s Facebook and Twitter pages include:

  • General Information
  • Event Calendar
  • Event Photos
  • Links to Mass. Eye and Ear News
  • Daily, real time updates
  • Coming soon… YouTube videos

Social media sites support the hospital’s mission of providing excellence in patient care and advances in research by educating the public about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.  To help educate fans and followers about hearing loss, Mass. Eye and Ear recently posted an ABCnews.com article, “8 Ways to Lose Your Hearing,” which quoted Dr. Steven Rauch, an otologist at Mass. Eye and Ear.  Ongoing postings of upcoming educational events such as the free Sinusitis Public Forum will educate and raise awareness about current research and treatments. 

“This is a great opportunity for us to interact and connect with our patients and visitors,” said Mary Leach, Director of Public Affairs. “Facebook ‘fans’ and Twitter ‘followers’ can receive the most up-to-date information about the hospital and gain valuable information on diseases and conditions of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, head and neck, whether it be through news links or by attending an event. We are excited to be a part of the social media network and hope the public finds our pages beneficial.”

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Chief of Ophthalmology Receives the J. Donald Gass Medal

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph. 617-573-3340

BOSTON (Sept. 9, 2009) – Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Harvard Medical School, has been awarded with the prestigious 14th J. Donald Gass Medal by the Macula Society.

The J. Donald M. Gass Medal is awarded to an individual for his or her outstanding contributions to the study of macular diseases. The award is named in honor of the Macula Foundation, Inc., colleague and friend Dr. J. Donald Gass. During his career Dr. Gass made numerous clinical and scientific contributions, making him one of the most respected experts on diseases of the retina and macula.

Dr. Miller is the Henry Williams Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Her focus in clinical practice is medical and surgical diseases of the retina, with special emphasis on age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Miller’s research is directed at the development of new therapies for neovascular diseases of the retina and choroid, particularly age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, including the development of photodynamic therapy for choroidal neovascularization, from animal studies to clinical trials. In addition she has studied the control of pathologic neovascularization, particularly the role of growth factors in retinal and choroidal neovascularization. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was identified as a key factor and drugs targeting VEGF were developed through animal models and clinical trials. She has garnered a number of awards for her work: the Rosenthal Award of the Macula Society, the Retina Research Award of the Club Jules Gonin, and the ARVO/Pfizer Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

“Dr. Miller’s dedication and contribution to the study of macular diseases has made her a truly worthy recipient of the J. Donald M. Gass Medal,” said Mass. Eye and Ear Retina Service Director Evangelos S. Gragoudas, M.D. “Over the years, she has done impressive research that has allowed her to make major clinical contributions in advancing treatments for macular degeneration, including the development of photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. This is a much deserved award.”

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Reza Dana, M.D., Receives the Prestigious Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

BOSTON (Aug. 27, 2009) – Reza Dana, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., Director of the Cornea Service and Vice Chairman and Associate Chief of Ophthalmology for Academic Programs at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, has been presented with the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB). Dr. Reza Dana is a resident of Cambridge, Mass.

The RPB Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award is given annually to support top scientists and physicians conducting eye research at major medical institutions in the United States. The award comes with $60,000 in unrestricted grants to support mid-career M.D., and Ph.D. scientists who hold primary positions within departments of ophthalmology.

Dr. Reza Dana is an ophthalmologist and an immunologist who has made numerous contributions to the study and research of diseases of the cornea. In addition to his position at Mass. Eye and Ear, he is the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, a Senior Scientist and W. Clement Stone Scholar in the basic science faculty of The Schepens Eye Research Institute, a member of the Committee on Immunology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program.

Dr. Reza Dana plans to use his award to further translational (“bench-to-bedside”) research programs that would enable bringing novel technologies into the clinic developed in the laboratory to suppress inflammation and angiogenesis, so as to promote survival of corneal and stem cell transplants. 

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, go to www.rpbusa.org.


Mass. Eye and Ear Ophthalmologist Receives the Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship from Harvard Medical School

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston – (July 31, 2009) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ophthalmologist and Boston resident Carolyn Kloek, M.D., has been presented with the Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship for Scholars in Medicine from Harvard Medical School. She is one of 13 recipients who have been honored with this award. The award will assist Dr. Kloek in advancing her academic career.  

 

Dr. Kloek plans to use her fellowship to aid in the further development of a virtual cataract surgery simulator to teach the cognitive skills linked to success in cataract surgery.  Dr. John Loewenstein, director of Mass. Eye and Ear’s residency program, and Dr. Bonnie Henderson, former Mass. Eye and Ear director of Comprehensive Ophthalmology, developed the concept and initial prototype for this simulator. This teaching tool will better prepare trainees for cataract surgery, with the goal of decreasing the rate of intra-operative complications and improving visual outcomes in cataract surgery.

 

The Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowships for Scholars in Medicine was established in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the admission of women to Harvard Medical School and to acknowledge the important contributions of women to the school. The fellowship program was established to help junior faculty at the point in their careers when they must teach, do research, compete for grants, publish, or practice (if a clinical faculty member) at the same time they may be assuming increased family or other responsibilities.

 

“We are pleased that the importance of Dr. Kloek’s research has been recognized and will receive support from this generous fellowship,” said Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Harvard Medical School. “She is a well-deserved recipient of this fellowship. Her work will contribute to our mission of academic excellence in training future specialists.”

 

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

 


Richard H. Masland, Ph.D., Receives Prestigious ARVO Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (July 31, 2009) – Richard H. Masland, Ph.D., director of the Howe Laboratory and associate chief for ophthalmology research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has been presented with the 2010 Proctor Medal, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s (ARVO) highest honor. Dr. Masland is a resident of Weston, Mass.

The Proctor Medal is one of eight awards that ARVO presents annually to honor individuals for their exceptional contribution to ophthalmology and visual science. It honors outstanding research in the basic or clinical sciences as applied to ophthalmology.

 Dr. Masland is being honored for his seminal contributions to the understanding of the retina as a system that processes images and transmits them to the brain and for enduring characterization of the diversity, numerosity, morphology and functional properties of many types of retinal cells in widely used preparations.

 His recent research has been concerned with the neurome of the retina, an ambitious attempt to specify all of the cell types that underlie the retina's processing of information.  The assembly of this catalogue, in which several other groups worldwide have now joined him, is fundamental to the understanding of and intervention in retinal disease.  One such intervention is a gene therapy for restoring vision to retinas in which the photoreceptor cells, the cells that sense light, have degenerated.  The Masland Laboratory has recently published a proof of principle of this therapy in an animal model, and is now attempting to refine it to the point of clinical usefulness.

Dr. Masland, who received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his doctoral degree from McGill University, also completed his postdoctoral work at Stanford and Harvard medical schools. Among his awards are the Hoopes Prize and Irving M. London Awards, both for excellence in teaching, and the Brian Boycott Prize for research on the retina.

“I am pleased Dr. Masland has recently joined our team,” said Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Harvard Medical School. “He has done impressive research over the course of this career. This is a well deserved honor.”

Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

ARVO

ARVO is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org
 

Mass. Eye and Ear’s Research, Academic Programs Receive $126 Million

Contact: Mary Leach
Mass. Eye and Ear Public Affairs
617-573-4170

Boston (July 28, 2009) – Research and educational programs at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have received a $126 million boost with the recent resolution of a nearly decade-long lawsuit concerning the hospital’s role in the development of Visudyne, the first drug treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.

The hospital received the $126 million from QLT Inc. as part of a judgment that awarded it royalties of 3.01% on worldwide past, present and future net sales for Visudyne.  As a result, substantial new funds will be available to Mass. Eye and Ear for academic and research programs, with allocations to support institutional, departmental and retina research initiatives. 

The case, which began nine years ago, related to the work of Drs. Joan W. Miller and Evangelos Gragoudas, whose research in photodynamic therapy led to the development of Visudyne, the first drug treatment for macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in developed countries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Visudyne as a treatment for macular degeneration in 2000.

“We are very proud of the pioneering research done by Drs. Miller and Gragoudas and our tradition of research to transform medical care,” said John Fernandez, Mass. Eye and Ear president and chief executive officer. “This award will be reinvested in research and educational programs thereby furthering our mission to improve clinical care, train the next generation of medical leaders, and develop more treatments for those who suffer from debilitating diseases.”

The award became final when QLT did not appeal a January 2009 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  That ruling affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of Mass. Eye and Ear on claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices against QLT Inc.

Dr. Miller, the chief of ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and chair of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, played a key role in the development of Visudyne and the ensuing legal battle.  “This has been a long, hard fight for a specialty teaching hospital, but Mass. Eye and Ear is ‘the little hospital that could.’  These funds solidify our leadership position as a center of excellence for clinical care, research and teaching.  Our faculty has made great advances in the understanding and treatment of eye diseases over the years, but we are not done,” she said.  “Our goal is to cure and prevent blinding diseases globally. Supporting talented faculty and staff is essential.  We are now developing exciting new initiatives to support faculty at the early stages of their careers, to fund professorships, and to develop new concepts in gene therapy for retinal diseases and glaucoma.  Together, we can surmount any challenge.” 

Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a major teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. 
 

Mass. Eye and Ear Ranked Among “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3341

Boston (July 16, 2009) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ranks in the top five hospitals in the nation for both of its specialties in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report magazine’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Mass. Eye and Ear ranked number four in Ophthalmology and number five in ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat).

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the hospital in the top five in one or both of its specialties since the magazine began publishing its annual survey of hospitals in 1990. This year’s top hospitals were chosen from nearly 5,000 hospitals across the country. Mass. Eye and Ear is one of only 174 which ranked high enough to be considered for the magazine’s top-ranked hospitals. The magazine ranks the 50 highest scoring hospitals.

“Mass. Eye and Ear is pleased to be recognized as one of the foremost hospitals in its specialties. We will continue in our mission to provide access to the best specialty care for our patients, locally and worldwide,” said Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary President and CEO John Fernandez.
 
U.S. News & World Report conducts the “America’s Best Hospitals” survey in collaboration with RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
 
Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Café Goes Green and Organic

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (July 7, 2009) – A little bit goes a long way to save our environment. Large businesses can greatly impact the environment. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Café has made great efforts to “go green.” In hopes of becoming a trendsetter for the food service industry in today’s hospitals, the Café has made several changes including using biodegradable products, purchasing organic foods, offering healthier food options, and supporting fair trade practices.

The food services team members, Nick Seremetis, director of food services, Mike Comora, manager of food services, Janaelle Humberd, Dietician, and Dino Licudine, executive chef, made these changes possible through a long planning process.

“Our goal is to do what is right for the environment,” said Seremetis. “We have always wanted to implement these ideas. It’s been a long planning process and I believe this is the right time to execute these ideas. We want to appeal to everyone and give our customers several options.”

Today the Café uses biodegradable supplies for food service.  Papers cups and plates are made of sugarcane and plastic cups are made of corn products. Customers are given numerous food options including heart healthy lunch entrees, gluten-free and filler-free Boar’s Head deli meats, a fully organic salad bar, organic bread choices, and healthy beverage options. To support fair trade practices, the Café carries Fair Trade coffee, an organic coffee made with Arabica beans. Fair Trade coffee supports fair worker’s compensation and opposes “sweat shops” in the fields. Every dollar per pound is given back to the grower.

In the near future, Seremetis hopes to purchase locally grown produce and promote local farms by advertising where the produce originates.

The Mass. Eye and Ear Café is open to the public and located on the 7th floor of the main hospital campus at 243 Charles Street in Boston.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/


Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology Foundation, Mass. Eye and Ear Announce New Collaboration in Pediatric Patient Care

Contacts: Jamie Newton
Children’s Hospital Public Affairs
James.newton@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110

Mary Leach
Mass. Eye and Ear Public Affairs
Mary_Leach@meei.harvard.edu
617-573-4170

Boston (June 15, 2009) –  The Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology Foundation (CHOF), the professional corporation of the Department of Ophthalmology of Children’s Hospital Boston (Children’s), and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Mass. Eye and Ear) will begin a formal relationship in patient care on Aug. 1, creating one of the most comprehensive pediatric ophthalmology networks in the country. 

Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and David G. Hunter, M.D. Ph.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Children’s and Vice Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, have established CHOF at Mass. Eye and Ear in order to streamline care and enhance access for patients. CHOF ophthalmologists will offer comprehensive pediatric eye care at Mass. Eye and Ear locations. Pediatric patients will also have easier access to an integrated team of ophthalmologists and subspecialists for complicated cases affecting a child’s eye and vision.

Melanie Kazlas, M.D., will serve as Medical Director of CHOF at Mass. Eye and Ear. Other medical staff members who will see patients at the locations operated by Children’s and Mass. Eye and Ear include Linda Dagi, M.D., Gena Heidary, M.D., Ph.D., Danielle Ledoux, M.D., Jason Mantagos, M.D., and Kimberley Chan, O.D.

As affiliates of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology, Mass. Eye and Ear and Children’s ophthalmologists have long collaborated on procedures, consultations and academic educational activities and training. This new arrangement offers improved access and greater breadth and depth of service to patients, as well as a more integrated and enriching experience for students and faculty.
 
“As much as our physicians, students and researchers stand to gain through this collaboration, I am proud to say that children and their families will benefit even more,” said Dr. Hunter. “By bringing together the most highly trained specialists with state-of-the-art treatments and equipment, we’re ensuring even greater access to the world’s best pediatric eye care.”

“This new collaboration strengthens the sense of teamwork among Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals and fosters an environment for improved patient care, research activities and educational programs, all of which will benefit our patients,” Dr. Miller said.

Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a major teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its web site at www.masseyeandear.org.

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 12 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Michael La Barre, R.N., a resident of Hampton Falls, N.H., with the Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship.
 
La Barre joined Mass. Eye and Ear in 2007 as a registered nurse. He works full time in the main operating room and is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at the University of New Hampshire.

“Michael demonstrates consistent and sound clinical practice, and has a main focus for continuing his education,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S. “The Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship will help support his educational goals.”  

The Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship honors the nurse who best depicts a dedication for learning and a motivation for professional development. The scholarship is named in honor of late, long-time Mass. Eye and Ear operating room nurse Rita Kelly.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.
 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Scholarship Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Anne Marie Picariello, L.P.N., a resident of Quincy, Mass., with the Norman Knight Scholarship Award.

Picariello has worked with Mass. Eye and Ear for more than 20 years. She is currently a nurse in Dermatology in the office of Dr. Jessica Fewkes. Picariello is in the process of pursuing her registered nurse degree.

“She has an exceptional work ethic and self confidence that allows her to be the perfect patient advocate,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S. “She possesses a caring and patient-focused personality. Over the years she has accumulated and incorporated an immense and detailed knowledge of dermatology, skin cancer and medicine.”

The Norman Knight Nursing Scholarship allows employees at Mass. Eye and Eye an opportunity to further their education by entering the profession of Nursing. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Elizabeth Galvin, R.N., a resident of Everett, Mass., with the Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award.

Galvin joined with Mass. Eye and Ear more than 10 years ago as a staff nurse. She has worked in the Intermediate Care Unit, Emergency Department and the Operating Room at the hospital. Galvin is currently a Clinical Leader in the Surgicenter.

“She is always eager to take on new responsibilities,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.  “She shows great dedication and commitment to her work. Liz is a natural leader and an asset to Mass. Eye and Ear.”

Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award honors the nurse who demonstrates leadership qualities which inspires others. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Cheryl Kurtz, R.N., a resident of Burlington, Mass., with the Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award.

Kurtz joined Mass. Eye and Ear more than 20 years ago beginning as a staff nurse. She has been a nurse manager, clinical leader, instrument room manager, and an administrative nurse manager for the operating room. She is currently the Director of Nursing Practice. Kurtz has presented at many Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat National meetings.

“Cheryl’s motivation has allowed her to work in numerous positions throughout the hospital,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S. “Her compassionate and persevering personality makes her a great asset to Mass. Eye and Ear and our patients.”

Norman Knight Excellence Leadership Award honors the nurse who demonstrates leadership qualities which inspires others. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Susan Ryder, R.N., a resident of North Reading, Mass., with the Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award.

Ryder joined Mass. Eye and Ear in 1974 and is currently working in the hospital emergency department (ED).  “She possesses a great amount of specialty knowledge and basic nursing knowledge. Her daily tasks require patience, confidence and drive. Susan responds quickly and definitively in life threatening situations to recognize and initiate appropriate action to prevent devastating consequences. Her hard work and determination make her a necessary asset to the emergency department,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.

The Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award honors the nurse who demonstrates long-term commitment to the provision of quality for Mass. Eye and Ear patients. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Pearl Icuspit, R.N., a resident of Norwood, Mass., with the Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award.

Icuspit joined Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1994 as a Registered Nurse. “She is a dedicated and committed employee who works tirelessly to provide excellent care for her patients. Pearl possesses a vast clinical knowledge and professional experience. She is a good resource for her peers and is a valuable member of the team,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.

The Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award honors the nurse who demonstrates long-term commitment to the provision of quality for Mass. Eye and Ear patients. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Amy McCarthy, R.N., a resident of Weymouth, Mass., with the Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award.

McCarthy joined Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary’s pediatric nursing staff in 2001. “As a valued member of the pediatric team, Amy readily gives her time and knowledge to improve the pediatric department and patient outcomes. She demonstrates exceptional nursing skills and clinical decision making. Amy works hard to ensure the pediatric unit gives exceptional service and care,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.

The Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award honors the nurse who demonstrates long-term commitment to the provision of quality for Mass. Eye and Ear patients. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented David Chan, R.N., a resident of Dalton, Mass., with the Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award.

Chan joined Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2004 as a Clinical Resource Nurse. “He possesses a vast amount of clinical knowledge and professional nursing experience.  He works at night in the Intermediate Care Unit.  David serves as a mentor to new and inexperienced nurses,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.

The Norman Knight Clinical Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award honors the nurse who demonstrates long-term commitment to the provision of quality for Mass. Eye and Ear patients. A monetary award provides recipients with the opportunity to advance their degree or attend a professional conference or educational course that might otherwise be unavailable to them. The award is named in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Paula Buchanan, R.N., a resident of Lynnfield, Mass., with the Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service.

Buchanan is a Registered Nurse who has worked in the Operating Room since 1979. “She is professional, patient focused and caring. Paula possesses a hard-working spirit and is always willing to go above and beyond to ensure her patients receive the highest quality care at all times,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S. 

The Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service honors the Mass. Eye and Ear employee whose exemplary activities benefit the well-being of patients and the hospital. The award is named in honor of long-time, former Mass. Eye and Ear General Director and Trustee, Charles Wood. The objective of the award is to promote and encourage personal attention, courtesy, and sensitivity to the needs of the individual patients and their families.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

Boston (May 29, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Jody Ardizzoni, R.N., a resident of Medford, Mass., with the Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service.

Ardizzoni joined Mass. Eye and Ear in 1998 as a member of the Ambulatory Unit. “She demonstrates and encourages personal patient attention, courtesy and sensitivity to the needs of her patients and their families. Jody’s hard work and great leadership abilities establish her as an asset to the nursing profession and Mass. Eye and Ear,” says Executive Vice President Quality Care and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Covell, R.N., M.S.  

The Charles Wood Award honors the Mass. Eye and Ear employee whose exemplary activities benefit the well-being of patients and the hospital. The award is named in honor of long-time, former Mass. Eye and Ear General Director and Trustee, Charles Wood. The objective of the award is to promote and encourage personal attention, courtesy, and sensitivity to the needs of the individual patients and their families.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Mass. Eye and Ear Appoints Dr. Sunil Eappen as Chief of Anesthesia and Medical Director of the Operating Room

Contact: Mary Leach
Ph.: 617-573-4170

Boston (May 28, 2009) — Sunil Eappen, M.D., will become Chief of Anesthesia and Medical Director of the Operating Room for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, effective Oct. 1, 2009. The announcement was made by John Fernandez, President and CEO of Mass. Eye and Ear.

Currently on staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Eappen serves as Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Anesthesia. He is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. 

“Dr. Eappen is a highly accomplished clinician, researcher and teacher,” Fernandez said. "We greatly look forward to his leadership as he works with our team of nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons to further enhance Mass. Eye and Ear’s quality of care for surgical patients.”

Dr. Eappen received his Medical Degree with honors at the University of Chicago Pritzker  School of Medicine. He completed his residency and clinical fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also served there as Chief Resident in Anesthesia.  Dr. Eappen serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Clinical Directors.  He is a program faculty member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and he is a member of the International Anesthesia Research Society and the Massachusetts Society of Anesthesia, among others. 
 
In his roles as Clinical Director and Vice Chair at Brigham and Women’s, Dr. Eappen held the administrative responsibilities for the delivery of clinical care for the entire department, including the oversight, hiring, management and scheduling of more than 120 staff and 120 trainees. Throughout his career, Dr. Eappen has put tremendous administrative, teaching and research emphasis on efficiency, safety and quality in the O.R.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its website at www.MassEyeAndEar.org.


