Tag Archive | "Bascom Palmer Eye Institute"

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UHealth at Coral Gables Marks Milestone: ‘Topping Off’ The Lennar Foundation Medical Center

Special to UM News

Topping Off 2

Construction workers hoisted a small pine tree on the rooftop of the new Lennar Foundation Medical Center to mark the occasion of the last beam being placed atop the structure.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 23, 2015) — Eleven months after The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, home of UHealth at Coral Gables, broke ground on the University of Miami’s Gables campus, construction on the 200,000-square-foot facility came to a stop — but only briefly. The occasion was to observe the traditional “topping off” ceremony, held when the uppermost portion of a building is put into place.

On Friday, November 20, the large crane at the site of the five-story building hoisted a small pine tree and American flag to the rooftop, “topping off” what will be the first presence of UHealth – University of Miami Health System on the Coral Gables campus.

More than 155 construction workers were treated to a celebratory lunch and raffle of several gift cards. Over the past year, they have worked to build the state-of-the-art medical center that will offer specialty care by the renowned Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, ranked the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation for the past 12 years, along with outpatient surgery, men’s and women’s health, sports medicine, physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, and other UHealth subspecialties.

Addressing the construction crew, Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, said they had set the building blocks for a health care destination. “You are creating an iconic building where we will deliver the most targeted therapies to UHealth patients. This facility allows us to do that to an entirely new group, including you and your families.”

Augustin R. Arellano, chairman of OHL-Arellano Construction, which is building the Coral Gables facility, remarked on the positive feedback he hears about the site and the work being done.

“So many people are talking about this great project and that is all because of you,” he said. “I congratulate and thank you for that.”

The luncheon took place on the third floor, which will be home to UHealth Sports Medicine and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute services. Framing on the second floor for the outpatient surgical suites is well underway, and rough plumbing and electrical systems are being put into place. Following the luncheon, guests and the construction crew were able to sign an interior wall, effectively marking the occasion.

The Coral Gables facility is scheduled to open late 2016.

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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Celebrates Official Grand Opening of New Naples Campus

Special to UM News

From left: Mayor John Sorey, Stephen G. Schwartz, Eduardo C. Alfonso, Steven Falcone, and Michael Gittelman.

From left: Mayor John Sorey, Stephen G. Schwartz, Eduardo C. Alfonso, Steven Falcone, and Michael Gittelman.

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.


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Community Leader Stanley Arkin Passes Away

Stanley Arkin

Stanley Arkin

UM News

CORAL GABLES. Fla. (August 27, 2025)—Stanley Arkin, a lifelong Hurricane, civic leader, and volunteer who chaired the board of governors at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital (ABLEH), passed away August 22, leaving an enduring mark on the institutions and community he loved. He was 82.

A 1953 graduate of the University of Miami, Arkin was a life member of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees. As chairman of ABLEH’s board of governors from 1995 to earlier this year, he oversaw initiatives that resulted in the expansion of the hospital’s surgical suites and the renovation of its patient care areas, lobby, and waiting rooms.

“Stanley will never be forgotten at Bascom Palmer,” said Eduardo Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “He provided guidance and wisdom to all of us who had the good fortune to work with him.  First as a volunteer, and then as chairman of the board of governors, he dedicated his heart, time, and energy to the institute that he loved.”

As president of Arkin Construction, Arkin built many projects in South Florida, including parts of Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Miami Beach Hilton, and the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center. After his retirement, he formed Arkin Consulting and worked on such projects as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Braman Management, and Jungle Island. He also served on the Miami Beach City Commission from 1984 to 1991.

“Stanley Arkin was just a wonderful human being with a passion for Bascom Palmer and a life member of the Board of Trustees,” former UM President Donna E. Shalala told The Miami Herald. “He was always the first to volunteer.”

Arkin was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Jill, who often accompanied him to Bascom Palmer and was known for her grace and elegance. He is survived by their three sons, Bradley, Robert and Gregory; three grandchildren; and his brother Jules.

Donations in Arkin’s memory may be sent to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, to the attention of the Development Department, 900 NW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33136.





