More than 250 friends and supporters of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute attended a “Hard Hat Tour” and reception at Bascom Palmer’s new eye center under construction on Tamiami Trail in Naples on Thursday, March 19, 2015.
Wearing hard hats through the construction site, people walked through what will be a $25 million, 20,000 square-foot, state of the art eye care center. Located at the intersection of US-41 and Cypress Woods Drive, across the street from Park Shore Drive, the two-story eye center will open in June, 2015.
Ten years ago, Bascom Palmer opened the only university-based eye care center in Southwest Florida—a leased, 3,000 square foot office located in Naples Community Hospital’s NCH Medical Plaza. Opened primarily to diagnose and treat retinal and macular diseases, the practice has grown considerably in size and scope.
When the new center opens, it will provide more than six times the current amount of clinical space for the treatment of virtually all eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and pediatric eye disorders. The additional space will allow Bascom Palmer to expand the number of clinical research trials offered to patients. On-site surgery will also be available in an ambulatory surgery center that will open on the second floor.
“In addition to being ranked the #1 eye hospital in the nation for the past 11 years by U.S. News & World Report, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is also known for its exceptional vision research and its outstanding medical education,” said Pascal Goldschmidt, M.D., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “Many of the world’s advances in ophthalmology have taken place at Bascom Palmer. And, more than 37 graduates of Bascom Palmer’s training programs have become ophthalmology department chairmen of medical schools and teaching hospitals throughout the world.”
Stephen G. Schwartz, M.D., M.B.A., medical director of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at Naples, welcomed the guests to Bascom Palmer’s new home in Naples. “When other people travel all over to find world-class medical care – you won’t have to,” he said. “Bascom Palmer is coming to you.”
“The physicians at Bascom Palmer are fueled by the notion that each patient we diagnose and treat is a life changed for the better,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “Bascom Palmer’s doctors partner with our scientists and researchers who are using the latest technology, including stem cell research and gene therapy, to find treatments that can be personalized for each person suffering from vision loss. Much of what we do and learn will take place right here in Naples.”
A large amount of the building has been funded through the generosity of foundations or families living in the Naples community. Alfonso said that additional opportunities to support the building campaign and become a partner in the Institute’s sight-saving mission are available.