Friday, May 27, 2011

2011 John Harry King Memorial Lecture - Professor Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD

Prof. Harry W. Flynn, Jr., MD of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami presented the John Harry King Memorial Lecture today at the annual Walter Reed Army Medical Center ophthalmology meeting. Dr. Flynn, a distinguished retina surgeon, spoke specifically on endophthalmitiis, a devastating inflammatory infection that can follow severe injury to the eye; certainly a risk in severely injured military fighters. He has conducted major studies on endophthalmitis, its variations and treatments, and is an expert in this area.

Dr. Flynn served at the Brook Army Hospital in Texas in the 1970’s. In his comments, he expressed his great regard for the work of military ophthalmologists, the challenges they face, and the critical research they produce given their patient base. Dr. King would have been very proud of Dr. Flynn’s presentation given in his name and the tremendous work being carried on at Walter Reed. He would be just as proud of the work carried on by IEF today.

To honor IEF’s 50th anniversary, a certificate was presented to Dr. Flynn. Dr. Marcus Colyer at Walter Reed was pleased to have IEF present as it bridges the old Walter Reed now closing to the new Walter Reed being built at Fort Belvoir. The end of one era and the beginning of another. Interestingly, the lecture was established in 1986, the year of Dr. King’s death, so it’s 25 years on. Dr. King was Walter Reed’s very first ophthalmology resident in 1948. Serving in both the Pacific and European theaters in World War II, Dr. King ended his Army career as Chief of Ophthalmology at Walter Reed in 1955. He was the personal ophthalmologist to Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Pictured to right is a photo of framed spectacles belonging to Presidents Truman (12K gold plated trifocals) and Eisenhower (gas mask glasses) presented to IEF by the late Suzanne King Clark and Susan Eisenhower in 1997. IEF hopes that when the new Walter Reed Army Hospital is completed, the John Harry King Memorial Lecture will continue.

The Lecture and presentation served as a powerful way of honoring Dr. King, his contribution to military ophthalmology, eye banking, and his contribution to international ophthalmology through the International Eye Foundation.

Photo at top: Dr. Flynn on the left followed at right by Dr. Paul Gavaris, Victoria M. Sheffield, and Dr. Howard Cupples. Drs. Gavaris and Cupples represented the IEF Board.

Photo at bottom L-R: Thomas H. Price, III, Suzanne King Clark, Susan Eisenhower, Victoria M. Sheffield, Prof. R. Sagdeev (Mrs. Eisenhower’s husband)

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