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About Cole Eye Institute

Cleveland Clinic's Cole Eye Institute is a perfect combination of form and function. Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the building is a significant architectural landmark and provides an ideal environment for research and top quality patient care, comfort and convenience. We have everything to make your eye surgery experience as convenient and comfortable as possible.

Opened in 1999, it is the newest and most state-of-the-art institute in the United States, and handles more than 150,000 patient visits per year, treating adults and children with all ophthalmic conditions, performing basic eye care and eye surgery. Thousands of international patients travel to receive treatment, including all types of eye surgery, at the institute every year. A large team of researchers is committed to making breakthroughs in retinal disease. Eye surgery - ranging from cataract surgery to macular surgery - is performed daily by our world-class staff.

Every aspect of this building was designed with patient needs in mind. Parking is easily accessible and valet parking is offered. The open, spacious lobby warmly greets patients and large-print signs help them find their way easily. Natural lighting throughout the building eases the strain on eyes that are dilated or otherwise uncomfortable. All nonsurgical patient visits start on the second floor, which features a centralized check-in desk and pagers to let patients know when it is their turn. When additional diagnostic tests are needed, a designated elevator takes patients directly from the examination area to the testing area. A separate waiting area for children has games and an aquarium to help keep them occupied.

The surgical facility is designed to have all preoperative testing in one location. The five operating rooms incorporate the latest equipment to perform eye surgery, like macular surgery and cataract surgery, safely and effectively. A special waiting area lets family members talk to the surgeon in a private setting after the eye surgery. When it is time for patients to go home, a nurse escorts them in a wheelchair to the special discharge area where a family member can drive right up to the door.

Many procedures developed at the Cole Eye Institute have been adopted by ophthalmologists around the world, and the institute offers the largest hospital-based continuing medical education program in the United States. Our residency and fellowship programs are highly competitive and draw many applicants each year.

The institute is ranked among the top hospitals for eye care in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its annual hospital survey, making us No. 1 in Ohio.

Cleveland Clinic's Cole Eye Institute specializes in a range of options for treating eye diseases, such as eye surgery, retina disease, diabetic retinopathy and many others.

Daniel F. Martin, MD, Chairman, Cole Eye Institute
Martin Daniel

Daniel F. Martin, MD, an established leader in the development of new therapies for retinal disease, was appointed Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute in December of 2008. He joined Cole Eye Institute from Emory University in Atlanta, where he served as the Thomas M. Aaberg Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Retina Service.

Dr. Martin completed medical school at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine followed by residency and chief residency in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery and Diseases at Duke University Eye Center followed by a two-year fellowship in Uveitis and Ocular Immunology at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Clinically, Dr. Martin’s specialty interests include both medical and surgical treatments of the retina. Dr Martin has extensive experience in the management of age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, macular pucker, macular hole, retinal detachment, and inflammatory and infectious diseases of the retina.

Dr. Martin has been involved in the design, development, and execution of many clinical trials, having served as principal investigator for more than 25 studies including AREDS, SOCA, and numerous AMD and diabetes trials. In addition, he has served on numerous clinical trial committees including three Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and five Steering Committees. Finally, he has served as the study chairman for seven national randomized clinical trials. Dr Martin currently serves as the Study Chair for the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials, an NIH sponsored study evaluating the comparative safety and efficacy of Lucentis and Avastin for the treatment of neovascular AMD. Dr. Martin was extensively involved in the development of the ganciclovir implant and later valganciclovir for the treatment of CMV retinitis and led the clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval of both of these drugs. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and has delivered more than 170 invited lectures. Dr Martin has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2004 Rosenthal Award conferred by the Macula Society for outstanding contributions to his field.

Joe G. Hollyfield, PhD, Director of Ophthalmic Research
Dr. Hollyfield

Dr. Hollyfield has been Director of Ophthalmic Research at the Cole Eye Institute since 1996. The research staff he directs includes nearly 50 people whose primary focus is finding ways to prevent and treat retinal disease. The primary focus of his own research is on studying the organization of the interphotoreceptor matrix in which photoreceptor cells are imbedded. Novel molecules present in this matrix comprise excellent targets for involvement in degenerative retinal diseases, including age related macular degeneration. His work also involves the analysis of how proteins interact to form this matrix and the involvement of hyaluronan as the scaffold on which this matrix is organized.

A major new initiative in his laboratory is in the isolation and characterization of sub-types of drusen, the major risk factors for developing age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Hollyfield is editor-in-chief of Experimental Eye Research and past president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the International Society for Eye Research.

He received his doctorate in zoology from the University of Texas in 1966 and his masters in zoology from Louisiana State University in 1963. He received his bachelor's degree in biology from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, in 1960. Dr. Hollyfield completed special training at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, The Netherlands. He was professor of ophthalmology and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston before joining the Cole Eye Institute.

