Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Harry W. Flynn Receives Prestigious Schepens Award

Harry W. Flynn, Jr., M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, was awarded the prestigious Charles L. Schepens, M.D. Award at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. The award and gold medal are presented each year to recognize a leader in the field of vitreoretinal surgery and include a personal honorarium and significant donation for Flynn’s vision research. Flynn’s lifetime contributions to ophthalmology encompass excellence in all aspects of clinical care, vision research, and teaching.

“I am honored to receive this award named after my early mentor and friend of 20 years,” Flynn said at the award presentation. “Not only was Dr. Schepens a pioneer in retinal surgery and a giant in the field of ophthalmology, he was recognized for extraordinary heroics during World War II. Dr. Schepens worked with the resistance in helping people escape from Nazi-occupied France into Spain. For these efforts and his bravery, he received the French Legion of Honour Award. I am grateful to the organizers for the honor of receiving the Charles L. Schepens, M.D. Award and privileged to accept it in recognition of this great man.”

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., the Kathleen & Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology and chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, said, “The Schepens Award is a remarkable tribute to Harry Flynn as he is known throughout the world as a titan in vitreoretinal research and surgery. The award is also indicative of the strength of Bascom Palmer’s retina service and training programs. Since the Schepens Award was first presented, five of the nine awardees have been from Bascom Palmer.” In addition to Flynn, Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D. (fellow, 1980), Alan C. Bird, M.D. (fellow, 1969), Stanley Chang, M.D. (fellow, 1979), and Thomas A. Aaberg, Sr., M.D. (fellow, 1969), have received this noteworthy award.

Holder of the J. Donald M. Gass, M.D. Chair in Ophthalmology, Flynn has been a member of the faculty at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute since 1978. An internationally known vitreoretinal specialist, Flynn is an expert in the field of vitreoretinal surgery, diabetic retinopathy and treatments of endophthalmitis. He has authored or co-authored more than 510 peer-reviewed articles in major journals, edited or co-edited four books including Diabetes and Ocular Disease: Past, Present and Future Therapies and Vitreoretinal Disease: The Essentials, and 88 book chapters.

Flynn, who holds a Life Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, served as president of the Vitreous Society, Miami Ophthalmological Society, and Retina Society. In 2012, the Club Jules Gonin, an international retina honor society, recognized him with the Hermann Wacker Prize, its highest honor. He also received the Shaler Richardson, M.D. Service to Medicine Award from the Florida Society of Ophthalmology. In 2014, the Retina Society recognized Flynn as Guest of Honor for outstanding leadership and advancement of knowledge in the field of retina, mentorship of generations of retinal physicians and surgeons, and his consummate integrity.

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