Mass. Eye and Ear Performs First Auditory Brainstem Implant in New England

Contact: Mary Leach, Director, Public Affairs
Ph: 617-573-4170 

Boston (May 19, 2009) — Surgeons from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Mass. General Hospital will perform the first Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) surgery in New England on May 20.
 
The ABI, which can restore the sense of hearing to certain patients, has been implanted in about 500 people worldwide. Since its initial development in 1979 at the House Ear Institute in California, and with its approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, the ABI is used primarily to restore some degree of hearing loss due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2).
 
NF2 is a hereditary disease that causes the growth of multiple brain tumors, including bilateral tumors on both balance nerves. Because the auditory nerve is located near the balance nerve, the auditory nerve is damaged from tumor growth or surgical removal. Once this happens, the auditory nerve is unable to transmit signals to the brain, causing deafness. Virtually all NF2 patients develop severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.

Unlike a cochlear implant, the ABI bypasses the inner ear and auditory nerve and is surgically implanted on the cochlear nucleus, a bundle of nerves located on the brainstem. The ABI electrically activates nerves in the brainstem and restores a sense of hearing to patients with NF2. The current device is the only hearing option for deaf NF2 patients and allows them to hear sounds in their environment, such as horns and doorbells, as well as enhancing communication when combined with lip-reading.  The ABI provides an option for those with hearing loss for whom other surgical methods to restore hearing loss are not possible.

Encouraging new work from abroad has also shown the recent success of ABI to restore meaningful hearing in both pediatric and adult non-NF2 patients who are deaf and cannot receive a cochlear implant, such as those born without an auditory nerve or others who have severely scarred inner ears.  Several FDA approved studies in the U.S. are now underway.
 
History and Development of the Helene and Grant Wilson ABI Program at Mass. Eye and Ear

The ABI program at Mass. Eye and Ear and Mass. General Hospital was founded with a generous gift from Helene and Grant Wilson. The program is comprised of a multidisciplinary team including audiologists, hearing scientists, neurotologists and neurosurgeons, and provides both clinical care to patients as well as performing research and development to discover ways to advance the technology and improve ABI performance.

Objectives of the Wilson ABI Program include working to develop a measurement system that would be used during surgical implantation to allow for more accurate location of the cochlear nucleus, as well as where to place the device on the cochlear nucleus to achieve the best results. 

This ABI surgery will be performed at Massachusetts General Hospital by a team of specialists including Daniel Lee, M.D., and Dr. Fred Barker, M.D. All follow-up care will be provided at Mass. Eye and Ear. This program is the first of its kind in the New England area. 
 
ABI Program Faculty:

Surgeons, Mass. Eye and Ear: Daniel Lee, M.D., Michael McKenna, M.D., Ron de Venecia M.D., Ph. D.

Surgeons, MGH: Frederick Barker M.D., Robert Martuza, M.D.

Audiologists: Barbara Herrmann, Ph. D., Sharon Kujawa, Ph. D., Michael Skrip Au. D.

Scientists: M. Christian Brown, Ph. D., Don Eddington, Ph. D., Ken Hancock, Ph. D.

WEBLINKS:

http://www.masseyeandear.org/specialties/otolaryngology/otology-neurotology/

http://www.masseyeandear.org/research/investigators/

http://harvardabi.org/
 

Dr. Miller Accepts Election to Alcon Board

Contact:  Mary Leach
Ph: 617-573-4170

Boston (May 5, 2009) – Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief and Chair of Ophthalmology and Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School has been elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors at Alcon, effective immediately.

Alcon is a world-leading research and development company in eye care that develops, manufactures and markets surgical equipment and devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer eye care products.

Dr. Miller has an outstanding record as clinician, researcher and teacher, specializing in retinal disease. Her research interests are focused on ocular neovascularization, particularly as it relates to macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Miller, with Evangelos Gragoudas, M.D., pioneered the development of photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. She and her colleagues were also among the first to demonstrate the importance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of ocular neovascularization and the potential use of drug therapies targeting VEGF.

Dr. Miller has received numerous awards, including the Gass Medal and the Rosenthal Award, both from the Macula Society, the Retina Research Award from the Club Jules Gonin and the Alcon Research Institute Award. Dr. Miller’s professional affiliations include the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. (ARVO) and the New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS).

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Miller has served as Chief and Chair at Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School since 2003.

During her term of service on the Alcon board, Dr. Miller and Mass. Eye and Ear will implement procedures to avoid any conflict with her academic, research and administrative responsibilities.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Faculty Members Appointed as Distinguished Fellows by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Contact: Mass. Eye and Ear Public Affairs
Ph.: 617-573-3340

(Boston) May 4, 2009 — The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has announced this year’s inaugural class of distinguished Fellows. The title of ARVO Fellow recognizes members for their accomplishments, leadership and contributions to the Association.

ARVO is awarding two levels of Fellows, Gold and Silver, determined by a rigorous point system. Among the Mass. Eye and Ear faculty named are: James Chodosh, M.D., Reza Dana, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., Evangelos S. Gragoudas, M.D., Joseph F. Rizzo, III, M.D., Janey L. Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D., Claes H. Dohlman, M.D., Ph.D., Thaddeus P. Dryja, M.D., and Eliot L. Berson, M.D.  In addition, 24 Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School alumni were honored with the award.

In bestowing this honor, ARVO anticipates that Fellows will continue to serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research and to further ARVO’s vision to facilitate the worldwide advancement of vision research and the prevention and cure of disorders of the visual system. This includes advancing basic and clinical knowledge and serving as the leading international forum for vision research and the primary advocate for vision science worldwide.

The ARVO fellows were officially inducted at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. Mass. Eye and Ear joins in congratulating the Fellows and thanks them for their dedication.
Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.

ARVO is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include some 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 73 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org.
 

Topical Bevacizumab (Avastin®) Shown Effective in Treatment for Growth of Corneal Blood Vessels that Can Cause Blindness

Boston (April 14, 2009)--Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Schepens Eye Research Institute have concluded that short-term topical bevacizumab therapy reduces the severity of corneal neovascularization (formation of new blood vessels in the cornea that can create impaired vision or vision loss) without local or systemic adverse effects. Data from this study provide evidence that topical bevacizumab therapy could offer an alternative or adjunctive measure to conventional therapies in the treatment of corneal neovascularization. The results are currently published online on the Archives of Ophthalmology website at www.archophthalmol.com.

The study consisted of 10 patients with stable corneal neovasculariztion (NV) were treated with topical bevacizumab one percent for three weeks and followed up to 24 weeks. Baseline and sequential follow-up corneal photos were compared to assess the size and extent of corneal NV. For assessment of corneal NV, a novel quantitative method was used to measure three primary metrics, including neovascular area, vessel caliber, and neovessel invasion area. All local and systemic adverse events were monitored.

