JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

February 10, 1998
MEDIA CONTACT: Marc Kusinitz
PHONE: (410) 955-8665
E-MAIL: mkusinit@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu

Noted Guests To Help Open New Children's Eye Center

The new Zanvyl Krieger Children's Eye Center at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute opens Feb. 12 with a ceremony from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. featuring young patients, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., and a taped greeting from ABC News anchor Peter Jennings.

Guests will include Zanvyl Krieger, the Baltimore businessman and philanthropist who established the challenge grant that encouraged more than 100 individuals and foundations to contribute to the center.

The event will include a showcase of new and ongoing research and technology in the diagnosis and treatment of children's eye diseases, such as a detector that uses infrared light in a darkened room to measure how well an infant's eyes are aligned--without the child's even being aware he or she is being tested.

The 14,500 square-foot facility houses research laboratories next to treatment areas, speeding transfer of new knowledge from the "bench" to patients, and a play room. In addition to providing the latest advanced treatments, the new center's research emphasis is on developing new screening tools for eventual use in nationwide screening programs for young children, according to David L. Guyton, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and director of the new eye center.

The most common children's eye diseases, strabismus and amblyopia, often are detected too late to get the most out of treatment, according to Guyton ."Without the kind of screening instruments we are developing, these eye disorders are missed in 2 to 4 percent of the population," he says. Strabismus is the misalignment of the eyes due to muscle problems; amblyopia, or lazy eye, is the failure of one eye to work cooperatively with the other.

A former patient of Guyton's who had surgery to correct strabismus at 7 months of age will be on hand at the opening with his parents, who will discuss the case with reporters.

Michael J. Repka, M.D., and David G. Hunter, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss the latest surgical techniques for treating eye disorders in patients as young as several weeks.

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