Sight is Priceless
SriniVas Sadda, MD
President & Chief Scientific Officer
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It was my pleasure to begin this year talking with a generous group of donors and supporters in Palm Springs. I had the opportunity to share insights about eye diseases that can affect us as we get older, about Doheny’s current vision research initiatives, and about our alignment with an ambitious DEI strategic plan. We value these events enormously because we know that understanding of our work and mission is critical for those most likely to be affected by eye diseases, and it is effective in helping to cure those diseases.
I am pleased to tell you that Doheny Eye Institute is exceptionally well positioned to continue as a global leader in vision research. Building on the thoughtful foundations laid by our founding physician, Dr. Stephen J. Ryan, Doheny continues to innovate and collaborate in ways that many of our peer institutions emulate. We are able to attract outstanding, world-class faculty. In our new building, we will all enjoy the potential to maximize our research and diagnostic potential.
Yet even with all of these superlatives, we must prioritize. The scope of our work at Doheny must be focused and our resources must be spent judiciously. That’s in part because we cannot see into the future; nor can we predict precisely how funding for vision research will fare in our federal budget. For that reason, Doheny is proud to be an active member of the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), an advocacy organization founded by Dr. Ryan and a small group of colleagues. NAEVR monitors National Institutes of Health budgeting and tries to keep vision research funding streams strong. This is what the math looks like now: In the last fiscal year, the National Eye Institute had an operating budget of $733 million – just 0.5 percent of the $145 billion annual cost of treating vision disorders.
As our population ages here in the U.S., support for vision care research must grow so our patients can benefit from accelerated research, earlier diagnosis, and effective interventions and therapies. Be assured that while Doheny doctors are passionate about their work, we closely watch the bottom line. Our excellent outcomes help us make the case with a range of partners –whether in the halls of Congress or when meeting with individual donors. Sustaining vision research in the 21st century means allies are essential.
We need your help to make it happen.
Alumni Day + Doheny Society of Scholars
The combination of our annual Alumni Day with the Doheny Society of Scholars induction in early January has brought about a valuable synergy. The daylong gathering not only allowed our alumni to present and less formally engage with one another; it also created an excellent opportunity for our younger colleagues who are currently Doheny-UCLA Stein Eye Institute Residents and Fellows to hear about the career and accomplishments of our inductee, Jan C. van Meurs, Rotterdam Eye Hospital and Erasmus Medical Center. It was Dr. Stephen Ryan’s vision that among Doheny Alumni, those whose work exemplified excellence and highly significant contributions to ophthalmology be acknowledged with this highest distinction. Throughout the day, presenters focused on the clinical challenges we inevitably encounter in a rapidly changing health care and technology environment. The exchange of ideas has been enhanced by joining these two annual DEI events, and I feel confident that research and patient care always benefit from these conversations.