Bascom Palmer Dedicates Auditorium to Jose Berrocal, M.D.

Surprising their husband and father, Hortensia Berrocal and her daughters Nina Berrocal, M.D., associate professor of clinical ophthalmology, and Maria Berrocal, M.D., joined faculty and staff at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute this month to dedicate the newly renovated Jose Berrocal Auditorium in honor of the first fellow to train under the Institute’s founder.

The auditorium, which originally opened in the fall of 1980 as part of the Institute’s Edith and Earl Retter Educational Center, has more than helped the Center fulfill its goal of promoting the best in ophthalmic training and education. For nearly 32 years, the auditorium has served as home to Grand Rounds almost every Thursday morning, and hosted thousands of faculty, staff, students and donors for seminars, research forums and other special events. But modern times and decades of use left the auditorium in dire need of updated communication equipment and overall renovation.

That’s why Dr. Berrocal’s family, long-time supporters of Bascom Palmer, stepped up, making a generous gift to turn the outdated auditorium into a state-of-the-art facility – and surprise the family patriarch. At the special December 9 ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Berrocals’ daughters held the ceremonial ribbon while their parents sliced it in two, officially opening the Jose Berrocal Auditorium.

After training at Bascom Palmer under founder Edward Norton, M.D., Dr. Berrocal went on to become the first retina specialist in his native Puerto Rico. Following in their father’s footsteps, Maria and Nina also received their medical degrees in ophthalmology and completed fellowships at Bascom Palmer, where more than 900 doctors and scientists have completed their training over the past 50 years.

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