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. Its mission statement reads: "The Dean McGee Eye Institute is dedicated to serving all Oklahomans and the global community through excellence and leadership in patient care, education, and vision research".
DMEI is also 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 operations employ over 300 people in the Oklahoma City metro area. In addition to its main campus in the Oklahoma Health Center, DMEI has other clinic locations in Edmond, Northwest Oklahoma City, and Lawton. Our 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 150,000 patient visits each year. Nearly 40% of those patients are from outside the Oklahoma City metro area. The Institute offers care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. In 2011 DMEI provided over one million dollars of uncompensated care to needy Oklahomans.
Physicians and basic scientists conduct an active program of research into the mechanisms and treatments of eye disease. Currently, research is underway 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 this research is provided by grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); national vision research philanthropies (including Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc and the Foundation Fighting Blindness); the Dean McGee Eye Institute Foundation; regional foundations (including the Presbyterian Health Foundation and the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation); 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.
For the past five years, the Dean McGee Eye Institute/Department of Ophthalmology has been ranked among the leading vision research institutions in research funding by the NIH and has had 17 uninterrupted years of coveted "Unrestricted Grant" support from Research to Prevent Blindness (the world’s largest vision research foundation). The DMEI research expenditures totaled over $7 million in 2012.
Community service remains a major aspect of DMEI’s mission. DMEI conducts programs for hundreds of students from Oklahoma’s elementary and secondary schools, Vo-Tech campuses, and junior colleges to interest students in the eye and in the health professions.
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 nine residents. Clinical fellowship programs are available to provide additional training in glaucoma, cornea and external diseases and refractive surgery, oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, and diseases and the surgery of the retina and vitreous.
The Dean McGee Eye Institute 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.