Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IEF Celebrates 50th Anniversary - The Beginning

International Eye Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! In 1961, Dr. John Harry King, Jr., a corneal transplant pioneer founded the International Eye Bank under the arm of CARE/Medico at the urging of Dr. Tom Dooley, the missionary in Thailand. After a distinguished military medical career, Dr. King retired as Chief of Ophthalmology at the Walter Reed Army Hospital and focused entirely in promoting corneal transplant surgery and urging Lions Clubs to build eye banks around Washington, DC. Dr. King soon realized however, that much of the blindness in the developing world was preventable and much could be done before people became blind. He changed the name to the International Eye Foundation (IEF) in 1965 and the mission focused on prevention of blindness and primary eye care.

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