Special to UM News
MIAMI, 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.