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Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center

State-of-the-art, evidence-based patient care; graduate and post-graduate medical education and clinical scientific research are 3 traditional responsiblities and goals of every outstanding academic unit in the United States.

The Wake Forest University Eye Center will be in the forefront of those university academic centers which strive for excellence in these and other areas of medical scientific progress.

  • As Americans are living longer, eye diseases and disorders are increasing among the over-50 aged population. Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts are three broad categories of visual problems related to aging that are affecting an increasing number of individuals. Approximately 13.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are legally blind from age-related macular (retinal) degeneration alone. This is especially true in northwestern North Carolina and surrounding areas which are recognized as attractive retirement locations and experience growth in the over-65 aged population at almost twice the rate of the United States as a whole.
  • This trend, coupled with the public awareness of impressive advances in the field of ophthalmology, has placed pressure on the Medical Center to expand its ophthalmic programs. In 1987, to further respond to societal needs, the department developed the Wake Forest University Eye Center. The past 28 years have seen steady accomplishments on all fronts.
  • Our comprehensive eye center - the only university-based academic center in western North Carolina - advances three important facets of the Medical Center's mission:
  1. It has developed the resources to meet the steadily increasing demands for sophisticated, evidence-based patient care.
  2. It provides diversified educational programs which reach out to the community and regional physicians served by the Medical Center.
  3. It promotes significant clinical research activities that will improve the treatment of - and lead to the elimination of many - eye diseases and disorders. 


Clinical Environment

  • Wake Forest University Eye Center serves primarily as a secondary and tertiary university-based facility, and referrals for patient care continue to grow. The Center performed over 2500 major ocular operations in 2013. The Comprehensive Eye Service provides service for self-referred and "managed-care" patients under the direct supervision of the faculty, but with the resident staff being intimately involved in the evaluation and management of these cases. All major ophthalmic sub-specialties are represented by full-time faculty: glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, corneal and external disease, keratorefractive surgery, ophthalmic plastic/orbital surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, vitreoretinal diseases and surgery, and complex anterior segment surgery including cataracts.
  • The Department is a member of National Eye Trauma System (NETS), which is comprised of approximately 48 other national centers providing 24-hour service for the management of ocular trauma. Data from these efforts are collected and shared nationally to improve the management of ocular trauma.
  • The Eye Center – Department of Ophthalmology has a formal academic and clinical relationship (plus a cataract and other surgery program) with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salisbury, NC.


Patient Care

  • The many missions of the Wake Forest University Eye Center place special emphasis on subspecialty, consultative and surgical services in: ocular trauma, diabetic eye disease, corneal transplantation, keratorefractive surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, vitreoretinal surgery and disease, neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma, and ophthalmic plastic surgery, including orbital tumors. However, because we are a university-based teaching facility, comprehensive eye care (including cataract surgery) and clinical trial ocular research are also key offerings of our Eye Center.


Wake Forest University Eye Center - Decade of Progress

  • Patient care growth in the Department of Ophthalmology has been significant. The annual number of patient visits have grown steadily to over 75,000 visits per year.
  • The Wake Forest University Eye Center has increased its space to meet the growing demands for patient care. It currently provides highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment such as a full spectrum of lasers and advanced imaging systems, which contribute to excellence in ophthalmic health care delivery. It provides an expanded capacity to perform diagnostic tests for patients referred from area ophthalmologists, and it provides certain tertiary and procedures that are unique to academic medical centers.
  • The faculty of the Department is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care. Current areas of specialization include neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, diseases of the retina and vitreous, uveitis, glaucoma, corneal diseases and surgery, including ophthalmic plastic and orbital surgery, orbital tumors, and complex cataract surgery.


Expanded facilities and staff increase teaching capabilities.

  • The Eye Center has dedicated space for clinical training. Training eye M.D.s spend a minimum of three years in the Eye Residency Program. In addition, residents in emergency medicine, neurology and family medicine, as well as third-year medical students, rotate through ophthalmology to gain general eye diagnostic and therapeutic skills and knowledge of diseases involving the visual system. Clinical areas include room for participation by a clinical faculty comprised of interested area ophthalmologists and visiting professors.
  • Library/conference space, separate from the patient care area, is provided as a site for study, professional interaction and continuing education activities, as well as a resource for publications.  In the past several years the department has produced more than 80 publications, numerous textbook chapters, and two major textbooks.
  • Closed circuit television viewing in both out-patient and in-patient operative suites is available for medical students or visiting ophthalmologists in the department library daily.


Clinical research

  • Wake Forest University Eye Center's research programs are focused primarily on clinical research. Clinical trial research is performed by faculty in the N.C. Lions Clinical Research Division, a dedicated space managed by a full-time research coordinator and located within the Eye Center. The Eye Center currently has two full-time research nurses who manage from 6-8 large clinical trial projects, most of which are national in scope.


Contributions are welcomed to the Eye Center's research endowments.

  • Each gift enhances the Eye Center's ability to expand research programs and opportunities in both clinical and basic vision research.
  • Effective capital gifts, which offer opportunities for remembering friends and memorializing loved ones, can be made to the Wake Forest University Eye Center in a variety of tax-wise ways.


For additional information about the needs of the Eye Center and gift opportunities, contact:
The Office of Development
The Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157

Quick Reference


Phone 336-716-4091
Fax 336-716-7994

Clinic Hours 8am - 5pm
Phone Hours 8am - 4:30pm
Janeway - 6th Floor
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Last Updated: 05-12-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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