Setting their sights high

At a special celebration held September 20 at the BMO Education & Conference Centre, Dr. Peter Pisters, President and CEO of UHN, announced that the Donald K. Johnson Eye Centre and Vision Sciences Program at Krembil Research Institute (Krembil) will unite into a single entity called the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. The naming of the Institute recognizes Don Johnson and his wife, Anna McCowan-Johnson’s leadership support of the Vision Program at UHN since 2007.

“We are grateful for Don and Anna’s ongoing dedication to the organization and in particular, their commitment to improving vision care for all Canadians,” said Tennys Hanson, President & CEO, TGWHF. “Their giving is an inspiration to our team at the foundation and our community of donors, and a demonstration of the power of philanthropy.”

The principal goal of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute will be to facilitate collaboration between clinicians, researchers and educators to advance the latest treatments for people with vision loss.

“The Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute will give UHN a competitive advantage over other organizations by establishing a single branded identity that is visible to patients, academics, industry and government, said Dr. Peter Pisters, President and CEO of UHN. “This prestigious designation will help UHN to recruit leaders in the field, establish partnerships with complementary organizations, and attract top students from around the world to learn from the Institute’s experts and then return to their communities. It is our vision to create world-renowned Institutes across all program areas at UHN.”

Dr. Robert Devenyi, Ophthalmologist in Chief and Director of Retinal Services at University Health Network and Dr. Valerie Wallace, Director of the Vision Science Research Program, the Donald K. Johnson Chair in Vision Research will be co-Directors of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. Dr. Devenyi will spearhead clinical activities and Dr. Wallace will lead research initiatives.

The research side of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute will continue to a part of Krembil, the research arm of Toronto Western Hospital, which was renamed in November 2015 and encompasses three program areas: Vision, Brain and Spine, and Arthritis.

Vision scientists at UHN have a global reputation of advancing groundbreaking discovery. The formation of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute will only accelerate this.

Ultimately, Drs. Devenyi and Wallace will strive to make the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute one of the top five vision institutes in the world.

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