Hendershot1 copyJack grew up in North Canton, Ohio. His father was an extremely, busy family practice doctor. Jack remembers many vacations that were cut short because a patient went into labor and his father needed to be back for the delivery. He was not sure that medicine was the life for him, but his father took him aside and asked him, “How are you going to help people? You should be a doctor.” He did want to help people, so he followed his father’s advice.

After attending Capital University, he enrolled in the first three-year Medical School program ever offered at Ohio State. There were no vacations, or breaks for 36 months, but Jack managed to graduate with honors and even won the Eli. G. Alcorn prize in ophthalmology.

When it came to deciding his specialty, he said to himself, “They gave me this award and well, if the Department thinks I’m good and I like it, I guess I’ll do ophthalmology.”

This was in the beginning of microsurgery and implants, so it was a very exciting time with new technology and new techniques. Because of his training, he was able to bring the latest advances to the private practice that he started in Findlay, Ohio. His relationship with Ohio State helped him to maintain that technologic edge, during his 32 years.

“My career has been very rewarding and very challenging because of all of the things that I’ve seen change over the years. I feel blessed to have had a career that I like, that I’m good at, and it has been unbelievably satisfying.”

Mouser1 copyGarret Mouser, MD graduated from the Havener Eye Institute in 2007. Since then, he has joined James Moses, MD in a thriving ophthalmology practice in Columbus with satellite offices in Canal Winchester and Washington Court House. Dr. & Mrs. Mouser are the youngest Havener Legacy members, a group formed to recognize those who have generously donated $10,000 or more.

His name will be added to the list of distinguished donors that have made a philanthropic impact on the Department. Dr. Mouser understands the importance of a solid educational foundation and is grateful for the training he received at the Havener Eye Institute. He wanted to makesure that the residents who came after him would have the best equipment possible to aid them in their studies.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. & Mrs. Mouser into the Havener Legacy,” said Alan Letson, Residency Program Director. “He was a fantastic resident and their donation validates our daily efforts to ensure our residency program provides the best ophthalmic training possible.”

Because of donations like the Mousers’, the Department has been able to purchase textbooks, pay for exams fees, and outfit the resident exam rooms with new slitlamps, visual acuity systems, and other key ophthalmic equipment.

Solze1 copyDale Solze, MD is a native Ohioan, born and raised in Green Springs, Ohio. With his wife Bonnie as his office RN, he opened his private practice in Fremont and has served the northeastern Ohio community for over a quarter of a century. He and Bonnie have four children and eight grandchildren.

He is an alumni of both The Ohio State University Medical School and the Havener Eye Institute. As a dedicated Buckeye, Dr. Solze is a member of the OSU Presidents Club, and actively supports the OSU Havener Legacy.

Recent donations have allowed the Solzes to reach higher levels of giving in the Havener Legacy. They were awarded an engraved Bulova mantel clock in recognition of their timeless dedication that inspires us all.

Stinchcomb copyPeering through the windowed door of the operating room at Ohio State, a young temporary orderly witnessed his first eye surgery. He also got a glimpse into his future. David Stinchcomb was filling in for vacationing orderlies for a summer job between semesters when he saw William Havener, MD perform retinal surgery—using tiny, deft movements that would restore the patient’s vision.    He did not know it then, but he had found his calling.

David was originally from Worthington, OH. At age four, he had developed accommodative esotropia, a condition where the eyes cross because they are trying too hard to see clearly. He was taken to Ohio State to see Dr. Albert Frost, the first chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Frost gave him glasses to correct his vision, which uncrossed his eyes, and set him on the path to medicine.

Growing up he knew that he wanted to be a doctor, even though no one in his family was in medicine. He was still an undergraduate at Miami University when he saw Dr. Havener operating on a retina. He counts it as a turning point in his life. Later, as a freshman at the OSU Medical School, he had the opportunity to attend a one hour ophthalmology introduction lecture by Dr. Havener.

“Dr. Havener was just a natural-born teacher and when he started talking it just flowed so easily and clearly. He wasn’t a dynamic, blow-them-away kind of speaker. He was very soft and it made you listen to each word.”

At that time, recent graduates from medical school were automatically enlisted in the military for two years. So, following medical school, Dr. Stinchcomb joined the Native American Division of the Public Health Service (PHS).

“I did general medicine. I was not an ophthalmologist, but they needed someone to go out and check the school kids for trachoma, a low-grade infection under the eyelid. So, I volunteered. I got a copy of Dr. Havener’s book, Ocular Pharmacology and read it while I was there— before I even started my eye residency.”

After two years in the PHS, Dr. Stinchcomb applied to Ohio State, but residencies were “booked up 2-3 years in advance” due to the Vietnam War. Instead, he completed his residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon graduation, he did a six-month mission in India, practicing ophthalmology, before finally settling in Albuquerque, NM in 1970. He started a solo comprehensive ophthalmology practice where he remained for 36 years.

