Dr. Calzada Spearheads Baptist Comprehensive Eye Center

Calzada and infant photoDr. Calzada in the NICU

Thanks to an initiative led by vitreoretinal surgeon Jorge I. Calzada, MD, clinical associate professor of Ophthalmology at HEI, a Comprehensive Eye Center recently opened at Baptist Women's Hospital. The center was established for the diagnosis, treatment and early prevention of eye disorders, trauma, infection and diseases in children. In addition to providing seamless continuum of care for the 5,000 babies born at the hospital each year, it will also serve as a regional referral center.

When Dr. Calzada, who is also president of the Charles Retina Institute, was approached to provide essential surgical eye care at Baptist Women's Hospital by its administrator and CEO, Anita Vaughn, he took the idea a step further. Dr. Calzada proposed a comprehensive eye center equipped to provide not only surgery but also complete diagnostics and therapeutics. After the hospital generously agreed to fund a portion of the proposed center, Dr. Calzada brought a proposal to the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation to complete this ambitious effort. He was joined at the grant presentation by Barrett G. Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute. "Dr. Haik is very well known by everyone in the Baptist Hospital system," Dr. Calzada states. "He came in to lend his support, and I think it made a big difference. He was able to provide the broad view of the needs of the metropolitan community, and he gave the whole project academic and social credibility."

The combined funding totaled over $1 million and was used to purchase the newest technology in eye equipment, including a retinal imaging system, an electroretinograph, and a cutting-edge optical coherence tomography system. Dr. Calzada is deeply grateful to Stephen C. Reynolds, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital, J. Scott Fountain, senior vice president, chief development officer, and head of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, and the foundation's board of directors for their confidence in funding the center. "The Baptist Comprehensive Eye Center will be a source for the most advanced eye surgical cases for children," said Dr. Calzada. The center is currently building subspecialties, blocking surgery time, and credentialing physicians. For more information, please call Carol Thetford, chief nursing officer, at Baptist Women's Hospital at (901) 227-9103.