Ivey Eye Institute - London Ontario Canada

| Wednesday June 28, 2017
10:06 AM
Ivey Eye Institute 
- A Vision for Eye Care

The Dedicated Individuals Behind the Ivey Eye Institute
by Jennifer Parraga and Betty Dann, Published in Vim & Vigour, Summer 2010

The uncanny ability to envision another possibility, spread the seeds of that vision and inspire others to see the opportunities—these are the hallmarks of a visionary. Nowhere is that definition more tangible than at the Ivey Eye Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital. Founded by visionaries and staffed by those dedicated to maintaining or restoring vision, Ivey Eye actually defines vision, both literally and figuratively.

Medical pioneer Dr. Charles Dyson and philanthropist Lorraine Shuttleworth were among those spreading the seeds and inspiring others to establish what would eventually become the Ivey Eye Institute, an acclaimed source of excellent diagnostic, medical and surgical eye care, ophthalmic teaching and research.

Dr. Dyson's interest in medicine began in 1937 when he was diagnosed with polio. Until then, he had always imagined becoming a lawyer. Six years later he graduated from medical school at The University of Western Ontario (Western). Postgraduate work in ophthalmology in Toronto and Montreal and at Harvard University followed, but an invitation from Dr. G. Edward Hall, then Western's dean of medicine, brought Dr. Dyson back to London.

He immediately set up his private practice and began treating patients. He also served as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Western from 1968-74, and chief of the The dedicated individuals behind the Ivey Eye Institute A Vision for Eye Care Holly McCall, ophthalmic technician, assisted with tours and equipment demonstrations during the special opening event. Dr. Bill Hodge, chief/chair, ophthalmology, left, Cliff Nordal, St. Joseph's president and CEO, and Michelle Campbell, St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation's president and CEO, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Ivey Eye Institute. ophthalmology program at Victoria Hospital from 1956-85.

In the early 1980s, a savvy Dr. Dyson began to envision a new model for eye care in a free-standing facility. His enthusiasm was contagious. Among those impressed by the idea was Mrs. Shuttleworth. She was so inspired, in fact, she made a donation of $1 million through the Richard and Jean Ivey Fund to support the new eye centre's development. Opened in 1985 at Victoria Hospital, it was named the Ivey Institute of Ophthalmology in honour of Mrs. Shuttleworth's parents, Richard and Jean Ivey. Years later, it would be renamed the Ivey Eye Institute.

A decision to consolidate all eye care at St. Joseph's Hospital in the late 1990s built upon Dr. Dyson's vision. In late 2009, the Ivey Eye Institute moved into new, state-of-the-art space as part of health care restructuring in London and extensive redevelopment of ambulatory care spaces at St. Joseph's Hospital.

At the opening were Dr. Dyson and Mrs. Shuttleworth to celebrate the vision of many who made it happen. They include such London medical luminaries as Dr. Charlie Thompson, Dr. Donald McFarlane, Dr. Elizabeth Harrison, Dr. James Ballantyne, Dr. Alfred McKinna, Dr. Rod Willis, Dr. Philip Hooper and others.

"It is very gratifying," said Dr. Dyson, "to see that the many contributions of the past have contributed to the growth of the institute today."

The Future In Eye Care Research

The last few years have witnessed tremendous growth in research at the Ivey Eye Institute.

The institute continues to be competitive at the national level for investigator-initiated and industry-initiated clinical trials research. This activity permits researchers to offer state-of-the-art investigations and treatments to patients.

A dedicated science laboratory conducts full-time, cell-based research, where the aim is to investigate, at the molecular level, the causes and potential new treatments for the two common diseases known as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Cindy M. L. Hutnik
Yiannis Iordanous