News Releases

Nov. 16, 2007

Emory Eye Center Residents Give Back to a Community Devastated by Hurricanes

(ATLANTA) The entire 3rd Year Residency Class of Emory Eye Center recently volunteered their time and talents for a day of intense physical work at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) conference in New Orleans.
In response to numerous requests for community service projects in New Orleans, the Academy launched EyeBuild, which partnered with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to build houses in the residential areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. More than 600 of the AAO’s 20,000 attendees participated in this project.
While many conference attendees think of their out-of-town meetings as a time to learn, to network and socialize or to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city they’re visiting, these six ophthalmology residents put hammers to shingles and floor joists in order to help provide needed housing in New Orlean’s Upper Ninth Ward, the well-known area particularly hard hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Emory’s six residents served in the recently created Musicians’ Village—a part of the Ninth Ward—conceived in 2005 by musicians Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis to provide needed housing for musicians who had to flee New Orleans after the flooding. When completed, the village will consist of 70 single-family, Habitat-constructed homes for those displaced New Orleans musicians and other qualifying Habitat partner families.

Emory Eye Center’s 3rd Year class, whose members include MDs Emily Graubart, Parul Khator, Phoebe Lenhart, Paul Pruett, Jeremy Wolfe and Maria Woodward, spent an entire day, Thursday, Nov. 8, working on a Habitat home in the Village. In that area, there were 20 to 30 houses in various stages of completion, says Dr. Pruett. Drs. Wolfe and Pruett worked on shingling the roof, while Drs. Graubart, Khator, Lenhart and Woodward framed the flooring.
“We had a wonderful time working together on this project,” says Dr. Pruett. It’s rewarding to know that something we did will provide a needed home for someone.” And being the ophthalmologist that he is, he promptly added, “And, we even wore eye protection!”

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell

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