Hermann Eye Fund
A vision for the future
The Hermann Eye Fund was created in 1968 as a tax-exempt (a 501 (C) (3)) foundation to help provide financial support for Hermann Hospital’s ophthalmic programs. At that time, Richard S, Ruiz, MD, FACS, was Chief of the Hospital’s Ophthalmology Service. In 1971, when The University of Texas Medical School at Houston was opened, Dr. Ruiz was named Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, and Hermann Hospital became the Medical School’s teaching hospital.
Subsequently, in 1977, Dr. Ruiz founded the Hermann Eye Center, one of the nation’s most comprehensive eye care facilities, which occupied the 7th floor of the Hospital’s Jones Pavilion until its move to the Memorial Hermann Plaza and was renamed the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic.
The laboratories and offices of The Ruiz Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science are located on the 7th floor of the Medical School Building. The Hermann Eye Fund has served the needs of The Ruiz Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, as well as those of the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic.
Gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations have helped to underwrite the teaching, research, indigent patient care, and public service activities of the Department and the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic.
The Hermann Eye Fund has maintained a library of current scientific and medical references, and purchased audiovisual materials and teaching aids for our residency program, as well as equipment for diagnosis, treatment, and research.
Visiting professors of ophthalmology have been brought to the Medical School and the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic through the resources of the Hermann Eye Fund, which also annually sponsored a one-month long basic science course for residents in training, practitioners, and provided information about ophthalmology to allied health personnel. Lecturers included physicians from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and subspecialty experts from other programs nation-wide with course participants coming to Houston from the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico.
Perhaps the most public aspect of the Hermann Eye Fund is the care it has provided for indigent patients. When patients were unable to pay for their ophthalmic treatment, Hermann Eye Center physicians contributed their professional knowledge and services and the Hermann Eye Fund paid for the patients’ hospital costs. This program of indigent patient care made working partners of the Cizik the Hermann Eye Fund, and the donors whose contributions helped make it possible for needy patients to receive treatment necessary to improve or preserve their vision.
Research is our hope for the future. At the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, this means basic laboratory and applied clinical research. New research projects are begun and completed continuously. The progression of certain diseases we see in patients daily reminds us acutely of our lack of knowledge and sends us in search of answers. The Hermann Eye Fund has been a valuable resource for funding new projects, for completing current ones, for purchasing specialized equipment, and for funding research personnel.
You can see what a vital role the Hermann Eye Fund’s tax-free dollars have played in the operation of the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic. With fewer tax dollars available for medical research and education, with spiraling health care costs, Medicare and Medicaid cutbacks, and one out of every four people in this country without health insurance, the role of the Hermann Eye Fund has been of utmost importance.
Your Gifts Make A Difference
For the past 40 years, we have donated services and paid hospitalization fees for many who would have otherwise gone untreated. There are still many more suffering from eye diseases and conditions that need our help and we need your help to care for them. With the transition of the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic Faculty to full time UT Physicians, the role of the eye Fund has changed, however, we continue to need the help of charitable donors to realize the patient care, educational, and research missions of the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic.
Please consider a generous gift to the Robert Cizik Eye Clinic. Before you decide, please try to imagine a world totally, completely, always shrouded in darkness.
Tax-deductible gifts can be given in memory or honor of someone you love and will touch the lives of many.
To discuss your contribution or for more information about giving opportunities please contact Sue McRaney at 713-559-5200.