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Release: March 13, 2002

UI's Keech appointed to Scott Chair for education in pediatric ophthalmology

Ronald V. Keech, M.D., a professor in the University of Iowa department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, has been appointed to the William E. Scott Chair for Education in Pediatric Ophthalmology.

The Scott Chair was created last year by an anonymous gift of $1.6 million made through the UI Foundation. The endowment honors William Scott, M.D., UI professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, for his dedication in combining clinical care and education with research.

Keech practiced in Oregon and taught at the University of Oregon Health Science Center in Portland before joining the UI faculty in 1985. His research interests include eye movement disorders, pediatric cataracts and vision assessment for young children.

Through his appointment to the Scott Chair, Keech will use funds to promote and strengthen the education of pediatric ophthalmology, a relatively underserved area of ophthalmology, said Thomas Weingeist, Ph.D., M.D., UI professor and head of ophthalmology and visual sciences.

"I am delighted that Dr. Keech agreed to accept this important chair," Weingeist said. "He will be a key player in helping us continue to expand our patient care, research and faculty recruitment activities in our fight against vision problems among children."

Keech earned his medical degree in 1974 from the University of California at San Francisco and completed a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Southern California. He also held a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the UI.

"I am honored to accept this educational chair. Dr. Scott has long been a true leader in the field," Keech said. "I look forward to carrying on his legacy by providing the highest quality of education possible in the field of pediatric ophthalmology."

Scott, who earned his medical degree from the UI in 1964 and joined the faculty in 1971, founded and is service director of the UI Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Clinic. He served as vice-chair of the department from April 1995 until September 2001.

He is a nationally recognized researcher in strabismus (eye muscle imbalances), amblyopia (lazy eye) and other eye muscle conditions that can cause considerable functional and social problems for affected people. In addition, Scott was instrumental in launching "Coming to Your Senses," a program that screens children for vision and hearing loss, and has served as the program's medical director.

A symposium honoring Scott will be held during the 2002 Iowa Eye Association Annual Meeting June 13 to 15. Scott plans to retire in July 2002 but will continue teaching in an emeritus role.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com/.