The Eye & Ear Foundation (EEF) is a public, non-profit organization that supports the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Its mission is to advance cutting-edge academic and research efforts with the ultimate goal of enhancing patient care. EEF launched the $80 Million Campaign in 2016 and has reached over its halfway point, $52 Million.
According to the Eye & Ear Foundation CEO Lawton Snyder, the New Horizons for Care Campaign responds to the community’s needs to address the increasing number of people affected by age-related conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and hearing loss. As the two academic research Departments are growing, “We saw an opportunity for Pittsburgh to be a world leader in finding new ways to advance care, first in our backyard, and ultimately the rest of the world. By raising and distributing philanthropic dollars to the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the Foundation encourages individuals, foundations, and businesses to support enhancing and advancing care for people with diseases and disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head, and neck,” says Snyder. The Foundation intends to complete its Campaign by the end of 2023.
Ophthalmology’s goals, A New Vision for Pittsburgh and Beyond, were inspired by the arrival of Department Chairman José-Alain Sahel, MD, to Pittsburgh in 2016. Vision degeneration affects nearly everyone in one form or another as they age, and the number of individuals with visual impairments is expected to triple by 2050. Places like Pittsburgh, with its aging population, will be significantly affected by this epidemic of vision loss. “Finding cures for the most common eye ailments and solutions to rare diseases and impairment due to injury is equally important,” Sahel said. His teams work on nearly every aspect of blindness, from common conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration to regenerative therapies and engineering artificial retinas and the hardware and software that feeds them information. “We are driven by helping patients,” Sahel said. “It starts with identifying conditions among patients, which flows into using research to find solutions, creating new therapies and devices, commercializing those advancements, and ultimately bringing them back to the patient by enabling access to everyone,” emphasizes Dr. Sahel.
The Department of Otolaryngology has a robust national and international presence. Department Chairman Jonas T. Johnson, MD, and his goals are focused on AdvancemENTs in Patient Care. As described in a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, nearly 50 % of people older than 60 have hearing loss. As more people live longer, these numbers are expected to grow, from 46 million in 2014 to 82 million in 2040. Millions of people with hearing loss can potentially benefit from intervention. With this and other aspects of our specialty’s research, we will include socially disadvantaged individuals in our work. The Department of Otolaryngology is recognized for excellence in medical training, minimally invasive surgery, and hearing loss research and treatment. Dr. Johnson plans to build upon these strengths by creating new opportunities for excellence, developing new technologies and advancements in surgery, building our translational research capabilities, and personalizing care for every individual patient. “Advances in patient care are dependent upon research. Good research leads to improved treatment options,” states Dr. Johnson.
To learn more details about the Eye & Ear Foundation campaign, visit eyeandear.org, or call the Foundation office at 412-864-1300, or request information from firstname.lastname@example.org.