March 10, 2014

Jones Eye Institute Celebrates 20 Years

JEI 20th Anniversary
John Shock, M.D., founding director of Jones Eye Institute (JEI), and his wife, Nancy, recieve an honor for Shock’s years of service from Christopher Westfall, M.D., director of JEI (left) and Richard Harper, M.D., ophthalmologist and director of low vision program (right).

JEI Anniversary Pat Walker and John Shock
Pat Walker (left), long-time JEI donor, visits with Shock during the anniversary dinner.

THV’s Craig O’Neill was the emcee for the event.

James Suen, M.D., (center), professor and chairman of the  Department of Otolaryngology in the UAMS College of Medicine, and wife, Karen, talk with Craig Wood, one of the sponsors for the dinner.

John Shock, M.D., and wife, Nancy, (left), talk with Morriss Henry, M.D., and wife, Ann.

March 10, 2014 | The UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute celebrated two decades of improving the health and vision of Arkansans through clinical care, education and research at a Feb. 28 anniversary event.

Staff, faculty, donors, UAMS Foundation Fund Board members and other leaders gathered to celebrate the institute’s accomplishments, honor its many donors and to recognize the 10th anniversary of the gift that made possible the Pat Walker Tower, a five-story addition to the institute dedicated in 2006 in the name of philanthropist Pat Walker.  

“A proud member of the UAMS campus, the institute is pleased to celebrate 20 years of excellence in patient care, education and research,” said Christopher Westfall, M.D., director of JEI, chairman and professor of the Department of Ophthalmology in the UAMS College of Medicine. “We are extremely grateful to the community leaders and philanthropists who have so generously given of their time, talent and resources in order to make the institute a reality.”

Westfall honored John Shock, M.D., founding director of JEI and distinguished professor in the UAMS Department of Ophthalmology, for his dedication in laying the groundwork for the institute.

Shock highlighted historical events from the past 20 years and presented a tribute to donors such as John Nutt, Bernice Jones, Leland and Betty Tollett, and Pat and Willard Walker.

“It takes a large number of dedicated individuals to put together a meaningful and sustainable program like we have here, and our history exemplifies this,” Shock said. “I am grateful that we have had so many generous and loyal people willing to contribute to the success of our program. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Focusing on philanthropy, UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and G. Richard Smith, M.D., dean of the UAMS College of Medicine, addressed the importance of giving to academic medicine and to UAMS to further patient care, medical research and educating future physicians.

“The Jones Eye Institute and all it encompasses took a lot of private donations to bring to reality,” Rahn said. “You believe in what we do for the people of Arkansas and beyond, and it shows. It shows in the patient care, research and health education provided at the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute.”

Richard Harper, M.D., an ophthalmologist and director of the low vision program at the institute, highlighted the benefits of the Jones Eye Institute acquiring an Eyesi Surgical Simulator to assist in training ophthalmology residents. All proceeds from the event went toward acquiring the simulator.

Sponsors for the dinner were:

  • Gold — The Bodenhamer Foundation and John P. Shock, M.D. Charitable Trust.
  • Silver — Rick and Maureen Adkins; Craig and Nancy Woods; Tracy and Bryn Wood Bagwell; Russ Wood, M.D.; Arkansas Lions Eye Bank and Laboratory Bank; and Colliers International /Arkansas.
  • Bronze — Patricia and Gus Blass; Max and Patricia Bobbitt; Deer Penick Eye Clinic; Bryon and Carol Eiseman; Grady and Ann McCoy; and Walter and Sarah Nunnelly.
  • Copper — Rupert M. and Barbara Dale Crafton; Bill and Joan Hearnsberger; Claire Leheny; and Allen and Rebecca McDowell.

Ophthalmologists at the institute conduct about 30,000 outpatient clinic visits and perform more than 1,000 surgical procedures annually. The institute houses the Pat and Willard Walker Eye Research Center, the Jones Eye Institute Outpatient Clinics, and the Leland and Betty Tollett Retinal and Ocular Genetics Center. It offers the undergraduate Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program and postgraduate educational programs for UAMS College of Medicine students and ophthalmology residents. UAMS ophthalmologists also see patients and perform surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.