Duke Eye Center and the Albert Eye Research Institute are home to research, education and highly specialized physicians offering optimal patient care. Eye Center researchers study glaucoma, corneal and retinal degeneration and other eye diseases. The department is also known for its numerous community initiatives and partnerships.

The Department of Ophthalmology supports a long-term relationship with the Durham Lions Club, which traditionally supports vision health. The Durham Lions Club and Duke Eye Center handle the advance publicity and NC Lions, Inc. provides the Mobile Screening Unit (MSU), a fully outfitted eye clinic on wheels. The Mobile Screening Unit sets up shop in various Kroger parking lots in Durham at least four times a year. Duke Eye Center residents, along with Durham Lions Club volunteers, perform free vision screenings.  This includes checking eye pressure and looking for signs of glaucoma or other abnormalities. “Screeners refer people with potential eye health problems to doctors,” said Kelly Revill, Duke Ophthalmology Development Staff Specialist. Duke Eye Center also participates in screenings specifically for veterans as well as other projects, including the Heritage Indian Festival and the Duke Health Fair. Duke Eye Center works with outreach groups such as Local Access to Coordinated Care (LATCH), Case management of AIDS and Addiction through Resources and Education (CAARE) and Project Access of Durham County. 

Since 2007 Duke Eye Center residents and ophthalmic technician students from Duke Eye Center’s Ophthalmic Medical Technician Program have volunteered for Durham’s Project Homeless Connect. During the day-long event, held at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, participants enjoy music and entertainment as well as a free catered lunch.  They are paired with chaperones who help navigate them through an array of resource kiosks. The free resources include eye exams from Duke Eye Center volunteers, as well as information and assistance regarding housing, legal services, healthcare and other community opportunities, said Revill

The Health Arts Network at Duke (HAND) Touchable Art Gallery is yet another community and patient outreach project. Coordinated and supported by volunteers, the gallery is located at Duke Eye Center in Durham. All works are designed for everyone to enjoy art, including those with visual impairments. Unlike traditional art galleries, art and sculptures in the gallery are meant to be touched, said Revill.  “Volunteers explain the art work to visitors who are visually impaired,” she said. Overall, the visual arts program at Duke includes over 3,000 works of art in the hospital and waiting rooms, as well as six rotating galleries that often feature local artists and touchable art.

For more information about Duke Eye Center visit http://dukeeyecenter.duke.edu/ or contact Kelly Revill, Development Staff Specialist, Duke Eye Center, 919-684-3182