Why Pediatric Glaucoma is Often Overlooked
“I am grateful for this prestigious honor that recognizes my passion along with major contributions, and dedication to the field of ophthalmology, and glaucoma in particular, that spans several decades,” said Dr. Ritch. “This award highlights the need for increasing support for glaucoma research in the current era of rapidly developing technologies so we can eventually find cures for this group of diseases and work toward eliminating and reversing blindness.”
The award recognizes Dr. Ritch as an outstanding leader who has made significant contributions to the eye and vision research community. He is the first doctor from NYEE, and the Department of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to receive this honor.
ARVO selected Dr. Ritch because of his track record of continuous service to the organization since 1991. One of his many achievements was leading the “ARVO Host-a-Researcher Program” initiative, which gives researchers from underdeveloped countries the opportunity to attend the association’s annual meeting, where they learn valuable information from fellow investigators, colleagues, and mentors. The purpose of the program is to “Teach the Teachers” by creating an opportunity for young clinician-researchers to develop eye research and educational training programs in their own countries.
Additionally, Dr. Ritch has devoted his career to broadening our understanding of the underlying etiologies and mechanisms of glaucoma, which is actually a group of diseases with widely differing genetic, biological, and systemic causes. Dr. Ritch has been on the forefront of glaucoma research for over three decades and his sight-saving discoveries have had a worldwide impact. Dr. Ritch founded the Glaucoma Foundation, which helps spread international awareness of the disease and promotes research and advancements in the field. He also developed many of the early techniques for laser treatment of glaucoma and has taught extensively worldwide. He has presented more than 300 papers and posters at ARVO over 35 years.
“This service award is well deserved, and reflective of Dr. Ritch’s pioneering contributions to ARVO, vision science, and the Mount Sinai Health System,” said James C. Tsai, MD, MBA, Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai Health System, and President of NYEE. “Dr. Ritch’s work demonstrates the commitment of our physicians and staff at NYEE to providing the highest standards of excellence in quality eye care, vision research, and medical training.”
Dr. Ritch will be presented with the Joanne G. Angle Service Award at the ARVO General Business Meeting on May 9, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology will also publish an article highlighting his award in the Spring 2017 issue of ARVO News.