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March 30, 2021
Media contact: Tiana Chantel Conner, 404-778-3711;

5 Emory Eye Center Providers Earn Doctors’ Day Nominations


images from left of Drs. Saroosh Behshad, Amy Hutchinson, Phoebe Lenhart, Kristen Thelen and Jill Wells.

From left: Drs. Soroosh Behshad, Amy Hutchinson, Phoebe Lenhart, Kristen Thelen and Jill Wells


Behshad, Hutchinson, Lenhart, Thelen, and Wells are honored


(ATLANTA) – In honor of National Doctors’ Day on Tuesday, March 30 the Emory University School of Medicine Recognitions Committee asked for nominations of doctors who demonstrate dedication to improving the health and well-being of our patients and community through the care they provide, the research they conduct, and/or their efforts to teach and inspire young doctors. Congratulations to the 5 ophthalmology nominees who have been recognized (listed below with some of their nomination comments).

Soroosh Behshad, MD, MPH, joined Emory Eye Center’s Cataract, Cornea, and External Diseases section in 2016 and he serves as Eye Center chief at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Dr. Behshad is very active with the Global Ophthalmology Emory (GO-E) program, spearheading blindness prevention programs in Africa and the Middle East. He also volunteers/serves as director of the eye clinic at the Clarkston Community Health Center, where he provides free eye care to uninsured and underinsured populations in Georgia. His nominations read:  

"Dr. Behshad offers high-quality, personalized, patient-centered care to ALL of his patients."  

"He always looks out for his team and does frequent check-ins on provider and staff satisfaction." 

Amy K. Hutchinson, MD, is director of the Pediatric Ophthalmology section at the Emory Eye Center.  Some of her clinical interests include retinopathy of prematurity screening and treatment, pediatric vision screening, electronic health records and cerebral visual impairment. Dr. Hutchinson also co-developed and validated a novel eye chart for children, the Handy Eye ChartTM for use in non-verbal or non-English speaking individuals. Comments from her nominations include:

•  "Dr. Hutchinson screens and treats premature babies for retinopathy of prematurity at multiple hospital NICUs in Atlanta. This is a high-impact area/job requiring constant vigilance for which she takes little credit. She helps to give these infants a lifetime of better vision."

"Dr. Hutchinson has mentored many students at all levels and strikes a good balance between educated guidance and stimulating independent work and thought. She has mentored me in clinical practice since 2003—when I was a medical student at Emory—and she responds thoughtfully to questions and discussions targeted at improving patient outcomes."

Phoebe Lenhart, MD, is an associate professor of ophthalmology in the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus section. As a pediatric ophthalmologist, her clinical interests include pediatric cornea and keratoplasty pediatric cataracts, pediatric and adult strabismus, and global pediatric eye care. She joined the Emory Eye Center in 2009. Comments from her Doctors’ Day nominations include:

"Dr. Lenhart provides excellent care for her pediatric patients, especially those with rare corneal diseases who need her expertise and surgical skills."

•  "She’s always available for her patients and will help out a colleague in need with pediatric ophthalmic care."

Kristen Thelen, OD, FAAO, is an optometrist in the section of Optometry at Emory Eye Center. She is trained to see a wide scope of patients and enjoys seeing a variety of triage, disease, comprehensive, contact lens, and surgical co-management. Dr. Thelen also has a passion for volunteering and often travels with Remote Area Medical to provide free eye care to US citizens in rural and underserved communities. Comments from her nomination read:

• "Dr. Thelen always goes above and beyond for her patients."

"She takes time to educate students, staff, and technicians."

Jill Wells, MD, who joined Emory Eye Center’s Comprehensive Ophthalmology section in July 2009, currently serves as director of the Ocular Oncology and Pathology fellowship program. She performs cataract surgeries and also treats patients with eye cancers.  Her nominations read:

"Dr. Wells has a charismatic and engaging teaching style that residents and fellows love and try to emulate. We are so fortunate to have Dr. Wells at Emory."

"She has broad expertise in ocular oncology and comprehensive ophthalmology, while at the same time she has unique skills and proficiency in the diagnosis and management of ocular surface tumors. As such she is a highly valuable asset to the Emory Eye Center and to patients from the entire region."  

Emory Eye Center is fortunate to have a faculty full of ophthalmologists and optometrists who are committed to Emory and our patients.


Give Now For more than 140 years, individuals from across the globe have sought care from specialists at the Emory Eye Center. Much of this ongoing care would not be possible without the support of our donors who generously fund pioneering research, the latest technology and specialized services that help people of all ages protect or restore their eyesight and improve the quality of their lives.

With your support, together we can help further the commitment to excellence in patient care, research and teaching, as well as our emerging global outreach program. Gifts to the Emory Eye Center enable us to continue our work with blinding diseases in children, inherited eye disorders, eye conditions due to aging, and much more.

Your donation may be made through Emory Online Giving or by contacting Karla Ruggiero, Emory Eye Center’s director of development.


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