News Releases

Media contact:  Joy Bell, 404-778-3711

August 19 , 2015

Physicians at health fairDrs. Purnima Patel, Sahitya Reddy, Himanshu Banda and Jeremy Jones

Emory Eye physicians reach out to the Atlanta community in successful glaucoma screening

(ATLANTA) On a recent Saturday, Emory Eye Center physicians and medical volunteers from organizations throughout Atlanta came together to provide vision screenings (Aug. 15) at U.S. Rep. David Scott’s 13th Congressional District Health Fair. The vision screening event was coordinated by the Emory School of Medicine (SOM) Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG) fourth-year medical student leaders Jeffrey Tran, MD, and Philip Garza, MD, under the supervision of retina physician Purnima Patel, MD, of the Emory Eye Center.

Emory Eye Center residency program assistant director and glaucoma specialist, Jeremy Jones, MD, residents Sahitya Reddy, MD (PGY2), and Himanshu Banda, MD (PGY3), joined over 30 medical students from Emory and Morehouse for a five-hour outreach. As OIG’s faculty sponsor, Patel was very involved the extensive planning and preparation for such a large scale event.

With Patel’s efforts, for the first time, Emory Eye Center initiated a collaborative venture between Atlanta organizations Prevent Blindness Georgia, Georgia Lions Lighthouse, Emory SOM, and Morehouse SOM with a successful outcome. Event organizers and patients alike appreciated the new, streamlined efforts this year.

“Patients were able to get visual acuity testing, eye pressure checks, visual field testing, fundus examination, and fundus photos all in one place,” says Patel. “In previous years the services were provided at different stations. By having all groups in one location, we were able to efficiently screen a high-volume of patients in a short amount of time,” she explains.

“Screening the community for preventable forms of blindness is a very noble act of kindness and has meaningful implications that will sure improve the quality of life for many,’ says Timothy W. Olsen, director of Emory Eye Center.  “On behalf of our entire department, we take our hats off to the dedication of this extraordinary team of young professionals . . . Bravo!”

During the event the following occurred:

• 191 patients completed glaucoma screening
• 80 patients failed screening and received further work-up with FDT perimetry and funduscopy and/or fundus photographs
• 28 new glaucoma suspects were identified (28 of 191 provides a positive screening rate of 14.7% for glaucoma)
• 6 cases of non-glaucoma eye disease were identified, including a case of macular degeneration and a case of severe vision loss from macular scarring


Volunteer Information included:

From Emory Eye Center: 2 attendings, 2 residents
From Emory SOM: 22 medical students
From Morehouse SOM: 10 medical students
From Prevent Blindness Georgia: 2 volunteers + equipment
From Georgia Lions Lighthouse: 1 volunteers + equipment

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