Organization, History and Achievements

The United States Eye Injury Registry (USEIR) was formed in December 1988 in recognition of the lack of national eye injury epidemiologic data. This was modeled on a project, begun in 1982, called the Eye Injury Registry of Alabama (EIRA) which is a collaboration between the Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology, the Society of Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalomlogy, and the Alabama Chapter of Vision Rehabilitation Specialists. As of May, 1991, the EIRA had accumulated more than 2,600 reports of serious eye injury, with 2,000 reports of final outcome. As of May 1991, it had published the only prospective survey of eye injury to include final management outcome. USEIR is based in Birmingham, Alabama in the offices of the founders, Robert Morris MD and C. Douglas Witherspoon MD. Physicians from all over the nation participate in the administration and maintenance of the organization, and all ophthalmologists are invited to participate.

Today, USEIR serves as a catalyst for numerous educational and research endeavors. The database includes injuries from hospitals, trauma centers and individual ophthalmologists and documents (tragically) over 16,000 seriously injured eyes. This large database permits elaborate epidemiologic investigations, highlighting preventable sources of injury, emerging patterns of trauma in our society, and treatment outcomes. Sponsorship by the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education (link: http://www.helenkellerfoundation.org) has been extremely valuable in all administrative and research aspects of this project. USEIR regularly sponsors ocular trauma symposia for the education of ophthalmologists, and dozens of medical publications utilize USEIR data each year. In addition, the USEIR database is a resource for governmental agencies, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC)(link http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm4424.txt), as well as for manufacturers and blindness prevention organizations. On the local level, many state registries have been successful in employing their projects for public and medical education and for research, as well. The USEIR model has proven to be attractive to many other countries that perceive value in identifying and tracking serious eye injuries, as well.

American Society of Ocular Trauma

Board of Directors

Emeritus Directors:
Nicholas Zakov
Robert E. Morris
Douglas Witherspoon

Directors (2009)
Al Pakalnis
Mike Grant

Directors (2010)
Lynne Lanier
Vicky Navarro

Principal Officers
President: Ferenc Kuhn
Executive Director: C. Douglas Witherspoon
Vice President: Dante Pieramici
Secretary / Treasurer: Phil Matthews

Executive Committee
President: Ferenc Kuhn
Immediate Past Pres: Nicholas Zakov (Retired)
Vice President: Dante Pieramici
Secretary / Treasurer: Phil Matthews

Members of the Board
Douglas Witherspoon
Robert Morris
Lynne Lanier

Members At Large
Richard Rosen
Robert Mittra
Dean Eliott
Bowes Hamill
Chris Girkin
Michael Taravella
Michael Grant
Rudy Young