How you can help

At The Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, your support helps save one of the most precious gifts a person will ever have: sight. We see every day as an opportunity to change lives by improving eyesight. By caring for patients, researching new treatments and training the next generation of eye surgeons, we are establishing a tradition of excellence in ophthalmology that will continue well into the future.

Numerous funds have been established by generous donors. These funds contribute significantly to the Ohio State Department of Ophthalmology’s ability to advance its mission and vision. Please consider one of these existing funds or visit the Ways to Give page.

General Ophthalmology Funds

General Ophthalmology Funds

General Ophthalmology Funds

Carl M. and Grace C. Baldwin Eye Care Fund Funding the study of the eye, causes of blindness, sight restoration to the blind and the treatment of persons threatened with loss of sight.

A trust established in 1977 to support vision research at Ohio State has received a final distribution of $7.7 million from the estates of the late Carl and Grace Baldwin. The Baldwins, who were lifelong residents of Columbus, Ohio, created the Carl M. and Grace C. Baldwin Eye Care Fund to advance the study of the eye, causes of blindness, and the restoration of sight. The trust provided ongoing support for nearly 28 years to the Havener Eye Institute and the Department of Ophthalmology for critical research in vision diseases, patient care, and treatments of blinding disorders.

“The Baldwins’ commitment to vision research and the treatment of eye disease will allow our department to explore new and innovative areas of research into the causes and treatment of blinding eye disease,” says Dr. Mauger. “This legacy is a remarkable tribute to the outstanding physicians who pioneered vision care at Ohio State and their relationship with the Baldwin family.”

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James Andrew, MD, Ophthalmology Surgical Skills Lab Fund Supporting the practice lab named in honor of Dr. Andrew, providing surgical training to residents, fellows and research staff.

Dr. Andrew was an OSU Ophthalmology community faculty member and benefactor for over 30 years. His family is proud to support the naming including his son Mark, who lives in Granville, son Blair, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, son Craig and daughter Peggy Bellows, who both live in Columbus.  

Dr. Andrew graduated from Dartmouth and received his medical degree at the Long Island School of Medicine.  He completed his residency at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit and afterwards, was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In 1951, he arrived in Columbus and took over a practice on State Street and worked with OSU residents often. He had many partners over the years including OSU alumni Bob O’Dair, Sandy Farber, and Jack Dingle.  

“I remember Jim as a long-time ophthalmologist, resident teacher, and outdoorsman,” said Dr. Davidorf, a former student and colleague. “But most of all, I remember him as an innovative surgeon which makes naming the surgical skills lab in his honor so appropriate.”

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Frederick H. Davidorf Ophthalmology Lectureship Endowment Fund Supporting the honorarium and expenses for a distinguished lecturer to provide the keynote address at the annual research symposium in the department. If the symposium ceases, then a Frederick H. Davidorf Lectureship will be established.

The Frederick H. Davidorf Lectureship was established in honor of Dr. Davidorf’s many contributions to the Department of and the field of ophthalmology. The fund is used to bring distinguished ophthalmologists to the Havener Eye Institute for lectures to our residents, faculty, and community ophthalmologists.

Dr. Davidorf is a pioneer in the diagnosis, prognosis and management of Uveal Melanoma. He has published over 200 journal articles, authored 2 textbooks and numerous book chapters. He was instrumental in establishing the Melanoma research group which is a multidisciplinary team focused on improving the prognosis for uveal melanoma patients. 

Dr. Davidorf received his medical degree from The Ohio State University, served an internship at Los Angeles County General Hospital, and did his residency in the Department of Ophthalmology at Ohio State. His retinal training was at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is an outstanding teacher, talented vitro-retinal surgeon, and dedicated researcher. 

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Leo H. Faust and Grace Fern Heck Faust Endowment Fund Established February 2, 2007 with gifts from the estate of The Honorable Grace Fern Heck Faust. Supporting research for the causes, prevention and cure of retinal diseases. If and when said diseases become readily curable, then the distribution shall be used for research in other fields of ophthalmology.

