The Glaucoma Foundation Creates New Award

The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF) announced the creation of an annual Award for Innovation and Excellence in Glaucoma. This new honor recognizes the contributions of individuals who have played a significant and unique role in promoting the medicine and science of glaucoma.

The first 2008 Glaucoma Foundation Award for Innovation & Excellence in Glaucoma will be presented to Robert Ritch, MD, on December 3, 2008, at the 22nd Black and White Ball, TGF’s yearly benefit gala.

Dr. Ritch, founder of TGF, holds the Shelley and Steven Einhorn Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and is Surgeon Director and Chief of Glaucoma Services at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, and Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at The New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.

“Dr. Ritch has devoted his career to broadening the understanding of the nature of glaucoma and innovation in the medical, laser and surgical treatment of the disease,” said Scott R. Christensen, President of The Glaucoma Foundation. “His input has been essential to setting the momentum for research in the field.”

Dr. Ritch serves as The Glaucoma Foundation’s Medical Director and Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board. He founded TGF in 1984 to support basic and clinical research to identify factors that lead to glaucoma and to develop new methods of treatment. At the time, the public was barely aware of the disease and its devastating effects. In 1994 he initiated The Glaucoma Foundation’s annual Think Tank on Optic Nerve Rescue and Restoration, gathering 12 scientists and researchers that first year to discuss the latest research in the emerging field of nerve regeneration. The International Think Tank, unique in its interdisciplinary format, has attracted successful researchers in other fields to glaucoma and continues to generate new thinking that has greatly advanced the field of glaucoma research.

Robert Ritch, MD

Dr. Ritch has co-authored six books and over 1200 medical and scientific papers, book chapters, articles and abstracts. He has trained over 120 clinical and research fellows, many of whom occupy academic positions worldwide. He was one of the three organizers of the first annual World Glaucoma Day in 2008. He was co-founder of the Ophthalmic Laser Surgical Society, the New York Glaucoma Society, and the Lindberg Society, an international organization dedicated to the eradication of exfoliation syndrome, and the U.S.-Russia Ophthalmology Task Force. He is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2006 he received the Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award of the Medical Society of the State of New York for outstanding contributions to medicine. More recently he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Honor Award and the Leadership in Education in Ophthalmology (LEO) Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award from the New York Medical College. He has organized meetings, established teaching programs and helped to modernize ophthalmology in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and other countries in Asia.

The Glaucoma Foundation

The mission of The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF) is to fund groundbreaking research and to educate the public about the disease and the importance of early detection to prevent blindness. Founded in1984 by Dr. Robert Ritch, TGF is one of the premier not-for-profit organizations dedicated to eradicating blindness from glaucoma through vital research and education. In addition to the new TGF Award for Innovation and Excellence in Glaucoma, the organization sponsors two other annual accolades: The Kitty Carlisle Hart Award of Merit for Lifetime Achievement and the Corporate Visionary Award.

The Glaucoma Foundation