Silver Jubilee Celebrations - Team LVPEI Runs Deep

L V Prasad Eye Institute celebrated its Silver Jubilee Anniversary on June 1, 2012, with a grand event. Last year, the festivities marking the launch of the 25th year were characterized by nostalgia of the early days and a special tribute to all those benefactors who held our hand along the way and provided the resources vital to our growth and success. This time, it was the turn to thank the LVPEI family - the team that powers the network. The Silver Jubilee program paid tribute to the staff, lauding their untiring efforts, passion and dedication in making the institute a globally renowned centre.

Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Chair, LVPEI, began the show by welcoming everyone. The large hall was packed with staff and families, invited guests and donors, and faculty from all the campuses.

Dr Rao said he was very proud of the achievements of the institute, over the past two and a half decades. He thanked the staff for making the LVPEI dream a reality and also acknowledged the institute's donors and supporters for their unstinted support.

One of our earliest employees, Vanita Ganesh, who has completed 25 years of service, shared the challenges, trials and triumphs of her early days. She said good work and dedication were always appreciated.

As a token of appreciation for the LVPEI team, and to commemorate the Silver Jubilee, a special silver coin was designed, to be gifted to each and every employee. The coin was released by Prof Brien Holden, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, Australia. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Holden congratulated Dr Rao for the success of the institute and presented a plaque to him, with the inscription, "Presented to Dr G N Rao in recognition of your outstanding dedication and commitment to improve quality of vision for all people above and beyond the call of duty, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary celebration of the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India. From the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, Australia".

Two commemorative books were released by two major founding donors of the institute - Mrs Pratibha Rao and Mr Ramesh Prasad, Chair, Prasad Group. "So that all may see" tells the story of LVPEI - its vision, mission and the people who strive to eliminate visual impairment. The second book, "twenty twenty - the art and aesthetics of l v prasad eye institute" is a compilation of the fabulous paintings and sculptures, as well as the colorful gardens and flowers that are the hallmark of all our campuses. The book was put together by our artist-in-residence, Mr Surya Prakash.

The LVPEI family has been nurtured with great care over the years. The early members of the family defined and imparted the founding principles of excellence and equity and strengthened the team with the bonding of a shared vision. Dr Taraprasad Das, Director, Bhubaneswar campus, took the stage to speak about how the bonding between the employees led to the building of Brand LVPEI. He recalled a bomb threat to the institute and how the staff continued to work in the Operating Theatre, as they could not abandon the ongoing surgery on a child. The shared vision and compassion has enabled us to become a global organisation today.

The institute has grown to encompass a larger network of global alliances. What is the role of LVPEI in the context of global eye care and the prevention of blindness? To share that perspective, was an honored guest who has a large view of the world of eye care, as well as personal knowledge of the institute and its faculty. President of the International Council of Ophthalmology and Deputy Executive President of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Prof Bruce Spivey took the stage. Prof Spivey, considered the father of ophthalmology, commended the institute for its success in reaching out

to the poor through its pyramid model of eye health care service delivery. The model is being replicated by other countries and health organizations for providing sustainable health care.

One of the highlights of the evening was the video documentary of various LVPEI teams at work, especially compiled for the occasion by M Shobha, with an evocative script by Dr Pravin V Krishna. "LVPEI Runs Deep" touched upon all the departments and the behind-the-scenes people who enable world-class eye care service delivery to patients and help build the LVPEI brand across the world.

LVPEI has touched millions of people at home and around the world. The institute is at the vanguard of the fight against blindness, yet there are many miles to go to eliminate all avoidable blindness. Having fondly remembered the past, and taken pride in the present, it was time to contemplate the future. Dr Avinash Pathengay, Associate Director, shared a glimpse of the road ahead, with snippets of the vision of some of the faculty and staff for possible directions for expansion.

LVPEI is not only about eye care! All those who have visited our campuses know of our strong affiliation with the world of art - whether it is in the form of beautiful gardens, stunning sculptures or gorgeous paintings. To add color and joy to the evening, was a performance by Smt Mangala Bhatt, world-renowned Kathak dancer. A disciple of Kathak Maestro, Pt Durga Lal ji, she is an empanelled artiste with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Smt Mangala began her performance with an invocation to Lord Krishna, followed by several pieces showcasing the technical complexities of Kathak: intricate footwork, lyrical movements, and swift pirouettes. Dr Usha Gopinathan, Executive Director and an accomplished Indian classical dancer herself, introduced the various components of the performance. At the end, Dr Sriram Sonty felicitated Smt Mangala Bhatt and her group. Dr Sonty, Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, was one of the founding members of LVPEI and spent about a year with us during the early days of the institute.

The evening ended with a vote of thanks by Korani Jyothi, followed by a gala dinner.

ICARE Launches its First Online Course

The Institute's International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye care (ICARE) announced the commencement of its first online course in Eye Care Program Management, which is being offered as part of the Masters in Community Eye Health (MCEH) program, in collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. The 9-week course will be conducted from May 14 to July 15, 2012, and students can participate from home by accessing the online material.