Grace earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State in 1928, followed by a law degree in 1930. She was the university’s first female law school graduate. Leo was also a Buckeye, having learned a law degree in 1926. She and Leo knew each other professionally during the 1930’s when she served as Ohio’s first female prosecutor and he an attorney. The Fausts were interested in contributing to Ophthalmology in honor of their friends, The Faulkers’, late son, J. Andrew Faulker, who was also a partner in the law firm. Andy suffered from a retinal disease. This endowed fund is used for research into the causes, preventions and cures of retinal diseases.

Dr. Warren Harding, a personal friend of the Fausts, was the inspiration for creating a fund to benefit the field of psychiatry. According to the Faulkers, the Fausts “checked in” to Harding Hospital for two weeks once or twice for evaluation and were great supporters of Harding’s work.  

The couple also established endowments to support research in the areas of cardiology and cancer and made additional funding available for the Heck-Faust Memorial Chair Constitutional Law. After a lifetime of pioneering a career in law–including serving as a judge in Urbana–and sharing her devotion to Ohio State, Grace received a distinguished Alumni Award from the university. In her 80’s at the time, Grace leaned over to her friend Nancy before taking the stage and said in her characteristic style, “It’s about damn time.” Leo continued to go to the office every day, even well past 92 years of age. His years as an attorney were spent in general practice handling estate planning and litigation and representing insurance companies.

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Educational Funds

Educational Funds

Educational Funds

Robert Magnuson Ophthalmology Education Fund Established September 7, 1990, by Dr. Magnuson. Income supports projects and activities in the department that lead to significant improvement and excellence in its education and research programs.

James Magnuson, son of Dr. Robert Magnuson, recently shared, “My father believed deeply in education and loved to attend Ophthalmology Grand Rounds. He even continued to attend long after he retired”. Dr. Magnuson created the Robert H. Magnuson Ophthalmology Education Fund at the Havener Eye Institute before his death. He recognized the need for a meeting room within the department and established the Magnuson Conference Room, which is used for Grand Rounds, resident and medical student education, research conferences, and other departmental activities.

Dr. Magnuson’s wife, Elizabeth Tighe Magnuson, passed away on January 11, 2007. Friends of the Magnuson family have contributed over $5,000 in memory of Mrs. Magnuson in addition to a family contribution of $33,000.

We appreciate the generosity and foresight of the Magnuson family and friends as the conference room is utilized daily for diverse ophthalmology activities.

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Jacob Moses, MD, Lectureship Fund Established September 9, 2011 with a gift from James L. Moses, the fund supports a lectureship presented by the Department of Ophthalmology to medical professionals, researchers and clinicians on advancement in the specialty.

The Jacob Moses MD Lectureship Fund has been established with gifts made in his memory from his son, James L. Moses, MD of Canal Winchester, Ohio. Dr. Moses was born July 25, 1914 to Phillip and Sarah Moses in Washington, PA. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Washington & Jefferson College and his medical degree at Western Reserve Medical School. He completed both his ophthalmology residency and fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. 

Dr. Moses was practicing ophthalmology from 1945 to 2002, almost until his death on October 15, 2003. He joined the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology in 1946, holding various positions from instructor to clinical professor.  During his tenure, he contributed substantially to the clinical growth of the Department during its early years. He was instrumental in educating and training numerous medical students and residents, including those undertaking clinical rotations at Mount Carmel Hospital, where he held many administrative positions, including Ophthalmology Program Director.  

He was a member of the American Medical Association and The American Academy of Ophthalmology. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He received multiple commendations for his contributions in medicine in general and the ophthalmic services in particular. His career spanned seven decades during which time he saw hundreds of thousands of patients and treated an wide variety of eye diseases and disorders, and performed thousands of medical and surgical procedures. He was known as a compassionate, contributing individual and physician whose thoroughness, tenacity, and endurance were unequaled. Dr. Moses was a devoted husband to his wife of 63 years, Florence E. Moses, and father to their six children. He was an avid biologist, an accomplished clarinetist, and devoted to athletic programs, including OSU’s football program.

