Message from the Director

Christopher T Westfall, MD, FACS
Pat Walker Professor and Chair
Department of Ophthalmology 
Jones Eye Institute
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute is a free-standing, 100,000 square-foot Center of Excellence on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) campus. Founded in 1994 with a dedication to patient care, education and research, the Institute houses the Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center, the Jones Eye Institute Outpatient Clinics, and the Leland and Betty Tollett Retinal and Ocular Genetics Center. Educational programs include the undergraduate Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program, as well as post-graduate educational programs for College of Medicine students and UAMS ophthalmology residents.

The primary mission of the Jones Eye Institute is to preserve and improve health and vision of Arkansans through clinical care, education and research. Our patients come from throughout Arkansas, from neighboring states and from other countries. The faculty is represented by each subspecialty, offering our patients a full spectrum of ophthalmic services. We educate the next generation of health care providers through the UAMS Ophthalmology Residency Program, the College of Medicine, and the College of Health Related Programs undergraduate Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program, only one of two bachelorette programs in the country. The Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center is dedicated to finding new ways to save vision with an emphasis on inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the retina, and The Leland and Betty Tollett Retinal and Ocular Genetics Center represents the newest focus of our research program.

The JEI postgraduate educational program matriculated three ophthalmology residents.

We completed expansion of the curriculum to include a full week of ophthalmology for all medical students. Four students graduated with Bachelors degrees in Ophthalmic Medical Technology—a joint effort with the College of Health Related Professions.

Surgical and clinical support and educational activities at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the John B McClelland Veterans Hospital (VA) continues successfully.

JEI efforts in the Walker Eye Research Center, under the direction of Nalini Bora, PhD, achieved 11 publications. We have two ongoing NIH/NEI RO1 grants. In addition, Dr. Bora has a grant from Baxter Health and a new grant funded by the Thome Foundation. Dr. Bora’s research received accolades at the ARVO meeting this year.

Ophthalmologist at the Jones Eye Institute are responsible for approximately 30,000 outpatient clinic visits and in excess of 1,000 surgical procedures annually. In addition, we directly support the clinical and surgical services at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the John B. McClellan Veterans Hospital. Each year we graduate four to five undergraduate ophthalmic medical technology students, provide a full week of instruction to each medical student class, and graduate three ophthalmologists form our residency program. Our four PhD researchers publish numerous scientific articles annually, and currently hold two NEI/NEI RO1 grants.

Often cited for the excellence of its clinical, educational and research programs, the Jones Eye Institute is proud to be a part of the UAMS campus.