Category: Improving Care

Good Eyes, Good Genes?

Genetic Counseling

What is Genetic Counseling? An emerging field of medical technology is Genetic Counseling. According to the World Health Organization, genetic counseling is the process through which trained professionals share knowledge about the genetic aspects of illnesses with an increased risk of either having a heritable disorder or passing it on to their unborn offspring. A genetic counselor provides information on the inheritance of diseases and their recurrence risks; addresses the concerns of patients, their families, and their health care providers; and supports patients and their families dealing with these illnesses (World Health Organization). With significant advancements in understanding the complexities

Pittwire | Pitt’s Plans for Growth of Regional Life Sciences Cluster Get Boost From $25 Million Gift; Advancements in Vision Care Lead the Way

University of Pittsburgh Logo

Thursday, February 25, 2021 Source: Pittwire Philadelphia has its pharmaceutical cluster, San Francisco is known for its tech startups and Boston boasts about its investment capital. Thanks to efforts by the University of Pittsburgh, fueled by a $25 million gift from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Pittsburgh is enhancing its role as a premier life sciences cluster.The gift, announced this week, will support focused biomedical research, develop collaborations through virtual spaces and physical infrastructure, build systems for new and growing life sciences companies and drive inclusive workforce development.“This gift is an investment in the University of Pittsburgh but also in

Pittwire | FDA and Pitt Announce Collaboration to Research and Develop Innovative Therapies to Help Restore Vision

José-Alain Sahel, MD

The University of Pittsburgh today announced a collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health to help address the needs of the visually impaired through the expertise, facilities and research of the world-class School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology. Under the agreement, Pitt and the FDA will work together for the next five years on scientific collaborations, educational initiatives and outreach activities designed to address the epidemic of vision loss. As the world’s population continues to grow and age, the number of individuals with visual impairments is expected to triple by the year 2050. “It’s

Using Technology to Train Surgeons

Eyesi Surgical Simulator

Ophthalmology residents at the University of Pittsburgh have an exciting new hi-tech teaching tool! Thanks to contributions from the Joseph Horne Trust and generous donors to the residents’ education fund, the Department of Ophthalmology was recently able to purchase a VR Magic Eyesi® Surgical Simulator, a high-end virtual reality simulator for intraocular surgery training. This $250,000 state-of-the-art training tool will allow the next generation of ocular surgeons enhanced training opportunities outside those found in a traditional surgical training laboratory. “The traditional model of training for surgery was to bring residents to the operating room, have them watch faculty, and then

StreetLab: Reconceptualizing Patient Care


A belief held by Dr. José-Alain Sahel, University of Pittsburgh Department of Ophthalmology Chairman, is that, to best help a patient as a whole being, and not just consider the condition which limits their sight, we need to radically reconceptualize the way we deliver care. How We Reconceptualize Care It starts, we believe, by listening. According to Dr. Sahel, “we work hand in hand with an individual to understand what their life with vision loss is like; we formulate a multifaceted plan to turn their struggles into opportunities. Our experience with this model tells us that we need experts from

What is the Guerilla Eye Service?

Evan “Jake” Waxman, MD, PhD

Living up to their motto of “travel light and save sight,” Dr. Evan Waxman, along with ophthalmology residents and medical school students, take their “mobile eye clinic” to underserved communities around Pittsburgh three times a month. Vision loss is debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world. Exasperating this problem is the fact that in many communities, vision care often takes a backseat to other necessities and responsibilities. While many eye diseases cannot be cured, in some patients, vision loss can be saved if the condition is diagnosed and treated early enough. Fortunately, physicians, residents, and students from