The patient population showed a significant reduction in two corneal NV metrics, including neovascular area and vessel caliber. From baseline visit to the last follow-up visit, the mean reduction was 47.1% ± 36.7% (P=0.001) for neovascular area and 54.1% ± 28.1 (and P < 0.001) for vessel caliber. The decrease in neovessel invasion area (12.2% ± 42.0%; P = 0.19) did not achieve statistical significance. Visual acuity and central corneal thickness showed no significant changes. Topical bevacizumab was well-tolerated with no adverse events. No significant changes were found in mean arterial pressure at any follow-up visit.

"These are important and exciting data since corneal neovascularization accounts for the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, after cataracts. The excellent efficacy and safety data in this study means that we can now offer select patients who get growth of new blood vessels in their corneas, from infection or injury, a new promising treatment," said the study's senior author Dr. Reza Dana, Director of the Cornea Service at Mass. Eye and Ear and the Claes Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.masseyeandear.org/.


Serious Reportable Events and Our Commitment to Safety and Quality

Contact: Mary E. Leach 
617-573-4170

BOSTON (April 8, 2009) -- Hospital-specific serious reportable events (SREs) for 2008 are now posted on the Department of Public Health’s website. We support and applaud the DPH’s effort to provide transparency. While reports are good, they do not always show the full picture. We thought it would be helpful to provide some context about the reports made by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2008.

The Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary takes its responsibility to report SRE’s very seriously. Patient safety and quality care remain our top priorities. We are committed to implementing national best practices to reduce SRE’s and provide transparency. It should be noted that Mass. Eye and Ear is primarily an ambulatory care and ambulatory surgery facility, and as such the rate of events per 10,000 patient days used in the DPH summary does not reflect the large number of ambulatory and surgical patients we see every day.  We hope that future reports will provide a more meaningful analysis of the rate of serious events at the Mass. Eye and Ear.

The hospital reported four serious reportable events in 2008. Here are details regarding those events.
 
Details/Explanation of the SREs Mass. Eye and Ear Reported in 2008
Surgical SRE (3)
Please note: Correct procedures were performed – incorrect intraocular lens was implanted or incorrect material grafted. The patients suffered no complications or adverse residual effects from the incidents.

Summary: In two cases the incorrect lens was implanted during a cataract operation. The incorrect lens was promptly exchanged for the correct lens without any complications. In one case the incorrect grafting material was used. We found that the process for ordering and verifying the correct intraocular lens/implant was not well defined and developed better systems to prevent future incidents.

More detail: These events are extremely unusual at Mass. Eye and Ear.
A comprehensive investigation and root-cause analysis was conducted and analyzed.
An Action Plan was formulated and implemented.

The root cause analysis revealed that the process for the ordering and verifying of surgical implants/grafts was inconsistently implemented. The Intraocular Lens/Grafting Material Policy was reviewed and revised to include standardization of the process and in-service training was provided to all staff involved in the process.

All surgeons using lens implants must now fax their primary source documents (calculation sheets and physician’s orders) 48 hours prior to the scheduled surgery. Copies of the physician’s order are attached to the implant / grafting material to ensure the lens/ grafting material matches the original physician’s order. Restrictions have been placed on the number of lenses allowed in each case and only the ordered lens/ grafting material for the specific patient is in the OR during the procedure.

Fall SRE (1)
Please note: Patient did not sustain any permanent serious disability resulting from the fall.
Details: The patient was ambulating to the bathroom using a walker and accompanied by a nursing assistant.  The nursing assistant remained with the patient and witnessed the fall. The nursing assistant attempted to break the fall but was unable to do so.  The patient subsequently had evidence of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, for which he was closely monitored and which resolved before discharge.

An internal review took place and no corrective action was deemed necessary regarding the circumstances of the patient fall.  Additionally, the staff was also reeducated on the importance of the Fall Prevention Program.

In conclusion, Mass. Eye and Ear is continuing to monitor the success of these strategies for improvement and is committed to continuous quality improvement. We believe these efforts will prevent future incidents from happening.


Richard H. Masland, Ph.D., Joins Mass. Eye and Ear as Director of the Howe Laboratory

Contact: Mary E. Leach
617-573-4170

BOSTON (April 7, 2009) – Richard H. Masland, Ph.D., a well-known scientist in the areas of  basic and translational research of the retina, and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has joined Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as director of the Howe Laboratory and associate chief for ophthalmology research.

The Howe Laboratory and the Berman Gund Laboratory comprise all of the clinical, translational and basic ophthalmology research performed within Mass. Eye and Ear.

“Our search to fill the leadership of the Howe Laboratory has been underway for four years,” said Joan W. Miller, M.D., Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology, Chief and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School. “I could not be more pleased with the addition of Dick Masland to our team and look forward to working closely with him and our other department leaders to further develop our research capabilities and successes in fighting blindness.”

Dr. Masland is currently the Charles Anthony Pappas Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has held a secondary appointment as Professor of Ophthalmology with Harvard Medical School since 1990. 

His recent research has been concerned with the neurome of the retina, an ambitious attempt to specify all of the cell types that underlie the retina's processing of information.  The assembly of this catalogue, in which he has now been joined by several other groups worldwide, is fundamental to the understanding of and intervention in retinal disease.  One such intervention is a gene therapy for restoring vision to retinas in which the photoreceptor cells, the cells that sense light, have degenerated.  The Masland Laboratory has recently published a proof of principle of this therapy in an animal model, and is now attempting to refine it to the point of clinical usefulness.

Dr. Masland, who received his A.B. degree from Harvard College and his Ph.D. degree from McGill University, followed with postdoctoral work at Stanford and Harvard medical schools.  Among his awards are the Hoopes Prize and Irving M. London Awards, both for excellence in teaching, and the Brian Boycott Prize for research on the retina.

His move to Mass. Eye and Ear will be complete within the next two months.  Dr. Masland will bring four members of his current lab with him: Tatjana Jakobs, M.D., Bin Lin, Ph.D., Daniel Sun O.D., Ph.D., and lab manager Ming Lye, B.S.

Dr. Miller also announced that Janey Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D., of Mass. Eye and Ear, will continue as the associate director of the Howe Laboratory and will be appointed as the associate chief for clinical research. “Dr. Wiggs will work closely with Dr. Masland on the broad areas of research recruiting, intellectual property, physical space and enhancing the administrative structure of the ophthalmology research program,” Dr. Miller said.   “Together, they will work to increase our connection to basic science departments at Harvard Medical School, as well as increase collaboration within the department of ophthalmology through the centers of excellence.”

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its website at www.MassEyeAndEar.org.


New Review Indicates Fractured Medical Records Collection  for Childhood Hearing Loss

Boston (April 1, 2009) --  A new review of medical databases shows that neonatal hearing loss, already one of the most common birth disorders in the United States, is especially prevalent among Hispanic-Americans and those from low-income households, according to the April 2009 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The wide-ranging study focused on hearing loss in newborns (neonates), children, and adolescents.

The authors, researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Columbia University in New York, also note serious flaws in the collecting of data on pediatric hearing loss, resulting in a fractured body of knowledge that is hindering a more complete evaluation of the problem’s scope.

