News From the Chair
Christie L. Morse, MD
Chair, Foundation Advisory Board
In Memory of Tom Hutchinson, MD
As many of you know, our dear friend and colleague, B. Thomas Hutchinson, MD, died on April 10 at the age of 84.
A longtime resident of Boston, Tom earned his undergraduate degree at West Virginia University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He pursued his ophthalmic training at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, where he completed residency and a fellowship. A force in the academic realm, he inspired and mentored generations of residents and medical students at institutions including Harvard Medical School, where he was a revered associate clinical professor
Tom served as the Academy’s president in 1993. But perhaps we’ll remember him best for his role in establishing EyeCare America®, a public service program of the Academy that provides eye care through a pool of nearly 6,000 volunteers.
More than 30 years ago, Tom had the foresight to harness the support of Academy member ophthalmologists to provide access to medical eye care for underserved older Americans. Tom helped build EyeCare America into the largest medical public service program in American medicine, recognized by every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. To date, EyeCare America has helped nearly 2 million people get sight-saving care.
“Tom Hutchinson impacted every facet of our profession. He was a superb and caring physician who always put his patients’ interests above all else,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO. “But he also played a pivotal role in establishing and serving our sentinel public service program, EyeCare America, our ethics initiatives, the Academy Foundation, quality of care programs and advocacy initiatives. He was elected by his peers to serve as Academy president. He was a true servant leader. But above all else, he was a warm, genuine and devoted friend and colleague whom we will dearly miss.”
Aside from his prolific contributions to the field of ophthalmology, Tom was an avid antique clock collector, with deep knowledge of early American history gained as he sought to understand the life stories of the clockmakers whose creations he admired. Fishing was also a passion for Tom, and he looked forward to the running of the blues off Nantucket Island each season.
Tom’s wife, B. June Hutchinson, and his son, Daniel Thomas Hutchinson, remember him fondly. “Daniel and I are still trying to get through each day without our sweet and gentle Tom, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, a man of honor and goodwill,” June said. “We are so proud of his amazing accomplishments, and more importantly his ability to connect with almost anyone and communicate that he was on their side. Dan and I hope that there is a place of warmth and love to shelter our Tom’s beautiful soul.”
If you’d like to make a memorial tribute gift, visit aao.org/foundation/donate and select “The Hutchinson Fund.” The Academy has established this fund in Tom’s memory to support EyeCare America and other public service programs of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Join Us in Chicago at our 15th Annual Orbital Gala
Join the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation for a groovy evening at our '60s-themed Orbital Gala on Sunday, Oct. 28. This 15th annual fundraiser will be the social event of AAO 2018. Dine, dance, and enjoy live entertainment under the Chicago Cultural Center’s stunning Tiffany stained-glass dome. Get great silent auction deals on fine wine, vacations, ophthalmic equipment and more. Proceeds will support the Academy’s educational, quality of care and service programs.
To learn more, visit aao.org/gala. To donate an item to the silent auction, contact Claire Lewis at email@example.com or 415.447.0356.
Cheers to all fellow ophthalmologists and eyecare professionals! I always welcome questions or feedback from you. Feel free to reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.