The Dean McGee Eye Institute and the Dean McGee Eye Institute Foundation are both 501(c)(3) organizations. The Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care and a center for vision research.
DMEI is home to the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Oklahoma and conducts training programs for medical students, residents, and clinical fellows. The Dean McGee Eye Institute employs over 300 people in the Oklahoma City metro area. Its main facility is located in Oklahoma City on the Oklahoma Health Center campus. Satellite facilities are located in northwest Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Lawton. Subspecialists also see patients in Enid.
The first two floors of the Institute are devoted to outpatient clinics under the direction of ophthalmologists from the Department of Ophthalmology and DMEI. Patient care is provided in all the major subspecialty areas of ophthalmology including corneal and external diseases, glaucoma, medical and surgical diseases of the retina and vitreous, refractive surgery, orbital and oculoplastic diseases, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, cataract surgery and lens implantation, ophthalmic pathology and oncology, contact lenses, ocular prosthetics, trauma and low vision services.
DMEI ranks as one of the largest ophthalmology institutes in the United States and is one of only a small handful of institutions in the Southwest and Midwest offering a complete spectrum of subspecialty eye care for everything from tumors to macular degeneration. DMEI provides services for over 160,000 patient visits each year. Nearly 40% of those patients are from outside the Oklahoma City metro area. Although affiliated with the University of Oklahoma, the Institute itself receives no operational state funding and serves Oklahoma citizens through the provision of more than $1.1 million in indigent care annually (DMEI turns no patient away regardless of ability to pay).
Physicians and basic scientists conduct an active program of research into the mechanisms and treatments of eye disease. Research is ongoing into problems of endophthalmitis, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, intraocular tumors, mechanisms of retinal degeneration, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, and inflammation and viral infections of the cornea.
Support for research is provided by grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Dean McGee Eye Institute Foundation, regional foundations, industry, and by private donations. In 1999 DMEI vision researchers received Oklahoma’s first ever National Institutes of Health Core Grant—awarded in recognition of its critical mass of highly productive, nationally renowned scientists.The Dean McGee Eye Institute/Department of Ophthalmology has been ranked among the leading vision research institutions in research funding by NIH. The National Eye Institute supports more vision research projects at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center than any other NIH institute.
DMEI's Global Eye Care Program reaches out to underserved populations, both in Oklahoma and abroad. This unique training and service program advances a public health approach to eye care in Federally Qualified Health Clinics, tribal health systems, and for the uninsured. It also reaches out internationally with blindness prevention programs in southwest China, Swaziland, Peru, and Haiti.
Community service remains a major aspect of DMEI’s mission. DMEI conducts programs for students from Oklahoma’s elementary and secondary schools, Vo-Tech campuses, and junior colleges to interested students in the eye and in the health professions. DMEI is engaged in such community projects as vision screenings at Harding Charter Preparatory High School, Educare and elsewhere.
DMEI’s forty-plus MD and PhD faculty supervise the training of medical students at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. They also direct residency training for twelve residents. Clinical fellowship programs are available in glaucoma, cornea and external diseases and refractive surgery, oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, diseases and the surgery of the retina and vitreous, and global eye care.
DMEI sponsors continuing medical education programs to enhance the ability of practicing ophthalmologists to deliver the finest eye care. Increasingly, international delegations of ophthalmologists and vision researchers travel to Oklahoma to visit DMEI for conferences, continuing education, and research symposia.