Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology Centers of Excellence drive collaboration From novel clinical and research partnerships to new educational venues, many exciting initiatives in recent years are transforming “business as usual” within the HMS Department of Ophthalmology. Contributing to this momentum, the HMS Department of Ophthalmology has launched Centers of Excellence (COEs) in key subspecialty areas that draw on the exceptional talent and resources of the HMS community. These efforts are advancing scientific discovery, expand training opportunities, and bringing new innovations into the clinic. COEs are underway in the areas of diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cornea, glaucoma, ocular oncology, and mobility enhancement & vision rehabilitation.
“Momentous leaps in science, biotechnology, and medicine in the last decade have brought the future of healthcare to our doorstep—creating unprecedented opportunities for advancement,” says Lloyd P. Aiello, MD, PhD, HMS Ophthalmology Vice Chair for Centers of Excellence and Director of the Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center. “Centers of Excellence allow us to lead by design and create communities of collaborators that will bring the next generation of advances to fruition. COEs also provide the framework for moving information and ideas across campus with improved speed and access, helping us to accelerate progress in all aspects of our mission.”
COEs integrate the clinical, research, and academic objectives of HMS’s six ophthalmology affiliates and broad faculty base of 140 full-time clinicians, scientists, and academicians—creating an information network that links ideas, resources, and people in pursuit of common goals. Each center is a catalyst for collaboration— creating a multidisciplinary “think tank” that identifies new training opportunities, broadens the scope of research at every juncture, and elicits the highest benchmark standards in all aspects of clinical care.
- Utilize inherent leadership and expertise to build the key structure, components, and mechanisms of each center for maximum results.
- Identify communication strategies that integrate academic, clinical, and research objectives, and spark crossinstitutional involvement.
- Develop unified and readily accessible standards and metrics to improve patient care across the HMS campus and to lead national benchmark standards of care.
- Establish, maintain, and share preferred practice patterns through an ongoing clinical quality program that utilizes robust, evidence-based surgical and outcomes review.
- Facilitate vital research, educational, and clinical partnerships within HMS and in collaboration with community and academic institutions across the United States.
- Expand training opportunities and boost recruitment efforts through stimulating and supporting mentorship, resident, and fellowship programs.
- Create a focus for new funding opportunities that attract sponsorship from government, industry, foundation, and private donors.
As the HMS COEs continue to evolve, department Chair Joan Miller, MD, anticipates that they will be a global resource for innovation. “As our world becomes increasingly connected, we need to embrace strategic partnerships that advance collaboration and connections in our three mission-critical areas,” she said. “COEs represent a scalable healthcare model that will help forge these synergies and usher in advancements that resonate here and around the world.”