Duke unveils new Eye Center in Durham

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Duke unveils new Eye Center
Duke unveiled a brand new new Eye Center in Durham

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Duke Medicine has a brand new, four-story Eye Center that just opened in Durham.

The large building will allow 15,000 additional patient visits each year. Health experts affiliated with the project say this is especially important with the growing elderly population and an increase in eye issues such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other sight-threatening conditions.

Inside the new space, you'll find expansive exam and operating rooms along with a state of the art imaging area.

"So I can look at the back of your eye and be able to see structures that we can do with special structures that we can't do with lights and lenses and things," explains Edward Buckley, M.D.

As the Chair of Duke's Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Buckley says utilizing the newest technology will help them better treat a variety of ailments, many of which will be seen in their low vision clinic.

"We've created a space to help take care of patients who have poor vision, not so much their medical problems, but now if they don't see, how to get around, how to deal with life," says Buckley.

The entire space was designed for people who are visually impaired, with raised letters and braille on signs, extra-large lettering on walls and doors, and flooring that's high contrast so it's easier to follow. These little touches are all courtesy of a blind architect who helped design the space.

"This is a great new building, and she's going to allow us to take care of our patients more efficiently, provide new services, and have a space that's really conducive to education and new research."

The eye center is also prioritizing education. For example, the design of the building includes tools to not only teach Duke students and staff, but to also teach patients and their loved ones more about their diagnosis.

The new space has been named the Hudson Building after William Hudson, the CEO of LC Industries. His Durham company is the largest employer of blind people in the U.S. He also donated $16 million to the eye center.

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