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  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology takes great pride in honoring Bruce E. Spivey, M.D. with the 2015 Laureate Recognition Award. Dr. Spivey’s contributions span the profession from educator, clinician, hospital CEO, ophthalmology department CEO, and medical society CEO to transformational professional leader.

    Dr. Spivey completed medical school and residency at the University of Iowa.  Following Active Duty in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1964 to 1966, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa.  While serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Medical Education and Curriculum Committee, Dr. Spivey received a Master’s Degree in Medical Education at the University of Illinois.

    Five years after joining the faculty at the University of Iowa Dr. Spivey assumed the twin positions of Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco and Dean of the School of Medical Sciences.  He served sixteen years as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology.  He also held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the California Pacific Medical Center from 1976 through 1991. 

    During this same period of time, Dr. Spivey assumed leadership position after leadership position at the American Academy of Ophthalmology including Secretary for Continuing Education, Chair of the Basic and Clinical Science Course, and Chair of the joint Committee on Medical Student Education—among many others.  When the American Academy of Ophthalmology was formed as a separate entity (from the legacy American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology) in 1978, Dr. Spivey agreed to become its first Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer—serving from 1978 until 1992.  During this period of time the organization moved from Minnesota to San Francisco, grew from four staff to over one hundred, merged with the American Association of Ophthalmology, formed the Academy’s Foundation, developed a Code of Ethics, birthed the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) and initiated the National Eye Care Project—again among many other accomplishments.

    During this same period of time, Dr. Spivey emerged as a national leader of many other organizations including the American Board of Ophthalmology, the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies.  He left San Francisco in 1992 to become President and CEO of Northwestern University Healthcare Network in Chicago and five years later to take a similar position with Columbia Cornell Care in New York City.

    From 2006 through 2014, Dr. Spivey served as President of the International Council of Ophthalmology  (ICO) and presided over a dramatic refocusing and resurgence of that organization as a force in global ophthalmic education.  With its transformation, the ICO has become involved in curriculum setting, certification, fellowship education, and ‘teaching the teachers’ in developing nations.

    Dr. Spivey now devotes much of his nearly limitless energy to the Pacific Vision Foundation, an organization he founded in 1977.  He has received multiple awards—both in the United States and abroad.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology is honored to add Bruce E. Spivey, M.D. to the ranks of distinguished Laureate Recognition Award recipients.