“All I ever wanted to do was medicine. I thank Ohio State University for giving me the opportunity. One way I can show my gratitude is by giving back to the Havener Eye Institute and I am happy to do it.”

Dr. and Mrs. Stinchcomb’s donations to the Department reached over $10,000 this past Spring. They will be inducted as the newest Havener Legacy members at the end of the year.

Bredemeyer“I buried myself in the trash dump of the Russian prisoner of war camp in Czechoslovakia where I had been held captive for two years following the end of World War II. It was after the evening count. The dump lay next to a camp barracks’ wall which was lined with barbed wire. There was a guard, but when he wasn’t looking, I used the barbed wire to climb onto the roof of the barracks while carrying my boots around my neck. I jumped from the roof, over the barbed wire, into the neighboring potato field. I lay flat on my belly until I was sure nobody was shooting at me. Then, I slowly crawled away. I stole a bicycle in the next village and for the next three nights I pedaled south to Germany, spending the daylight hours sleeping in forests—hidden under leaves. Sometime during the third night, I crossed into Austria, and eight weeks later I was once again in Germany. That was the beginning of the rest of my life.”  

What Hans Bredemeyer, MD describes as the beginning of the rest of his life is an experience unique to him. After the incident described above, Hans went on to Germany to study medicine. While in medical school he decided to become an ophthalmologist. 

“In those years there were very few training slots for medical graduates; I was quite lucky to be offered a residency in pathology at Hamburg University which I accepted with the intent of switching to ophthalmology whenever the possibility would present itself.”

While at Hamburg, he read about paid residency programs in the US and knew he wanted to pursue that rather than continuing an unpaid residency in Germany at the time. After sending out several applications, he was accepted to another pathology residency in Oklahoma. He and his wife, Toni, relocated in 1954 to the United States. Once there, he continued to write letters and apply to various universities across the US for a residency position in ophthalmology.

 “Happily, The Ohio State University accepted me and my wife, and I relocated to Ohio with our newly born daughter in 1955. I became one of Dr. Havener’s first residents after he took over as chairman.”

Not unlike the events leading up to his placement at OSU, he had a rocky start. Just months after arriving in Ohio, Dr. Bredemeyer was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and spent 6 months quarantined at OSU hospital. 

“Dr. Havener, knowing that I was in a difficult situation, reacted compassionately. During a grand rounds meeting he informed the attending ophthalmologists of my predicament, and together they promised to be there for me if I needed help, financially and otherwise. He visited me as often as he was allowed during my quarantine, and after my discharge he took me back into the program. I will always remember the kindness and help that Dr. Havener and my colleagues showed my family and me during that time. 

Upon completion of his residency, due to the expiration of his visa, Dr. Bredemeyer and his family returned to Germany for two years before returning to the United States in 1960. 

“I returned to Ohio and became an Assistant Professor at OSU. I worked fulltime in the Department for seven years, specializing in strabismus. In 1967, I joined the private practice of Dr. Martin Cook in Springfield, Ohio. I still wanted to continue the work I was doing with students and residents at OSU, so I continued my association with the Department on a part-time basis until my retirement in 1988. It was very satisfying and rewarding to take part in the training of future ophthalmologists during my many years at OSU. When I learned that the Eye Department was looking to acquire an EYESi surgical simulator I thought it was an ideal opportunity to, once again, contribute to the training of future generations of outstanding ophthalmologists.”

RummelFor some rare souls, ophthalmology is not just a rewarding career, but a life-long passion and William Rummel, MD is certainly among them. After 60 years in ophthalmology, Dr. Rummel continued to work two mornings a week seeing patients in the Arizona ophthalmology practice he has since passed down to his sons. William spent most of his early life in Pennsylvania. 

He was born in Johnstown and grew up in Glenshaw where he graduated from Shaler High School. He attended Juniata College in Huntington, PA during World War II, received his medical degree from Hahnmann University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and, after which he began a tour in the Navy. Dr. Rummel’s interest in Ophthalmology began while studying Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Florida. He also met “a wonderful girl” who was studying to be a nurse and they have been married for over 60 years. 

He served as a flight surgeon for the Marine Fighter Group during the Korean War, until his release from the military in 1951. While attending a basic science course in Ophthalmology in Maine, he met Tod Makley, MD, an instructor visiting from The Ohio State University. It was Dr. Makley who encouraged him to become an ophthalmology resident in Columbus., Ohio.

At that time, the ophthalmology clinic was housed in Starling Loving Hall, the original hospital. The Chairman, Arthur Culler, MD, a former Navy Captain, was “not a tall man, but ran a tight ship”. Dr. Rummel, familiar with militaristic rigor, survived and thrived under the leadership of Dr. Culler managing to become chief resident his final year. After residency, Dr. Rummel completed a fellowship with Bob Quinn, MD in Chillicothe, Ohio and began his private practice in Massillon, Ohio. 