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Henry G. Croci and Suzanne D. Croci Resident Education Fund in Ophthalmology Established November 2, 2007 with gifts from Dr. Henry G. Croci and Susanne D. Croci to support the education and training of medical residents in the Department of Ophthalmology.

According to Dr. Henry Croci, “the educational experience as an ophthalmology resident shaped our lives in such a positive way, we wanted to be able to help future residents experience the same thing.” That motivated Dr. Croci and wife Suzanne to create the The Henry G. Croci and Suzanne D. Croci Resident Education Fund in Ophthalmology, also established in December 2007. He continued, “The example by Dr. Havener and other faculty and staff and mentors influenced the way we interact with patients and people in general throughout our lives. We want to continue to encourage young ophthalmology residents to foster the same spirit of kind, compassionate help to others.” The annual distribution of this fund shall be used to support the education and training of residents  in the Department of Ophthalmology.  

After Dr. Croci completed his residency internship and two years in the Air Force as a Flight Surgeon, the Crocis settled in Athens in 1971, where he practiced for more than 31 years. Dr. Croci and Suzanne relocated to Savannah, Georgia after his retirement. They enjoy the nature in Coastal Georgia as well as warmer winters. Dr. Croci continues to volunteer in ophthalmology, helping with the Lions Lighthouse Foundation at St. Mary Community Center. As a licensed volunteer in medicine in Georgia he examines and treats uninsured and underserved patients two full days a month.  

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Alfred L. Nicely, MD, Resident Education Fund in Ophthalmology Established September 22, 2006, by Dr. Nicely. Distribution supports the education and training of medical residents in the Department of Ophthalmology.

The Alfred L. Nicely M.D. Resident Education Fund in Ophthalmology has been created with a $25,000 gift from Akron resident Alfred L. Nicely M.D., who received both his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Ohio State. The Ohio State University Board of Trustees formally approved the endowment at the September 2006 board meeting. Dr. Nicely, who is currently retired, received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 1957 and his Medical Degree in 1961. He served his residency in ophthalmology at Ohio State from 1962 – 1965. He later set up his practice in general ophthalmology in the Akron area and practiced for 39 years.  

Funds from the Nicely endowment will be used to support the education and training of the 15 full-time medical residents in the Department of Ophthalmology during their three-year residency training at Ohio State. Dr. Nicely and his wife, Judge Judith Bowers Nicely, have five children and seven grandchildren. According to Dr. Nicely, he created the endowment in appreciation for the education and training he received from the Ohio State Ophthalmology faculty and staff.  “The fund is also to acknowledge all the dedicated teaching I received from Dr. William Havener,” Nicely said.  Dr. Havener served as residency director during Nicely’s ophthalmology residency in the mid-1960’s.

“This gift from Dr. Nicely is a wonderful  example of the significant impact our faculty and physicians have had over many years in training our residents,” said Dr. Thomas Mauger, chair of the department. “We are grateful to Dr. Nicely for his generosity in creating a new resource to enhance and strengthen our residency training program. Private support truly advances our mission in teaching and patient care."

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Dr. Theodore L. Moor Graduate Research Fund Established June 7, 2005, by Mrs. Lois Moor in Dr. Moor's memory through The Foundation. Distribution supports ophthalmic research activities and dissemination of findings of a graduate student in the Department of Ophthalmology.

For Lois Ann Moor and her family, the decision to create an endowment in ophthalmology honoring her late husband was a natural connection based on gratitude. “The idea for the fund was to contribute to ophthalmology because Dr. Havener saved Ted’s sight, which enabled him to continue his teaching career in dentistry at Ohio State for 17 years,” she recalled. Theodore Lyman Moor, (D.D.S.1951), served on the Ohio State College of Dentistry faculty from 1971 to 1988. It was through the care of the late Dr. William Havener, the former Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, that Dr. Moor was able to have his sight restored and sustained, according to Mrs. Moor. 

