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YES Campaign

Where Your Help is Needed: Storm Eye Institute

Global Leader in Vision Research for Better Eye Care

Storm Eye Institute

Storm Eye Institute (SEI), established in 1961, is the only comprehensive eye center in South Carolina, providing a full range of educational, clinical and research services related to eye care. The Institute's mission is four-fold: to care, to teach, to discover and to serve.

To care: With 30 full-time clinical and research faculty representing every major subspecialty in ophthalmology, Storm Eye Institute is the state's only source of care for some of the most complex and unusual eye diseases and disorders. However, comprehensive and compassionate care is also offered for common conditions. At Storm Eye Institute, no problem is too simple or too complex. The Best Doctors in America named seven ophthalmologists on the faculty in their recent publication.

To teach: Storm Eye Institute serves as a major educational support unit for MUSC medical school students and for specialty training of interns, residents and fellows in ophthalmology. In addition, trainees in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics receive education in the recognition and referral of eye conditions.

To discover: Storm Eye Institute is a major eye research center.  With eleven research faculty members and three professorships, departmental research focuses on areas of retinal cell biology, degenerative diseases of the retina, cataract and intraocular lens, glaucoma, infectious diseases and refractive surgery.

To serve: Storm Eye Institute, through Fight for S.I.G.H.T., performs free health screenings throughout the community; delivers eye-care services to patients who might otherwise go without attention, serving over 3000 indigent patient visits during FY '07; provides vision rehabilitation services at the Feldberg Vision Rehabilitation Center, otherwise unavailable in South Carolina; provides services for more than 44,000 patient visits annually.

This close interaction between educators, researchers and clinical faculty has placed Storm Eye on the cutting edge of eye care, resulting in advances unimaginable just a few years ago. For example:

  • We have pioneered research that may lead to the prevention and reversal of glaucoma-related blindness, a blinding disease endemic to South Carolina.
  • Our retina research team has identified new genes and gene products that may hold an important key to unlocking the mysteries of retinal damage in macular degeneration.

Built Upon a Tradition of Philanthropy

Storm Eye Institute has been built on a tradition of philanthropic support. The original five-story Albert Florens Storm Eye Institute, completed in 1976, was built with a gift from Mrs. Albert Florens Storm, who wished to honor her husband through provision of ocular care for the poor and expansion of eye research.

Subsequently, in 1998, Storm Eye Institute, through a partnership with more than 4,800 Lions and other supporters, completed an $8.8 million capital campaign, enabling the addition of four new floors to the original five-story building. The addition houses two research floors and an administrative and teaching floor that includes a 142-seat auditorium.

Today we are proud to continue this philanthropic heritage as demonstrated in a dedication to state-of-the-art patient care, cutting-edge scientific discovery, and unparalleled educational opportunities. Thanks to the generous support of our friends in the community, Storm Eye Institute is able to provide a level of care that far exceeds what even we envisioned 28 years ago.

In preparing for the challenges of the 21st century, a comprehensive vision for Storm Eye Institute was inaugurated to include the Feldberg Center for Vision Rehabilitation; the Charles B. Hanna, MD, Retinal Research Laboratory; the Ola B. Williams Glaucoma Center; the N. Edgar Miles Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology; Tucker Morse/ Joanna Foundation Electro-physiology Service; the Glaucoma Research Laboratory, funded by William and Laura Hewitt, within the expanded space at the Storm Eye Institute. These are just a few of the programs and facilities that were made possible through private gifts from people, businesses and organizations that care about raising the standard of eye care services, not only here in South Carolina but throughout the world.

Although much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. The Storm Eye Institute has great potential for growth in both basic research pertinent to eye disease, and in clinical programs that will depend extensively on the integration of genomic, molecular, and cellular research. Dramatic changes in the nation's health care environment today dictate the critical need for substantial philanthropic support.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Hanhauser, Director of Development
MUSC Storm Eye Institute
Phone: 843-792-5332
Toll Free: 800-810-6872

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