The researchers found that the average instance of neonatal (younger than one month old) hearing loss was 1.1 per 1,000 infants screened. The number varies from state to state, with cases being most prevalent in Hawaii (3.61 per 1,000), followed by Massachusetts and Wyoming.

When looking at children as a larger group (combining neonatal through adolescent), the research indicates that compared to other ethnic groups, Hispanic-American children in all subgroups (Mexican-American, Cuban-American, and Puerto Rican) show a higher prevalence of hearing loss, with a similar prevalence existing in children in low-income households. The authors note that it is unclear whether instances of hearing loss actually increases as children grow older, adding particular weight to the neonatal results.

The authors conclude that in addition to the statistics presented, there exists a real need to establish a more unified system for the collection of regional and national health data. They note that within the existing databases, data collection methodologies are not standardized; the authors suggest creating multi-institutional national data repositories in an effort to standardize the information as it is collected. This could include a neonatal hearing loss screening registry within the Universal Newborn Screening Programs.

Approximately two to four of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. Studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. One in every four children born with serious hearing loss does not receive a diagnosis until age three or older, making early hearing screening a necessary step for ensuring a healthy life for a child.

Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery is the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA).  The study’s authors are Donald G. Keamy, M.D., M. PH; Roland D. Eavey, M.D; and Saral Mehra, M.D. They are associated with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, MA, Vanderbilt Medical Center, TN, and Columbia University in New York.

Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its website at www.MassEyeAndEar.org.


Margaret DeAngelis, Ph.D., Awarded Harvard’s 2009 Milton Award Grant to Study Macular Degeneration

BOSTON (March 27, 2009) –  Margaret DeAngelis, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has been awarded the 2009 Milton Award from Harvard University. The highly competitive award is given to a Harvard University faculty member who demonstrates a high interest in the scientific field with the intent to help people with health issues. The $35,000 grant will help DeAngelis study the effects of biological markers that may cause wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

Wet AMD, characterized by the growth of new blood vessels in the retina, is the leading cause of visual disability in the United States. DeAngelis plans to compare various patients with AMD to their unaffected siblings to determine whether a certain gene may be the cause of their AMD. “I hope I will be able to provide a breakthrough in research for people who have AMD,” says DeAngelis, “I am pleased to accept this award and I know I can do something important with it.”


Can you hear me now? Hearing loss not well documented in electronic medical records

Findings: A study looking at the electronic medical records of 100 consecutive people who came to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for hearing tests that revealed substantial hearing loss in both ears found that only 28 percent of these people were noted by their primary care doctors to have hearing loss and 36 percent were noted to have normal hearing. This study suggests that hearing loss is under-recognized and/or underreported by general medical doctors.

Relevance: With more physician practices and hospitals switching to electronic medical records, there is an opportunity to better utilize this technology to document hearing loss and accommodate patients’ communication needs.

Boston (March 23, 2009) – Hearing loss is a common disorder that can cause significant communication difficulties and directly affect the accurate transfer of information during a medical encounter. Hearing loss also often increases with age; as the Baby Boomers get older, the prevalence of hearing loss will increase.

Documentation of hearing loss in the electronic medical record (EMR) can remind physicians that it is necessary to accommodate patients’ communication needs and thus improve the quality of interpersonal interaction and information transmission between patients and physicians. Widespread use of EMR at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital offered researchers the opportunity to document known substantial binaural (in both ears) hearing loss in notes summarizing comprehensive medical histories and physical examinations. Their findings are outlined in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine and were published earlier on line.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/l7756224175662l1/

Researchers retrospectively screened the charts of all patients (approximately 1,200) who underwent audiometry (hearing testing) in the audiology department at Mass. Eye and Ear from July 18, 2007 to August 10, 2007. Patients were qualified to be part of the study if they had a disabling hearing loss in both ears that was very likely to have existed two years before the hearing testing. Patients with mild to moderate conductive hearing loss were excluded, including those whose hearing loss was caused by impacted ear wax. Of all the charts for patients who received hearing testing in that timeframe, 680 were adults who had searchable EMRs, and of those 254 met their hearing criterion. The research sample consisted of the first 100 patients of the 254 who had recent, sufficient and comprehensive EMR notes to review for documentation of hearing loss.

The results of the reviews of histories and physicals showed that out of 100 patient EMRs, only 28 records contained any mention of hearing loss, and just one patient had “hearing loss” on her EMR problem list. Of those cases with hearing loss noted, eight referrals were made for this condition. Hearing loss was not mentioned in 36 records. The final 36 records noted that the patient had normal hearing mostly by using the stock phrase, “CNI-XII WNL,” which means that the cranial nerve VIII (acoustic) was within normal limits. In a separate analysis of the group with hearing loss versus the group reported as normal, patients with hearing aids were significantly more likely to be documented and less likely to be reported normal than those without hearing aids.

This is the first study of its kind to document that patients with hearing loss significant enough to impede adequate communication in a medical encounter do not have this fact regularly documented in their EMRs and that physicians may not even recognize this disability in their patients. More research is needed to determine whether the lack of documentation of significant hearing loss in EMRs actually reflects a lack of recognition of the problem.
 
“These findings are best viewed as an opportunity for both patients and physicians to better report, document and accommodate for hearing loss,” said Chris. Halpin, Ph.D., of Mass. Eye and Ear Audiology and  lead author. “Once hearing loss is documented, an electronic alert system in the EMR could remind the physician to use communication strategies such as adding time and precision to speech and being sure to face the patient when speaking. Such alerts are already in place to remind physicians about due dates for various screenings and preventative services.”

Founded in 1824, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital, an international center for treatment and research, and a teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. Information about the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is available on its website at www.MassEyeAndEar.org.


Boston Host Lions Club Sells “Bunnies for Babies;” Proceeds Will Benefit Mass. Eye and Ear Pediatric Care

Boston (March 23, 2009)—The Boston Host Lions Club will be selling 6.2-ounce, solid, milk chocolate and white chocolate bunnies on Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Lobby at 243 Charles Street in Boston. The bunnies are attractively packaged for spring gifting and are $5 each. All proceeds will benefit Mass. Eye and Ear pediatric care.

The Pediatric Eye (ophthalmology) and Pediatric ENT (otolaryngology) services at Mass. Eye and Ear (ophthalmology) are designed specifically for children and provide comprehensive care in these specialties to infants and children.  In addition, Mass. Eye and Ear’s Pediatric Airway, Swallowing and Voice Center treats children who suffer with symptoms that affect their ability to eat, breathe, or speak.


