Special to UM News
NAPLES, Fla. (October 29, 2015) — More than 150 friends and supporters of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute attended the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Naples campus on October 26.
Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and Stephen G. Schwartz, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor of ophthalmology and medical director of the Naples Center, cut a huge orange ribbon officially opening the new facility. They were joined by Naples Mayor John Sorey, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., executive dean for clinical affairs and CEO of the UHealth Physician Practice, and Michael Gittelman, executive hospital administrator of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
“This is truly an exciting time for Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Naples community, and the entire region we serve,” said Alfonso. “With this new 20,000-square-foot cutting-edge eye care center, we will be able to deliver the highest level of ophthalmic care, research, and education to our patients in Collier County for decades to come.”
The new Naples Center opened for patient care earlier this summer. The new building, which is LEED certified, a building certification program that recognizes leadership in energy and environmental design, has 22 examination rooms. A 5,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center located on the second floor of the building is scheduled to open in 2016.
“The new Bascom Palmer campus at Naples will allow our doctors to treat virtually all eye diseases, from the most common to the most rare,” said Schwartz. “The patient demand for our services in Naples has grown exponentially. Not only are we expanding the space and our faculty and staff, but the number of clinical research trials offered to patients will increase.”
The $25 million state-of-the-art eye care facility in Naples was made possible by a construction loan from Bascom Palmer’s Ophthalmology Research Foundation. A number of naming opportunities are available within the Institute, some of which have already been accounted for by generous philanthropists and families living in the Naples community, including the Ernie D. Semersky family and Dory Newell and Allyn J. Heath, along with Monty and Usha Ahuja, Don and Connie Smith, and Shelia Davis.
Also present at the ceremony were members of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and Bascom Palmer’s Naples Advisory Group, including Reg Buxton, Andrew Cummins, Stephanie Goforth, Jonathan Gopman, Colleen Murphy, Patrick Neale, William O’Meara, and Mayela Rosales, as well as many local politicians and community leaders.