To the Moor family, this gift of vision was a significant milestone and in 2005 they established the Dr. Theodore Lyman Moor Graduate Student Research Fund. The endowment supports research activities and the dissemination of research findings of a graduate student engaged in ophthalmic research in the Department of Ophthalmology. As lifelong Columbus residents who raised three children, Lois and Ted Moor always appreciated their connections to Ohio State. Mrs. Moor obtained a B.S. degree in Business Administration in 1952 and met her late husband shortly after he graduated from Ohio State’s College of Dentistry. She was a member of the Alumni Scholarship House and later served on its board. For years she was a teacher in the Columbus Public Schools.

“I could not have graduated college without the Scholarship House,” she noted, “and Ted and I were both very grateful to Ohio State. It paved the way for our lives and our educational paths.”

Her husband’s appreciation for medical research and teaching can now be carried on through the endowment, according to Mrs. Moor. By supporting promising research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of vision diseases, many more patients and their families will be given a second chance, she said. 

“We truly appreciate the foresight and partnership of the Moor family in creating this important fund,” said Dr. Thomas Mauger, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Baldwin Chair. “Supporting the best young researchers and graduate students who are interested in vision diseases will advance care for all of our patients.”

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Arthur M. Culler Memorial Lecture Fund Established September 6, 1974, by friends of Dr. Culler. Income funds honoraria and expenses for visiting professors lecturing in the Department of Ophthalmology.

In November of 1945 Arthur Culler, MD was named chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology. When Dr. Culler began his 14 year tenure, the department was training only one resident per year, which eventually was expanded to four per year. Under his leadership, the department grew to several subspecialty divisions, numerous community faculty staffing the clinic, and almost 20,000 patients a year being seen in the clinic. Dr. Culler also established one of the first ophthalmic pathology laboratories in the country under the direction of Torrence Makely, MD. 

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Research Funds

Research Funds

Research Funds

John and Annie Glenn Research Fund in Ophthalmology Supports advancements in research for innovative cures for blindness and eye disease, including but not limited to, macular degeneration and glaucoma. The purpose of this pending endowment is subject to change until the fund is formally approved as an endowment. Prior to formal approval, the pending endowment may be converted to a current-use fund.

We are thrilled to announce the creation of the John and Annie Glenn Research Fund in Ophthalmology. Created in honor of the late John Glenn and his wife Annie, the fund will support research efforts focused toward a cure for blindness and treating diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), conditions on the forefront of ophthalmic research efforts.

As a former senator, pilot, and astronaut, the late John Glenn was no stranger to daunting challenges. The struggle to combat blinding eye diseases is such a challenge. One million people in the United States are irreversibly blind (a number expected to double by 2030 and quadruple by 2050) and glaucoma, AMD, and diabetic eye disease are among the most devastating causes of blindness.

The Glenn Research Fund will enhance research efforts to go beyond controlling these diseases. By providing resources for advanced technology and ground breaking research, it will create collaboration between talented scientists and physicians to foster unprecedented treatments and advancements.

Together with the generous support of the Glenn Fund and the determined research by scientists and clinicians, the challenge to end blindness is being accepted and a new frontier in sight restoration is being forged in ophthalmology.

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Patti Blow Research Fund in Ophthalmology Supporting, but not limited to, research in angiogenesis, scientific supplies, equipment, salaries for research personnel and activities required for quality medical research.

The goal of giving is to support a worthwhile cause to make a difference in people’s lives. Through the philanthropy of Warner and Patti Blow the Department, under the guidance of Dr. Frederick Davidorf, has established the Patti Blow Research Team to make a difference in patients with eye cancer.