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Eduardo Alfonso Takes Helm of Pan American Association of Ophthalmology

Eduardo Alfonso

Eduardo C. Alfonso

Eduardo C. Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and holder of the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology, was recently installed as president of the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) at its 31st congress in Bogotá, Colombia. With members in more than 35 Western Hemisphere countries, the PAAO’s mission is to provide continuing education, prevent blindness, and promote scientific and cultural exchange among ophthalmologists.

“It is an honor to become president of the PAAO,” Alfonso told the 3,200 physicians attending the congress. “Bascom Palmer and PAAO have worked closely together for decades to educate and bring together medical professionals from around the globe to exchange information with other ophthalmologists and to share fresh ideas and approaches to patient care.”

At this year’s congress, Bascom Palmer, which last month was ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology for the 12th consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report, organized the BPEI Symposium to discuss special clinical cases with Bascom Palmer alumni, former trainees, faculty, and observers from Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 300 doctors attended the symposium, during which Bascom Palmer faculty presented challenging ophthalmic cases in cornea, retina, glaucoma, and pediatric ophthalmology using an interactive case-based approach.

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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Ranked No. 1 for 14th Time

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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Ranked No. 1 for 14th Time

Special to UM News

BascomPalmerMIAMI, Fla. (July 21, 2015)—For the 12th consecutive year—and the 14th time overall—Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at UHealth—the University of Miami Health System has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals edition. Every year since the rankings began 25 years ago, Bascom Palmer has ranked either first or second in the country.

“At Bascom Palmer, the well-being of our patients inspires us to excel in eye care, vision research, education, and clinical innovation,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, professor and chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “Receiving the No. 1 ranking for 12 consecutive years recognizes the exceptional expertise of Bascom Palmer’s team. Together, Bascom Palmer’s world-class ophthalmologists, vision researchers, nurses, ophthalmic technicians, and support staff have one goal—to provide the ultimate in compassion and medical care to patients.”

“What Bascom Palmer does—be the best every day, year in and year out—is easy to describe but incredibly difficult to achieve,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth. “It requires a shared goal of world-class performance, and the unwavering commitment to meet that goal. We salute Bascom Palmer, with its outstanding faculty, staff and trainees, for consistent excellence in patient care, research, and education in the field of ophthalmology.”

Bascom Palmer’s physicians are recognized international leaders in their fields of expertise in every subspecialty in ophthalmology—diagnosing and treating eye diseases in adults and children. The institute’s clinician-scientists are developing the latest diagnostics and surgical techniques for patients with cataracts, glaucoma, and other blinding diseases. They are also involved in clinical trials using gene therapy, retinal chips, genomics, and stem cell therapy, and are studying genetic mapping of eye cancers to better target treatment.

From the more common eye illnesses to the most complex ocular diseases, Bascom Palmer researchers and physicians are leading the way in finding the underlying causes and genetic factors in ophthalmology, with the goal of then developing the most targeted therapy for each patient. Translating discoveries made in the laboratory to individualized treatments for patients—the hallmark of precision medicine—is leading to quicker results, improved patient outcomes and more hope.

Recently, Bascom Palmer’s surgeons implanted a “bionic eye” in a patient with severe retinitis pigmentosa to achieve a dramatic improvement in vision. Additionally, the Institute’s researchers are conducting laboratory studies on the molecular basis of degenerative diseases of the eyes that hopefully will lead to new clinical treatments, and have already identified key biomarkers in eye cancer that lead to more precise therapies, sparing patients from less effective treatments.

Earlier this summer, Bascom Palmer opened a $25 million, 20,000-square-foot eye center in Naples, Florida. Next year, the Institute will open its first international eye center in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, further extending its worldwide leadership in the field of ophthalmology.

In addition to its international reputation as one of the premier providers of eye care in the world, Bascom Palmer is the largest ophthalmic care, research and educational facility in the southeastern United States. More than 250,000 patients are treated each year with nearly every ophthalmic condition, and more than 18,000 surgeries are performed annually. With four patient care facilities in Florida (Miami, Palm Beach Gardens, Naples and Plantation), the Institute serves as the Department of Ophthalmology for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, part of UHealth-University of Miami Health System.

The new rankings are accessible online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals.

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