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Medical Center's Department Of Ophthalmology Receives $1 Million Gift


Columbia University Medical Center 's Department of Ophthalmology has received a $1 million gift from Rand Araskog, former chairman and CEO of ITT Corporation, and his wife, Jessie. The gift establishes the A. Gerard DeVoe-B. Dobli Srinivasan Directorship of Ambulatory Eye Care at the ITT Eye Clinic of the Harkness Eye Institute.

"The Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center has a long and distinguished history," says Dr. Gerald D. Fischbach, executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences and dean of the Faculty of Medicine. "The first corneal transplant was performed here in 1933; the first clinical application of the laser in all of medicine was successfully carried out here in the early 60s; the first excimer laser surgery took place here in 1983; the drug Xalatan was developed in the laboratories of the Eye Institute to become the leading anti-glaucoma drug in the world; and the chemical compound healon was developed here and is used in cataract surgery worldwide. This gift recognizes the outstanding faculty and cutting-edge research and patient care that define this department. We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Araskog for their generosity and support."

"Mr. Araskog, a founding member of the department's Board of Advisors, and his wife, understand the importance of our activities for those in need of technologically advanced eye care," says Dr. Stanley Chang, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology. "By endowing the directorship of ambulatory eye care, they guarantee that the highest-quality ophthalmology care and services will continue to be provided to New York 's medically underserved population, both adults and children from the neighboring community in Washington Heights ."

The directorship is named for A. Gerard DeVoe, M.D., professor emeritus and former chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, who established the first basic and clinical corneal research center in 1961 and for B. Dobli Srinivasan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of the ITT Eye Clinic. Dr. Srinivasan trained under the highly respected Dr. DeVoe and is a top surgeon and recognized leader in the field of ophthalmology. He will serve as the first A. Gerard DeVoe-B. Dobli Srinivasan Director of Ambulatory Eye Care.

In generously endowing this position, Mr. Araskog stated, "I am honored to have known both of these eminent physicians, and Jessie and I are pleased to lend our support to such an outstanding program in their names."

Published: Feb 12, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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