Two UAMS Doctors in Jones Eye Institute to Receive Chairs

By David Robinson

Richard Harper, M.D., received the Sally McSpadden Boreham Chair in Ophthalmology, and Paul Phillips, M.D., received the Stella Boyle Smith/Gissur J. Petursson, M.D., Chair in Ophthalmology.

“Hosting a double investiture ceremony is symbolically fitting for us to bestow these honors on two of the Jones Eye Institute’s greatest contributors,” said John Shock, M.D., executive vice chancellor and director of the Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute. “We’re extremely proud to have the longtime commitment of these two men and look forward to their continued leadership and professionalism within the Jones Eye Institute.”

The two doctors have a combined 28 years invested at the UAMS Jones Eye Institute, with Harper joining in 1993 and Phillips in 1997.

The Sally McSpadden Boreham Chair was established by a gift from Boreham with the goal of supporting research, education and patient care in ophthalmology. Boreham was a silent philanthropist who supported several organizations in addition to the Jones Eye Institute, including hometown institutions like the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and the First Presbyterian and First Baptist churches there.

The Stella Boyle Smith/Gissur J. Petursson, M.D., Chair was established by a gift from Smith to support an ophthalmologist or a basic scientist in reducing vision loss through research, education and patient care in adults and children. She credits her beloved former ophthalmologist Petursson, a retired 26-year veteran of the UAMS staff who now volunteers at the Jones Eye Institute, with “saving her life” by restoring her vision. Smith was also one of the first major donors that helped establish the Arkansas Center for Eye Research.

Harper, a tenured professor of ophthalmology and director of the Low Vision Clinic, received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and completed his residency at UAMS. He is nationally renowned for his innovative work in educating residents and has guided the residency program to become one of the most sought after programs in the South. In 2008, Harper became the fourth Lutterloh Professor after being invested with Charles Hartzell Lutterloh and Charles M. Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship.

Phillips, a tenured professor of ophthalmology and chief of ophthalmology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, completed a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He also completed a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at Emory University Eye Center in Atlanta. Phillips is well known for his expertise in treating the tiniest of patients as well as adults with strabismus and neuro-ophthalmological disorders. He’s also recognized for training new generations of pediatric ophthalmologists, as well as his significant contributions to research.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or