Patients seen on the Ocular Oncology Unit by Dr. Davidorf and Colleen Cebulla, MD, PhD are asked to enroll in the “Melanoma Study.” The Ocular Melanoma Team studies the molecular genetics of ocular tumors looking for tumor markers that can be used to find and treat early metastatic diseases via target therapy. This type of therapy is directed toward blocking the rapid growth and spread of circulating melanoma cells.

Warner acknowledged their many accomplishments and thanked all of the dedicated researchers and staff that have worked so hard over the years and achieve so much. The goal of their contributions has always been to support basic research with an emphasis on diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and melanoma of the eye. Now, a decade of results have led us to a more promising future for patients with ocular cancer. The Blows have made a difference. We thank them.

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Patti Blow


Sarah Slack Retina Fund Used for Retina Research

Sarah (Sally) Slack was born in 1917 in Zanesville, Ohio. She attended Lash High School and Muskingum College. When she graduated in 1939, she took a few extra classes at The Ohio State University, so she could become a teacher.

Sally taught at McKinley, McIntire, and Lincoln Elementary Schools in the Zanesville City School system. She also taught special reading education for students in the Zanesville City Schools and St. Thomas Elementary. Many teachers decorate their classrooms to help engage their students, but Sally was like a walking classroom. Her colorful sweaters were a sight to be seen; matched only by her vibrant personality and generosity of spirit.

Sally was always giving, even if it was just a piece of fruit or candy that she happened to have on her at the time. Giving was a way of life for her. When she started having trouble with her vision, she went to see Alan Letson, MD, a Zanesville native who practiced ophthalmology in Columbus.

“When I met Sally,” said Dr. Letson, “she was upset about the vision she was losing from AMD. We used to have long talks about the lack of treatment available for dry AMD. She was determined to change all of that.”

When Sally passed away at the age of 87, the majority of her estate was left to the direction of the Muskingum County Community Foundation to help fund research in macular degeneration.
Located in the Putnam Historic District of Zanesville, the Muskingum County Community Foundation is in its 27th year of operation with millions of dollars of assets to manage for the benefit of Muskingum County and the greater central Ohio area. David Mitzel, Executive Director at the Muskingum County Community Foundation, met Sally when he was visiting his aunt in an assisted care facility.

“Sally was a character and a good character. She was a school teacher. She was used to dealing with young children. She was young at heart,” said Mitzel. Sally loved animals, so David would bring his dog into the dining room for her. David was glad to bring a smile to her face because Sally had spent her life bringing happiness to everyone else. It seems that Sally wasn’t finished. The gift Muskingum County Community Foundation received to establish the Sarah E. Slack Prevention of Blindness Fund was about $900,000. This fund will support research to find a cure for the leading causes of blindness, especially macular degeneration.

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Ann W. La Fontaine Ophthalmology Research Fund Established January 30, 2014, with an estate gift from Ann W. La Fontaine; used to support education and research programs in the field of ophthalmology.

Lifelong Buckeye Leaves OSU $1.6 Million for Eye Research

Ann LaFontaine was a buckeye, through and through having been born in Clintonville on Brevoort Road within walking distance of The Ohio State University. She was always proud of her big buckeye family. Her only brother John attended Ohio State, along with several of her cousins, including Lillie (Carr) Grossman. Ann admired Lillie who served as a volunteer nurses’ aid for the American Red Cross during WW I and WW II, and married the renowned OSU veterinary professor, Dr. James Grossman. Ann was tall, striking, and independent.

Growing up during the “Roaring Twenties,” she embodied the spirit of her generation. Ann was very involved in student life at Ohio State and wrote the “Gadabout” articles for The Lantern, OSU’s student paper. It was an exciting time to be a buckeye. Women in universities were on the rise and represented nearly a third of the student body, OSU track star Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Olympics in Berlin, and the first “Script Ohio” was performed by the Ohio State Band. Perhaps it was these and other events that instilled her lifelong love for Ohio State. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1937, she landed a job at the Columbus Dispatch. She later moved to Toledo and worked for The Blade.

With such a deep devotion for OSU, it is not surprising that she included her alma mater in her will. In a large bequest to Ohio State, she selected the James Cancer Hospital, the University Libraries, and the Havener Eye Institute to benefit from her generosity. Her gift to ophthalmology was inspired by her admiration for her cousin Lillie, who was widowed young and who had developed age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a potentially blinding eye condition. Ann’s gift will be used to further vision research and will not only help patients with AMD, but many ocular conditions. We are very grateful for Ann’s legacy to the future of eye care.

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Funds by Condition

Funds by Condition

Funds by Condition

Cornea Funds
Glaucoma Funds
Neuro-Ophthalmology Funds

Marc R. Criden MD Opthalmology Leadership Fund Supporting lectureships in ophthalmology for medical professionals, researchers and clinicians on advancements in ophthalmology such as, but not limited to, supplies, travel, publicity, lodging, conference space and honorariums.

Marc Criden, MD, an assistant professor at the Havener Eye Institute, passed away from cancer on July 30, 2013. A neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics specialist, Dr. Criden was a caring, knowledgeable physician and a talented surgeon. Dr. Criden completed a dual neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics fellowship was completed at the Havener Eye Institute under the direction of Steven Katz, MD. He then went on to the University of Texas at Houston as the Division Director of both Neuro-Ophthalmology and Oculoplastics & Reconstructive Surgery only to return to Columbus four years later. Dr. Criden was involved in many mission trips traveling to Haiti after an earthquake to provide medical support.

When his own life was in crisis, Dr. Criden faced his condition bravely. From the time of his diagnosis with cancer in May of 2012 until the day he made the decision to admit himself to hospice, he never complained. Facing his own mortality, he carried himself with tremendous grace and dignity.

Dr. Criden’s legacy will live on within his beautiful wife Natasha and daughter Scarlett, in hearts of his family and friends, in the patients whose lives he touched, and anyone lucky to have known him. The Marc Criden, MD Lectureship Fund is being established in memory of his tireless dedication to education.

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Ocular Pathology Funds

Elson Craig, MD and Torrence Makley, MD Research Fund Advances medical knowledge in ophthalmology towards costs of medical research to include (but not limited to) supplies, equipment, personnel and technology.

Elson Craig, MD had plans to make a difference with his life. It wasn’t easy growing up on the East side of Columbus, but he was hardworking and determined. He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by his high school graduating class and they were right.

He received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees at OSU where he also completed his residency. He was named chief resident and asked to remain on faculty. Over the next 40 years, he cared for countless patients, educated residents and medical students, and conducted eye disease research that continues to change the way we care for patients.

He wanted to make sure that his work would go on long after he was gone, so he made a planned gift to the Havener Eye Institute to further pathology research. His plan was to make a difference, and with his planned gift he continues to make a difference.

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Retina Funds

Alan and Susan Letson Retina and Ophthalmology Fund Established December 6, 2007 with gifts from Dr. Holton C. Letson of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Supporting the education of ophthalmology residents, acquisition of equipment for research, clinical and patient care, projects in retina disease and emerging priorities or initiatives related to retina disease in the Department of Ophthalmology.

The Alan and Susan Letson Retina and Ophthalmology fund was established in 2007 by an endowment gift from Dr. Holton Charles Letson of Hilton Head South Carolina. Dr. Letson created the fund to recognize the professional contributions of  his son Dr. Alan, and daughter-in-law Susan Letson. 

“I staffed the OSU Ophthalmology resident clinic for many years.” said Dr. Letson. “Even when no longer staffing a clinic I maintained a close relationship with the department and staff, particularly Dr. William Havener. It was a pleasure and a privilege to provide in a positive manor to the field of Ophthalmology. Now that I can no longer physically take part, I can take pleasure through the establishment of this fund which I hope will continue my efforts, and also the efforts of others.”

The annual distribution from this fund will be use to support the education of ophthalmology residents, acquisition of equipment for research, clinical and patient care, projects in retina disease and emerging priorities or initiatives related to retina disease in the Department of Ophthalmology. 

According to Dr. Tom Mauger, Department Chairman, “Private support for our department and programs are critical to our continued growth and expansion. The generosity of Dr. Letson and all our donors is greatly appreciated and truly makes a difference in what we do.” After completing his residency in Ophthalmology in Detroit Dr. Letson moved his family to Zanesville, Ohio where he practiced Ophthalmology from 1954 until his retirement in 1986. He spent more than 15 years staffing the OSU Resident Clinic and made many valuable contributions to the profession, the department and many grateful resident trainees.

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Global Outreach Project

Global Outreach Project Funds

Global Outreach Project Funds

Steven R. Meadows MD Resident Global Mission Fund For cost of travel, equipment, supplies for medical outreach/missions by Ophthalmology medical students, residents and fellows providing medical education and/or care to foreign or United States communities. The purpose of this pending endowment is subject to change until the fund is formally approved as an endowment. Prior to formal approval, the pending endowment may be converted to a current-use fund.

Steve Meadows, MD, 2005 alumni of the Ohio State University Ophthalmology residency program passed away unexpectedly from acute leukemia January 13, 2017. He leaves behind his wife of nearly 20 years, Julie, and sons Owen and Finn. Steve was a Buckeye through and through and completed both his undergraduate and medical degrees at Ohio State. Upon graduation from our program, he returned to his hometown of Cleveland where he was a partner at Fairview Eye Center in Cleveland. 

To honor his legacy, Steve’s family directed donations in his memory to the Havener Eye Institute Medical Missions and Outreach in Ophthalmology Fund. Julie Meadows generously made her own donation in addition to those made by friends and family for a grand total $50,000 in Steve’s memory. Shortly before Steve’s untimely passing, he had been making plans to participate in mission trips. Donations made in Steve’s honor will allow future residents to participate in these trips to carry out the work he hoped to do.

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Linda J. and John T. Pajka MD Global Ophthalmology Endowment Fund Established August 29, 2014, with a gift from Linda J. Pajka and Dr. John T. Pajka of Lima, Ohio. Supporting the Department of Ophthalmology's mission of the Global Outreach Project and similar medical outreach activities by ophthalmology medical students, residents and fellows providing medical education and care to foreign or U.S. communities.

John and Linda Pajka are well-acquainted with the importance of international outreach. Having completed healthcare service trips to many developing countries, they have seen first-hand the impact that can be made in a short time by a few dedicated individuals. Recently, John and Linda started an endowment to support a new medical education program providing eyecare in developing countries. This program not only allows OSU Ophthalmology residents to experience healthcare in underprivileged countries, but also provides eye care where the need is greatest. These mentored, service-learning experiences help shape future ophthalmologists to provide the best possible care with a spirit of compassion. John graduated with honors from OSU College of Medicine in 1986 and completed his ophthalmology residency at OSU Havener Eye Institute in 1990. Linda completed her nursing degree in 1986 at Ohio State.

Today, Dr. Pajka is an extremely busy ophthalmologist from Lima, Ohio who, together with his wife Linda, spends his vacation time bringing eye care to under-privileged countries, including Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Uzbekistan, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Costa Rica. 

“People ask me why I do this mission thing so much,” said Pajka “and I frequently find myself quoting Dr. Havener, ‘Find a job you love and you don’t have to work anymore.’ Ever since my residency at OSU, my wife Linda and I wanted to do some sort of mission work.”

John and Linda have been all over the world, from Africa to Asia to Central America, bringing ophthalmic care to thousands of impoverished people. They are tireless in their dedication to restoring sight. They have donated their time and resources to work with local eye surgeons, providing cataract surgery and care to people who otherwise would remain sightless. When the opportunity to start a program that would educate future eye surgeons and help those in greatest need, they were enthusiastic in their support.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to do this, giving back, paying forward,” said Pajka.  “I have a great job and missions like this help remind me why I went into medicine, to help people. There is nothing like it!”

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