Guests, distinguished service awards noted during joint meeting for their contributions

October 24, 2004

In recognition of their contributions to ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) honored three physicians as guests of honor during its joint meeting here with the European Ophthalmological Society (SOE).

New Orleans-In recognition of their contributions to ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) honored three physicians as guests of honor during its joint meeting here with the European Ophthalmological Society (SOE).

The doctors receiving special recognition are Elliot M. Finkelstein, MD, of Chestnut Hill, MA; George S. Malouf Sr., MD, of Prince George's County, MD; and Hunter R. Stokes Sr., MD, of Florence, SC. They were selected by AAO President Allan D. Jensen, MD.

Dr. Finkelstein, who developed a public service program devoted to preserving the eyesight of children in the United States, is being honored for strengthening the ophthalmic community, caring for patients, and showing dedication to ophthalmic education. He has served in numerous AAO leadership positions, including president in 1998.

Dr. Malouf has a special focus in community service and political activism, with a dedication to caring for patients despite their inability to pay. As a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he spent off-duty hours caring for indigent patients and has continued to serve this population in private practice since 1958.

Dr. Stokes has nurtured an interest in socioeconomic and political issues, having held numerous AAO positions ranging from trustee to first chairman of the State Affairs Committee and the Congressional Advocacy Committee. From 1979 to 1990, he spent time as an ophthalmology missionary to Haiti and Kenya.

In addition, Stephen J. Ryan, MD, has worked more than 30 years in leadership positions in ophthalmology to advance the academic, political, and public service interests of the profession.

For his efforts, the president of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California (USC) was presented yesterday with the American Academy of Ophthalmology's (AAO) Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Ryan was the founding chairman of USC's department of ophthalmology at the Doheny Eye Institute, serving until 1995. He also was dean of the Keck School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical care at USC from 1991 to 2004. In addition to his post with the eye institute, he is the Grace and Emery Beardsley Professor of Ophthalmology.

In the political realm, Dr. Ryan was the founding president of the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research and has testified numerous times before Congress to secure funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute. He helped to develop the AAO's Public Service Committee.

A prolific author, Dr. Ryan penned a three-volume text called Retina, and has published more than 250 works in scientific literature.