Dianne McCarthy Joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as Deputy General Counsel

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph.617-573-3340

Boston (March 2, 2009) — Dianne McCarthy recently joined Mass Eye and Ear as Deputy General Counsel. An accomplished attorney with many years of experience in healthcare law, Dianne most recently served as General Counsel for Joslin Diabetes Center, where she provided legal advice in a wide variety of areas. Her previous legal experience includes serving as Associate General Counsel for Caregroup and working as an Associate with Nutter, McClennen & Fish. Dianne graduated from Boston University School of Law with her J.D. cum laude, has a master in Social Work from the University of Connecticut, Hartford, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Springfield College, Springfield, Mass.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Physician Lucia Sobrin, M.D., Awarded Harvard Catalyst Program for Faculty Development and Diversity Faculty Fellowship

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Boston (March 2, 2009) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Ophthalmologist Lucia Sobrin, M.D., M.P.H., has received the 2009-2010 Harvard Catalyst Program for Faculty Development and Diversity Faculty Fellowship (PFDD). PFDD is a two-year faculty fellowship program provided in the amount of $100, 000 to support Harvard junior faculty members in conducting translational research. 
 
Dr. Sobrin completed her residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and her retina fellowship at Mass. Eye and Ear. Dr. Sobrin also completed clinical training in the study of uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease.  Her research now focuses on the genetic bases of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. Her findings have been presented at the 2008 meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. She is currently leading an investigation of diabetic retinopathy within the Jackson Heart Study, an investigation of cardiovascular disease among African-Americans. Through her research, Dr. Sobrin seeks to advance the understanding of the genetic basis of diabetic retinopathy. 

The Harvard Catalyst is a Harvard University program dedicated to improving human health. The program seeks to bring faculty, post-doctoral fellows, clinical trainees, and graduate students from across the University together to attack human illness.


Mass. Eye and Ear Has a Heart

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Ph: 617-573-3340

Boston (Feb. 24, 2009) – Mass. Eye and Ear employees are showing that they have a heart during Wear Red Day, an important part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign to build awareness and urge women to take concrete actions to reduce their risk of heart disease. Mass. Eye and Ear’s Go Red Day is Wednesday, Feb. 25. Employees will wear red to show their commitment to the fight against heart disease in women.

One in every three female deaths in the United States is due to cardiovascular disease. The Mass. Eye and Ear Wear Red Day is a way employees can show their commitment to the fight against heart disease in women.

Information tables will be outside of the Café, 7th floor Boston Campus, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. to teach about the dangers of heart disease in women. Fitness Works at Work will also be on site to provide heart healthy information from noon to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria at their Heart Health Visibility table.

At 12:15 p.m. all those in the hospital wearing red will have the opportunity to meet in front of the Café to participate in a group photo to show that Mass. Eye and Ear has a heart. 

This event is sponsored by Human Resources Advisory Committee.


M. Charles Liberman Receives ARO Award of Merit

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Ph: 617-573-3340

Boston (Feb. 18, 2009) -- M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D., recently received the 2009 Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) Award of Merit for his many exceptional contributions to the field of auditory neuroscience at the ARO Midwinter Meeting in Baltimore, M.D. 

Dr. Liberman’s research has spanned many aspects of hearing and deafness, including the effects of acoustic overstimulation on the inner ear, the subtypes of auditory nerve fibers and the correlation of their structure and function, and the role of the efferent innervation to the inner ear.  A hallmark of his work is his insightful and careful attention to detail and how these details evolve into significant and bedrock observations. Equally important is his remarkable ability to incorporate new concepts and techniques into his assault on old and new questions. 

Dr. Liberman’s scientific career has taken place entirely in Boston: at Harvard and its medical school, at the Mass. Eye and Ear, and within Harvard-MIT’s program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology.  His introduction to auditory physiology began when, as senior majoring in Biology at Harvard College, he took a readings class with Nelson Kiang at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of the Mass. Eye and Ear.  In the same lab as a graduate student, his Ph.D. work documented how acoustic overstimulation affected the inner ear and the responses of its nerve fibers (published as a supplement to Acta Otolarygologica in 1978). 

In addition to examining the stereocilia in the electron microscope, he developed embedding and specimen-thinning techniques to enable their examination in the light microscope, a considerable technical feat.  Along with these studies of the damaged hearing organ, Dr. Liberman has made a host of contributions to normal anatomy and physiology of hearing. His work demonstrates the importance of the subgroups of nerve fibers as distinguished by their rates of spontaneous discharge, which correlates with other important properties such as threshold, point of contact with the inner hair cell, and central anatomy in the cochlear nucleus. 

”Charlie has greatly advanced our knowledge of the olivocochlear system, which sends messages from the brain out to the organ of Corti. His work shows the large differences in responses and innervation patterns for olivocochlear neurons compared to auditory nerve fibers,” said colleague M. Christian Brown, Ph.D., who introduced Dr. Liberman at the ARVO awards ceremony.   “For example, the olivocochlear neurons are “jazzed up” by previous sound exposures.  Importantly, they protect the ear from acoustic overstimulation and lessen the effects of noise masking.  His current work is beginning to untangle the possible roles and actions of the lesser-known subgroup, the lateral olivocochlear neurons.” 

Dr. Liberman is an exceptional teacher, having sponsored numerous graduate students and fellows, and directing the graduate course on the peripheral auditory system for over 15 years. In 1998, after the retirement of Nelson Kiang, Charlie became the Director of the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory and recently became the first Harold Schuknecht Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.
 
“As a lab director, he creates an exceptionally conducive environment for research and as a colleague, he takes a personal interest in our grants and manuscripts.  As a scientific role model, he sets the bar high in terms of scientific rigor, thoroughness, and clarity in thought and writing.  He is held in universally high regard by his colleagues,” Dr. Brown said.


Jaimie DeRosa, M.D., Joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service

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Ph.: 617-573-4170

Boston (Feb. 12, 2009) — Jaimie DeRosa, M.D., has joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service. The Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center at the Mass. Eye and Ear is dedicated to anti-aging and the aesthetic and functional enhancement of the head and neck.

Dr. DeRosa received her doctorate in medicine from the State University of New York at Buffalo, from which she graduated magna cum laude. She completed an internship in general surgery and otolaryngology residency at Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Mass., and completed a medical fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. 

Prior to joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. DeRosa was a full-time staff member at Geisinger Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology in the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine.   Dr. DeRosa’s awards and honors have included membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. She is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Learn more about Mass. Eye and Ear’s Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Servcice.


Built-in Volume Control Helps Protect Auditory Nerve Against Loud Sounds

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Ph: 617- 573-4170

(Boston) Feb. 10, 2009 – When we hear sound, sensory cells in our inner ear trigger the release of a chemical – called a neurotransmitter – to neighboring nerve cells, which, in turn, relay the auditory message to our brain. When our ears are exposed to very loud sounds, such as the blast of a firecracker, too much of the neurotransmitter is released, damaging these auditory nerve cells and causing hearing loss.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, have found that auditory nerve cells temporarily reduce the expression of a key neurotransmitter receptor on their surfaces when exposed to loud noise, and they wanted to know why.

In a new study on mice, the Mass. Eye and Ear researchers used a drug to block the ability of the auditory nerve cells to remove the receptor and then exposed the mice to a moderately loud sound that, under normal conditions, would not damage the nerve cells. They found that the mice given the blocking drug experienced hearing loss for at least six hours following exposure to the normally harmless sound. Also, the blocker accelerated the death of auditory nerve cells that had been incubated in the lab with neurotransmitter chemicals that are normally released during sound stimulation.

