The Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO) recognizes leaders in ophthalmology.
Featured Left to Right: Dr. David Smith (Lifetime Achievement Award), Dr. Kylen McReelis (Section Service Award) and Dr. Asim Ali (Innovator of the Year)
On Saturday, February 22, 2020, at the Annual General Meeting held in Toronto, the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO) recognized leaders in ophthalmology and presented awards of distinction to two Toronto paediatric ophthalmologists practicing at Sick Kids Hospital.
Dr. Asim Ali, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children’s Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, was awarded Innovator of the Year. The Innovator of the Year Award is in recognition of work that has surpassed innovation benchmarks and has moved the practice of Ophthalmology forward.
Dr. Ali completed his medical degree and residency training in Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto, and then pursued further postgraduate training with separate fellowships in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and Cornea and External Disease at Washington University, St. Louis, USA. Since returning to Canada, his practice and clinical research have focused on glaucoma and cornea/external disease disorders in children, as well as paediatric cataract and other anterior segment abnormalities.
Dr. Ali is the recipient of the Innovator Award for his work co-leading a team that developed the technique of corneal neurotization; a technique to restore missing feeling in the eye – and prevent subsequent vision loss – using a nerve taken from a patient’s leg and transplanting it onto an existing healthy nerve in the face. While corneal anaesthesia is relatively rare, it results in vision loss over time. Dr. Ali’s work has been adopted around the world as a minimally invasive procedure that offers patients an opportunity to regain their sight.
Dr. David Smith was one of two recipients of the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is in recognition of a distinguished career of service to the specialty of Ophthalmology. Dr. Smith has been a practising ophthalmologist for more than 50 years. He has been a vital member of both the departments of Ophthalmology at the Hospital for Sick Kids and at the Humber River Hospital and in addition to teaching and publishing, he has trained more than 100 fellows and countless residents in strabismus surgery. He is regarded as a first-class a paediatric ophthalmologist and strabismologist.
Dr. Smith is also an innovator and recently invented a special double hook strabismus retractor which bears his name. In addition to serving Ontario patients, Dr. Smith has been a visiting professor at the Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital in Tianjin China since 2006 having made annual visits to the hospital since 1999 to assist in teaching and surgery. He is an earnest advocator for the vision health of children.
Other award winners include Dr. Patricia Teal of Fort Erie (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Dr. Kylen McReelis of Peterborough (OMA Section Service Award).
“We congratulate all winners of the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario awards. These awards are meaningful because candidates are nominated by their peers; other Ontario ophthalmologists who lead accomplished and distinguished careers themselves.”
— Dr. Raj Rathee, President of the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario