Harlem Hospital Center, an affiliate of Columbia University Medical Center, was awarded a $176,650 grant from the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation. The grant will provide for glaucoma screenings in the largely African American Harlem and upper Manhattan communities through Sept. 30, 2005. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness, especially when left untreated.
"Glaucoma and diabetes are real problems among African Americans," says R. Linsy Farris, professor of clinical ophthalmology at CUMC and staff physician at Harlem Hospital. "This grant will enable Harlem Hospital Center to pursue an aggressive screening program. We are extremely grateful for this assistance from the foundation."
Founded in late 1999, the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation is dedicated to supporting the activities of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus, members of the United States Congress who are committed to helping all Americans fight the scourge of glaucoma and other eye diseases. The foundation provides diagnostic screening opportunities for high-risk glaucoma population groups in the home districts of caucus members.
The 400-bed Harlem Hospital Center, the largest health facility in Harlem capable of treating the most seriously ill, serves one of those.
Stanley Chang, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at CUMC, adds, "I am pleased that the dedication of our Harlem Hospital faculty is being recognized in this way. As a leading medical institution located in New York City, one of our primary goals is to give back to our communities by creating programs that can prevent or reduce the risk of potentially severely debilitating diseases, such as glaucoma."