Ten students enrolled for the first batch, including 4 full-time MCEH students, 5 students pursuing a Masters in Optometry and 1 pursuing a Masters in Public Health at UNSW. Of these 6 are from Australia, 1 each from Africa and Malaysia and 2 from India. ICARE plans to organize more online courses next year, and is working in a phased manner to offer the complete MCEH program online from the year 2014.

FILE PHOTO: In February 2012, UNSW and ICARE faculty a workshop held to plan the course. Seated from left: Dr Belinda Allen, Mr Sashi Mohan, Dr Catherine Suttle. Standing from left: Dr Vilas Kovai, Ms S Sheeladevi, Dr Isabelle Jalbert, Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Mr S Krishnaiah, Dr M Srinivas, Ms Srilatha

Silver Jubilee Meet of LVP Alumni Association

The Silver Jubilee LVPEI Alumni meet on May 31, 2012, was attended by many alumni from different parts of the world. On the occasion, the alumni pledged to raise Rs 1 crore to set up a "Distinguished Alumni Chair." A part of the sum was handed over to Dr Gullapalli N Rao.

Dr Sunil Singh, senior alumnus, honored Dr Rao on behalf of all the alumni for being an exemplary mentor and teacher, who imparted all the skills to grow professionally and individually to his fellows. Other senior teachers honored for their excellent teaching skills were Dr G Chandra Sekhar, Prof D Balasubramanian, Dr Satish Gupta, Dr Aashish Bansal, Dr Taraprasad Das, Dr Anil K Mandal, Dr Savitri Sharma and anesthetists Dr Sitaram Prasad, Dr CVM Reddy and Dr P Sreeramulu.

Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party President, and Member, Legislative Assembly, Andhra Pradesh, and Mr Subroto Bagchi, Managing Director of MindTree, were the invited speakers for the alumni meet.

As Good as New!

"I am happy and satisfied that my corneal transplantation in LVPEI was successful - I have made four visits here in the past three months. The tissue was accepted by my body, after I underwent a repeat surgery as the earlier graft was not of a very good quality."

These are the words of young Priti Chopra from Surat. In July 2010, following an eye infection, Priti's eye condition worsened suddenly. It became so severe that she had to undergo an emergency corneal transplantation, performed by a senior eye specialist in Baroda. Because of the urgency of the situation, the doctor had to perforce use the cornea that was available, though it was not of the best quality. The doctor advised her to find a better matching donor later, to enable her to see better.

Priti and her father Mr Brijendra Chopra came to LVPEI in February 2012. Her repeat corneal transplantation surgery was done by Dr Muralidhar Ramappa who considers the surgical outcome as one of the best, owing to the controlled settings, i.e., quiet eye prior to the surgery, good quality donor cornea, a meticulous surgery, combined with regular follow-up and good compliance to medication. These factors ensure good outcomes in at least 90% of the cases.

Priti is now looking forward to resuming her pursuit of an advanced course in cosmetics. She has been following the doctor's orders - no make-up on her eyelids and wearing sunglasses to protect her eyes from the sun, dust and inadvertent injury.

Priti's smile reaches both her eyes as she says, "90% of my vision has now been restored…this is a blessing for me. You cannot tell which eye has received a graft, can you?" That's the best part: feeling as good as before, feeling as good as new


April 21, 2012

Thank you for the wonderful job your team did on 18-4-2012 for my OD cataract surgery. I was so tense, but the assurance given by Dr Somasheila Murthy helped me opt for local anesthesia, instead of general. The doctor not only saved the unnecessary expenditure of general anesthesia, but saved me and my wife from a lot of anxiety and tension.

Any institute or organization runs on the efforts of dedicated individuals. Dedicated doctors like Somasheila are a great asset to any institute. I would like to see her in this prestigious institute for a long time. I thank her and her wonderful team. I may not see her again, but one's relations should be like what a great philosopher said, "Do you know the relationship between two EYES? They blink together, they move together, they cry together, even though they never see each other."

Pulizala Raghavender, Hyderabad

PS: We have been involved in donating eyes since 1979. Recently, on April 17, we donated the eyes of my aunt Pulizala Shakuntala Bai to LVPEI. So far we have donated 17 persons' eyes, through our circle of friends and relatives.

May 23, 2012

I happened to visit your hospital at Banjara Hills, along with a relative. Your staffer Vanita Ganesh (Associate Administrator) is one of the best in terms of her behavior and helpful nature to the patients. The way she interacts with patients and their attenders is highly appreciable. I congratulate you for having such good staff members.

Rajkumar Khandelwal, Hyderabad

From Vijayawada campus

May 29, 2012

Thank you so much for checking all our HIV positive Tulip Garden orphan children and 40 handicapped orphans from Asha Jyothi. This is a very great help for us!

I was so surprised when I arrived at the L V Prasad Eye Institute and The David Brown Children's Eye Care Centre. It is so clean, so well organised, and everybody was so very kind to us and our children. What a great difference from so many other hospitals here in Vijayawada and the many hospitals I have seen in all my years in India. I felt I was in a hospital back in The compliments! Even our children were surprised to see a hospital like this - so beautiful and clean, with kind and friendly doctors!

Margaret, Tulip Garden