The History of Tulane Ophthalmology
The US Public Health Service Hospital in Carville, Louisiana, was the only hospital for Hansen's Disease in the continental United States. Soon after coming to Tulane, Dr. Allen established the first eye department at the hospital and began dispensing free care to patients on a weekly basis for over 25 years. Prior to his intervention, eye care was rendered by general practitioners. Although many of the patients had red eyes from keratitis or iridocyclitis, the general practitioners assumed they had glaucoma and prescribed pilocarpine. This drug actually aggravated the iritis. Dr. Allen introduced topical cycloplegics and steroids, maintaining vision for many of the patients.
Because of his selfless service to these patients, Dr. Allen was awarded the first Outstanding Humanitarian Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1992.
Pictured above: Dr. Allen (seated) with Dr. Bruce Spivey (left), Executive Secretary of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and Dr. Oliver Dabezies, Past President of the Tulane Eye Alumni Association.
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