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Institutional Advancement & Philanthropy

The Troutman Chair in Ophthalmology

photo of Dr Troutman

A $1 million lead gift from the Microsurgical Research Foundation has endowed the Richard C. Troutman Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The Chair honors the Foundation's legendary founder, Dr. Richard C. Troutman, who headed the Department of Ophthalmology at Downstate for almost 30 years.

Our goal is to fund the endowment by raising $3.5 million. To help reach this goal, Dr. Troutman pledged a challenge amount of $500,000 and this amount was raised by the end of 2005 bringing the endowment to $2,000,000 after Dr. Troutman's matching grant. The Richard C. Troutman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery Endowment Fund is dedicated to expanding knowledge through scientific research and improving surgical outcomes through innovation. Dr. Douglas R. Lazzaro, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology is the current Richard C. Troutman M.D. Endowed Chair. At present, approximately 60 private and NIH-funded research projects are underway.

The endowment will support faculty dedicated to:

  • Cornea and Refractive Surgery
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Glaucoma Research

photo of researcher looking through a microscope Cornea and refractive surgery

Downstate's corneal specialists are working to refine refractive surgery techniques and to better understand corneal physiology. The department is executing a cohesive program of practice and research under the newly-created Downstate Refractive Surgery Center.

Pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus

The maturing of the visual system occurs early in life and quick intervention to correct disorders early on is critical. Research in this division has focused on retinopathy in premature infants and congenital cataracts. New areas set for investigation are retinal oxygen tension levels in infants and the effects of strabismus surgery on ocular blood supply.

Glaucoma research

photo of Dr Kevin GreenridgeGlaucoma is the second most frequent cause of blindness in America and the leading cause of blindness among the 45 percent of Brooklyn's population that are African or Caribbean-American. Although most visual loss due to glaucoma is preventable, improved detection and treatment methodologies are needed. With the support of the Ophthalmic Microsurgery Endowment Fund, SUNY Downstate will be able to evaluate the many areas primarily involved in glaucoma damage.

A Brief History

Medicine is being transformed. We live in an age of groundbreaking technologies that have advanced numerous areas of medicine, playing a major role in saving lives and improving health.

Ophthalmology has led the way in the development and utilization of one of the most exciting of these developments: medical microsurgery. Millions of people with serious visual impairments have been enormously helped through advances in corneal transplants and refractive surgery made possible by microsurgical technology. One of the most significant pioneers in this area is Richard C. Troutman.

photo of Dr Troutman with his wife, Dr Suzanne VeronneauIn 1976, Dr. Troutman and his wife, Dr. Suzanne Vèronneau, an internationally recognized specialist in ocular motility and strabismus microsurgery, along with current and former patients, fellows, and friends, established the Microsurgical Research Foundation. The primary goals of this nonprofit organization are to further the education of ophthalmologists and to foster creativity and originality in ophthalmic microsurgery.

In 2002 the Microsurgical Research Foundation, along with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, established the Richard C. Troutman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery.

During his 27-year tenure at Downstate, Dr. Troutman nurtured highly competitive residency programs and provided exceptional opportunities to talented individuals. Many of his past residents and fellows have become leaders in the further advancement of the science of ophthalmology. Through The Richard C. Troutman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery Endowment Fund, Downstate carries Dr. Troutman's vision to the next generation.

Please read more about Dr. Troutman »

To contribute to the Richard C. Troutman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery Endowment Fund please use our Giving Online page or view other options in Ways to Give.