Friday, July 18, 2014

American Academy of Ophthalmology to Develop Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is partnering up with the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) to create an online resource dedicated to children's eye care. Made possible by grants from the KTEF, this center will provide ophthalmologists around the world with the latest information for treating children's eye diseases and disorders. 

According to Freemason Information:
An estimated 19 million children worldwide under the age of 15 are visually impaired, 1.4 million of whom are blind. Many cases of childhood blindness could be avoided with interventions using existing knowledge.
This center will provide information on-demand which could make a difference in the vision of a patient. Resources will include diagnostic and treatment guides, video guides on demonstrations and approaches, peer advice on cases and challenges, latest developments and standards, and guidance for pediatric practice management. This center is expected to launch in 2015. The executive editor will be Faruk Örge, M.D., Director of the Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, and Vice-Chair of Clinical Affairs at the University Hospitals Eye Institute, Case Medical Center. The Deputy Executive Editor will be K. David Epley, M.D., a past President of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation was incorporated in 1956, is sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, and ran by a Board of Trustees. The original mission of the KTEF was "to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye." The mission has changed and on December 31, 2010, the Board of Trustees adopted a new mission statement "to improve vision through research, education, and supporting access to care." Grants from the KTEF have helped develop new, nonsurgical, treatments for strabismus (crossed eyes) and ophthalmologists have told us that our efforts in funding pediatric ophthalmology research have been the primary reason that there are fewer and fewer surgeries for strabismus. The KTEF annually announces its call for research grant applications. The KTEF invites eligible investigators to submit applications for pediatric ophthalmology research grants for the award period which normally runs from July 1 to June 30. From the applications received, the Scientific Advisory Committee recommends to the Trustees which requests should be funded. Since its inception, the KTEF has expended over $140 million on research, patient care, and education. Research grants totaling in excess of $23 million have been awarded to researchers working in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics.

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