Media Availability beginning Friday, August 18 through Eclipse Monday and all next week:
Newswise — Medical experts from the renowned Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia are available for interviews about the vision risks associated with the Eclipse, what eye conditions aren’t safe for eclipse viewing, how the damage can occur and how to safely watch the event.
--Eye doctors (Ophthalmologists) can explain Solar Retinopathy, the real and potentially permanent vision loss you can suffer from staring directly at a solar eclipse and the sun without the proper glasses.
--Doctors are available leading up to and during the event for live or taped needs and phone interviews. One of our physicians is also along the path of totality in South Carolina. Join him to watch!
--Wills Eye Hospital has the only Emergency Department in the northeast region; one of only a few in the USA exclusively for vision disorders. We will be monitoring any uptick in post-eclipse cases.
Among our experts who are all excellent media interviews: (Photos attached.)
Jack Dugan, MD – (Now In South Carolina to watch the eclipse) Attending surgeon and astronomy enthusiast who traveled to South Carolina to view the totality from beach front location. He’ll be there!
Allen Ho, MD – Internationally recognized retina expert who is on staff at Wills Eye and Director of Retina Research.
Sunir Garg, MD – Retina expert who has published research papers on this exact topic (solar retinopathy)
Mark Blecher, MD – Eye surgeon and leader in the field.
Medical Expert BIOS
**Allen Ho, MD has authored over 200 peer reviewed publications and several textbooks including Age Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Treatment, The Wills Eye Hospital Color Atlas and Synopsis of Retinal Disease and is Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Ophthalmology and Chief Medical Editor of Retina Today. He is a member of the Scientific Editorial Boards of Retina Cases and Brief Reports, Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging, Retinal Physician, and Ocular Surgery News. Dr. Ho has received multiple clinical research grants and awards investigating new treatments for macular diseases, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Senior Achievement Award, the American Society of Retina Specialists Crystal Apple Award and the American Diabetes Association Physician of the Year Award. Dr Ho has served the American Academy of Ophthalmology as AAO Retina Subspecialty Day Program Chair , AAO Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Committee – Retina/Vitreous Panel member and is currently a member of the AAO IRIS Registry Committee. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Retina Society and the US FDA Ophthalmic Advisory Panel. Dr. Ho was named to Castle Connolly’s “Best Doctors in America”, “America’s Top Ophthalmologists” and “Top Doctors of Philadelphia” as elected by peer physicians. He is a volunteer for Eye Care America, serving underinsured Americans with medical need and a member of the Board of the American Diabetes Association of Greater Philadelphia whose mission is to improve the care and quality of life of patients with diabetes.
**Mark H. Blecher, MD
Dr. Blecher is a widely recognized cataract surgeon who treats a wide range of eye problems. He was instrumental in bringing modern refractive surgery to Wills Eye Hospital in 1990 and was one of the first to perform it there. He has been actively involved in refractive surgery. Dr. Blecher was one of the first to perform Lasik surgery following FDA approval of the Excimer laser. He has performed over 10,000 LASIK. Dr. Blecher attended Brandeis University followed by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he obtained his M.D. Degree in 1982. Following a year of Internal Medicine he attended the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for his Ophthalmology residency, where during his third year he was also co- chief resident.
**Sunir Garg, MD is a retina surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and published one of the early pioneering papers on solar retinopathy, the eye damage that occurs from exposure to a solar eclipse. He has served as a principal investigator for several major national and international clinical trials, and is a consultant to the American College of Physicians, the Merck Manual and the Wills Eye Manual. Dr. Garg is an active member of the Retina Society, the Macula Society, the American Society of Retinal Specialists, the American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Uveitis Society and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He currently serves as president of the Greater Philadelphia Ophthalmic Society. Dr. Garg completed his medical degree and residency at the University of Michigan. Having completed his retina fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Garg later returned to Philadelphia to join the staff of Wills Eye Hospital.
ABOUT WILLS EYE HOSPITAL: Philadelphia, PA
Wills Eye Hospital is a global leader in ophthalmology and ranked top nationally in the new US News & World Report Best Hospitals Survey 2017-2018. Established in 1832, Wills is the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care and vision research. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America’s top ophthalmology centers since the survey began and has the most nationally ranked ophthalmologists in the country. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical education. Its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. One of the core strengths of Wills is the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service, and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of nine multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the tri-state area. To learn more, please visit www.willseye.org
Director of Media Relations/Communications
Wills Eye Hospital
840 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19107
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