The researchers suggest that the auditory nerve regulates the expression of these surface receptors as a way to protect itself against the chemical overload caused by loud noise. Although the scientists believe that auditory nerve cells can rid their surfaces of the receptor by as much as 50 percent, this may not be enough protection against all loud sounds.

This research will be displayed on a poster, “Regulated Expression of Surface AMPA Receptors Reduces Excitotoxicity in Auditory Neurons,” (#80) at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Baltimore, MD, from Feb 14 to 19, 2009. Authors of the poster are Zhiqiang Chen, Marcello Peppi, Sharon G. Kujawa and William F. Sewell, all of the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Mass. Eye and Ear. This research was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Welcomes Susan Williams as General Counsel

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Ph: 617-573-3340

Boston (Feb. 2, 2009) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary welcomes Susan Williams as General Counsel. Susan is an accomplished attorney who has spent her career in healthcare law. Before joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Susan spent the last nine years as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel for Partners Healthcare, practicing in the Network Development and Payer Relations Section. At Partners, she served as primary legal counsel for McLean Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization, and previously as primary legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. Susan’s prior legal experience includes Lifespan in Providence, Allina Health System in Minneapolis, and the law firm of Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Health Law Section and remains active on its steering committee. Susan graduated from Yale University Magna Cum Laude and she earned her J.D. at Yale Law School. She and her husband are active SCUBA instructors.


Manoj Thakker, M.D., joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service

Boston (Feb. 1, 2009) — Manoj Thakker, M.D., a resident of Boston, Mass., recently joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service. Mass. Eye and Ear is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in the medical specialties of ophthalmology and otolaryngology.

Dr. Thakker joins Mass. Eye and Ear having most recently held the position of Assistant Professor and Director of Oculofacial Plastic Surgery in the Division of Ophthalmology at the University of Vermont. Dr. Thakker returns to Mass. Eye and Ear after completing his residency in ophthalmology at the Infirmary in 2003. He completed a fellowship in oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Thakker received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Click here to see Dr. Thakker's biography.


Dr. Reza Dana Named as First Recipient of  Claes H. Dohlman Professorship in Ophthalmology

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(617) 573-3340

Boston (Jan. 26, 2009) — Reza Dana, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., Director of the Cornea Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has been named as the first incumbent of the Claes H. Dohlman Professorship of Ophthalmology.

The professorship, endowed through Harvard Medical School in perpetuity, was recently established to honor the life work of Dr. Claes Dohlman, a current Mass. Eye and Ear ophthalmologist and cornea specialist. Dr. Dohlman is considered a pioneer in the cornea subspecialty and in the care and research of the cornea. His accomplishments include the development of the Boston Keratoprosthesis or “artificial cornea.”

The professorship is a significant honor and will allow Dr. Dana to continue his already numerous contributions to the study and research of diseases of the cornea, including his recent discovery of the protein responsible for the clarity of the cornea. Dr. Dana is an international leader in the field of corneal and ocular immunology and transplantation.


Richard King Joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as Compliance and Privacy Officer

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(617) 573-3340

Boston (Jan. 26, 2009) — Richard H. King, Jr., CHC, CIPP, has joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as Compliance and Privacy Officer. King is a resident of Maynard, Mass.  Mass. Eye and Ear is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in the medical specialties of ophthalmology and otolaryngology. 

King previously worked as Senior Director, Privacy and Security Officer at Fresenius Medical Care North America, where he oversaw the development and implementation of the company’s privacy and security program. King is a current member of the Healthcare Compliance Association and the International Association of Privacy Professionals, is certified in Healthcare Compliance by the Healthcare Compliance Certification Board, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional.  King holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School where he focused his work on corporate ethics and social responsibility.


Mass. Eye and Ear Launches New Website

Contact: Mass. Eye and Ear Public Affairs 

(617) 573-3340

Boston (Jan. 14, 2009) -- The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in the specialties of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck, launched a new, interactive and more user-friendly website this month. The new website, located at www.masseyeandear.org, enhances the hospital’s mission of providing excellence in patient care, educating the public concerning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the diseases in its specialties, and educating future health care professionals.

The new website provides many useful tools for patients and visitors, including online options for bill pay, completing pre-registration and making appointment requests. Visitors to the new website will also have the option of locating Mass. Eye and Ear physicians by name, specialty or specific disease treated. The site’s improved “For Patients” section also provides easy access to information about hospital departments and specialties, as well as convenient access to information about Mass. Eye and Ear’s suburban locations, directions and interactive mapping through Google MapsTM. 
 
In addition, Mass. Eye and Ear’s new website includes:

  • Convenient online referral for physicians;
  • Targeted information for prospective medical residents and researchers; and 
  • A high-contrast display option to provide easier reading for visually impaired users.

“Providing quality patient care excellent service is always our priority. Our new website is one of many tools and resources to help accomplish the goal of improving access for our patients and providing patients and visitors, referring physicians, medical residents and researchers with the best possible experience,” says Mass. Eye and Ear President and CEO John Fernandez.


Appeals Court Affirms Ruling in Favor of Mass. Eye and Ear in Visudyne (QLT Inc.) Case

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Boston (Jan. 13, 2009) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Mass. Eye and Ear) announces that yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of Mass. Eye and Ear on claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices against QLT Inc.

The Court upheld a previous judgment awarding Mass. Eye and Ear royalties of 3.01% on worldwide past, present and future net sales for Visudyne, a treatment for the wet form of macular degeneration, plus interest. The First Circuit remanded to the District Court for further consideration regarding the amount of attorneys' fees awarded.

The case, which began in 2000, related to the development of Visudyne. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in the Western world. Visudyne was the first drug therapy approved for this devastating disease and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration in 2000. Net sales of Visudyne through Dec. 31, 2008 total approximately $2.6 billion, according to QLT Inc. 

“Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is pleased with this result and appreciates the work of the Court,” said John Fernandez, Mass. Eye and Ear’s president and CEO. “We are very proud of the pioneering research done by Drs. Joan Miller and Evangelos Gragoudas in the development of this landmark treatment. This decision will enable us to reinvest in research and educational efforts to improve clinical care, train the next generation of medical leaders, and develop more treatments for those who suffer from debilitating diseases.”


Harvard Medical School Ophthalmologist Ivana Kim, M.D., Receives Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness

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Boston (Jan. 12, 2009) –Ivana Kim, M.D., clinician-scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and ophthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has been granted a $60,000 Physician-Scientist Award from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB).  These awards allow physicians at medical institutions in the United States to devote more time to clinical eye research activities, providing greater opportunities for specialized study with direct application to the human condition. Dr. Kim is one of only 40 physicians who have received the award since it was established in 2000.

“This grant will allow Dr. Kim to investigate the genetic basis of uveal melanoma, the most common malignancy of the eye and despite treatment advances, still a deadly cancer.  Dr. Kim, collaborating with researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass., hopes to develop molecularly targeted therapy for choroidal melanoma,” said Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.mass.eyeandear.org.

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, go to www.rpbusa.org.