Bascom Palmer Marks 50 Years with Major Expansion Plans, Global Research Initiatives

Just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Chairman Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., has announced plans to significantly expand clinical care and research at all four of its facilities across South Florida.

In 2012, Bascom Palmer will double its clinical space in Plantation, and by fall 2013, a free-standing retina center is scheduled to open on the Palm Beach Gardens campus, where patients will have access to clinical trials in macular degeneration and other retinal diseases. Plans are also underway to quadruple clinical space in Naples and expand into Coral Gables.

To further accommodate the increasing demand for services, Bascom Palmer is developing a master plan for a 500,000-square-foot patient care, research and education facility in Miami. The new complex will be twice the size of the institute’s current Miami location, making it the perfect venue for training future ophthalmologists and conducting revolutionary vision research. Groundbreaking is projected for 2015.

“Seeing things from a unique perspective is essential in the fight against blindness,” said Alfonso, the Kathleen & Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology. “That spirit of innovation will continue to shape Bascom Palmer as a global leader. Going forward, we will expand our facilities and our human capital here at home to find fresh solutions for the needs of an aging population and the challenges of health care reform. We will also continue to focus on eye care from a global perspective and significantly contribute to life-changing and sight-saving advancements.”

Bascom Palmer is also working to strengthen its international impact on ophthalmic research to bring patients from around the world greater access to top-ranked eye care and clinical trials.

In addition to its long-established collaboration with key research centers in Europe, the institute is building relationships with King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, LV Prasad Eye Institute in India, and Universidad del Valle in Colombia.

“Working collaboratively with our colleagues at the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer now has the most robust genetics research program in the nation,” said Alfonso. “That talent has already enabled us to identify specific genes involved in glaucoma and retinal degenerative diseases.”

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute will begin its golden anniversary year by hosting a three-day global scientific meeting Tuesday, February 2, to Saturday, February 4. The initial day of the meeting will be held at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and remaining sessions and an alumni banquet will take place at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables. With more than 500 prominent ophthalmologists from around the world attending, breakthroughs and new research projects will be shared in macular degeneration, glaucoma, gene therapy, and cellular regeneration using stem cells.

“We look forward to bringing together the best and brightest in ophthalmology,” said Alfonso. “This meeting is certain to create great momentum within the field and we look forward to sharing the results with our colleagues around the world.”

The largest center of ophthalmic care, research and education in the Southeast, Bascom Palmer has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report for the past eight consecutive years. Watch a video the history of Bascom Palmer.

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