After seven years and five children, he moved his family west to Prescott, Arizona to become the only practicing ophthalmologist north of Phoenix. Dr. Rummel’s enthusiasm for helping patients was not confined to his Arizona practice. He also traveled extensively on mission trips across the globe. On one month-long trip that he took to Afghanistan, he performed hundreds of cataract  surgeries at the Noor Eye Hospital, the  only one in Afghanistan at the time. He also traveled to Brazil with Dr. Robert Bruce and to Mexico several times.

Today, all of his three sons are physicians, two of which are ophthalmologists who practice with him and the other son is practicing internal medicine in Florida. His two daughters are both registered nurses; the youngest assists in the office. Dr. Rummel also acts as a Senior Examiner for the Civilian Aviation Medical Association (CAMA), an organization which performs physicals for pilots and gets his exercise at his 80-acre apple orchard which is surrounded by the National Forest northwest of Prescott.

Leone copyThough originally from Erie, PA, Charles Leone attended the University of Virginia and then Temple University College of Medicine.  Intending to become a urologist, he completed an internship and had begun his training in general surgery, when he realized that he wanted to do something else.  He started thinking about ophthalmology and spoke with a friend who knew William Havener, MD, Ophthalmology Chairman at Ohio State.  

“My friend told me, ‘If you can go to Ohio State, I really think you’d get a great residency under Bill Havener,’” said Dr. Leone. “That’s what drew me to Ohio State.  Unfortunately, this was during the Berlin Crisis, so I was drafted.  Instead of leaving for Ohio State after surgical residency, I had to spend a little over a year in the service. So, rather than a four-year residency, I had a little less than three years to complete my training, but it was a very pleasant and delightful thirty-three months.”

Dr. Leone recalled one particular event involving Joe Bitonti, an ocularist, who used to host Christmas dinners for the residents at a nice Italian restaurant.  One year, Mr. Bitonti’s young college-aged son, decided to play a prank and put a few artificial eyes in the bottom of the soup bowls.  

“I think it was Minestrone, so nobody saw anything until we got down toward the bottom. Then, there they were, staring up at you.  It startled a few, especially the wives, but it was so funny.  We all got a good laugh.”

Despite the low resident salaries about which they used used to quip “If we got one dollar less, we would qualify for welfare,” Dr. Leone also remembers the generosity of the faculty and staff. 

“They were very altruistic towards us,” said Dr. Leone.  “They had us over for dinners and parties.  Bill Havener gave us books all the time, so we didn’t have to buy them.  So, it never really felt like we were bereft of anything because of how generous they were.” 
At the recommendation of faculty member, Dr. Richard Keates, Dr. Leone applied for and won a Heed Fellowship.  He had decided to subspecialize is oculoplastics, so after a year-long fellowship at the University of Alabama Birmingham, he completed his Heed fellowship at Manhattan Eye & Ear. 

After his training, Dr. Leone moved to San Antonio, TX, mainly because the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio was just getting started and, although he wanted to be in private practice, he also wanted to be associated with medical school.  Dr. Leone went into practice with the acting Chief of Department of Ophthalmology.  After five years, he decided to focus completely on oculoplastics, so he opened a solo practice where he remained until 1995.

“Chuck was a special resident for me,” said longtime faculty, Frederick Kapetansky, MD.  “He was a thorough physician as well as a skilled surgeon.  All of this, plus the personality of a true gentleman.  Chuck rose to the top of his subspecialty because of his competence, but was always able to retain his modesty.”

“I’ve had a good life,” said Dr. Leone.  “My wife and I have been married for fifty-six years. We have four sons and five grandkids, the oldest of which is graduating from medical school this year.  I give back because of the fondness and the gratitude for the wonderful few years that sent me on the path that really helped me succeed. I acquired the knowledge, as well as the motivation.  I’ll always be thankful.”

HobbsFormer resident shares his thoughts on giving back

“Having recently attended my 40th medical school reunion, celebrated 39 years of wedded bliss, and completed 33 years of rewarding, litigation-free general ophthalmology practice in Lynchburg, Virginia, I decided it was time to procrastinate no longer before contributing financially to the William H. Havener Eye Institute Fund. I realize that none of us can stand on the sidelines for very long without undermining the full potential of the OSU Department of Ophthalmology. Recognizing familiar Columbus physicians and many of my fellow residents from the early 1970’s on the donor list, reassures me that the current residency program remains strong and the leadership faithful to the core values and ongoing mission of the department. It is my hope that my gift to the Havener Fund will assist in the sustainability of ophthalmic education and quality eye care at Ohio State.”

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