In addition to his work at the Cole Eye Institute, Dr. Hollyfield also serves as a visiting professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and is a professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at Ohio State University, Columbus.

He is on the scientific advisory board of several research foundations including The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Owens Mill, Maryland; Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, New York; The Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation, Birmingham, Alabama; Retina International, Zurich, Switzerland; and Retina Preservation Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Elias I. Traboulsi, MD, MEd, Vice-Chairman for Education
Residency Program

Elias I. Traboulsi, MD, MEd, is Vice-Chair of Education at the Cole Eye Institute. He is also director of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus. He joined the Cleveland Clinic in 1997 after being associate professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. He also is director of the Center for Genetic Eye Diseases and a professor of ophthalmology at Ohio State University.

He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon and completed his first residency training there. He later completed a second residency, including one year as chief resident, at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He served a fellowship in ophthalmic genetics with Irene H. Maumenee, MD, at Johns Hopkins and another in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus with Marshall M. Parks, MD, at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He then spent a year as a clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at Georgetown University Medical Center, after which Dr. Traboulsi returned to the Johns Hopkins Center for Hereditary Eye Diseases of the Wilmer Institute as assistant professor of ophthalmology. He also served as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore from 1990 to 1997.

He is board-certified in ophthalmology and medical genetics. He is president of The International Society for Genetic Eye Disease and is a frequent guest speaker at national and international meetings. He has authored more than 130 scientific articles and 40 book chapters and edited the eye disease sections of Birth Defects. He is the author and editor of Genetic Diseases of the Eye, a textbook published in 1998. His clinical and research interests include the genetics of strabismus, the classification and management of ophthalmic and general medical genetic disorders, ocular developmental biology and ocular malformations, cancer of the eye, retinal dystrophies, childhood cataracts and glaucoma, and other pediatric eye disorders.

Dr. Traboulsi is editor-in-chief of Ophthalmic Genetics and serves on the editorial board of The American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Cole Eye Institute

The Cole Eye Institute's carefully created light-filled design brings patients every efficiency and world-class eye care in an environment filled with light and pleasant vistas. Improved patient flow, a convenient, patient-friendly floor plan and spacious waiting areas complement the building's high technology, advanced equipment.

Cole Eye Institute

Behind the scenes, the Cole Eye Institute conference areas are completely wired for instantaneous electronic video and audio linkups with sites worldwide. These capabilities allow Cole Eye Institute ophthalmologists to serve as guest lecturers at leading institutions and meetings around the world without leaving Cleveland and to broadcast live ophthalmic surgery as a teaching tool for physicians and medical students. They also bring the expertise of internationally recognized specialists to the Cole Eye Institute for continuing education for our physicians.

Floor 1

The Diagnostic Suite

Twelve exam rooms, each supplied with special camera equipment and/or ultrasound equipment, make up the Diagnostic Suite. The Suite is strategically located one floor below the Patient Modules to directly support the exam areas and facilitate immediate patient access.

The Electrophysiology Suite

This state-of-the-art suite houses the scientist and technician whose missions are to investigate retinal cell function through specific measurements of electrical activity in the retina.

The Experimental Surgery Suite

This state-of-the-art facility enables researchers and clinicians to test safe procedures and develop successful treatment advances for use on human patients, particularly in the areas of macular degeneration, complicated retinal detachments and diabetic retinopathy. With complete tools and equipment of an operating room, the Experimental Surgery Suite is one of the few in the country with full operating capacity.

The Paul and Carol David Ophthalmic Surgery Pavilion

The state-of-the-art surgery pavilion includes five operating rooms, each with audiovisual technology that is connected to the Institute's Education Auditorium so students and staff can watch activity in the operating room and through the microscope. Two operating rooms have viewing areas for visiting physicians and family members. The recovery area and special discharge area facilitate ease of flow for the patient and medical staff.

The Education Pavilion

Training future eye specialists is greatly enhanced in the Education Pavilion with the James P. Storer Teleconference Center designed with tele-video technology. The Library includes a video room for viewing training videos as well as a study room and assigned carrels for residents. In addition, there is a conference room for residents.

Floor 2

The Refractive Surgery Suite

One of the most innovative and dramatic features of the Cole Eye Institute, the Refractive Surgery Suite is used to perform cutting-edge procedures to restore vision. Six patient rooms help meet the growing demand for these services.

The Clinical Research Suite

The Clinical Research Suite provides space for coordination for all clinical research studies for the Division of Ophthalmology.

The Low Vision Clinic

As one of the very few centers across the country specializing in optical rehabilitation and training, the Low Vision Clinic provides customized treatment to patients and education for families in the use of visual aid devices. For many people with diseases like macular degeneration, the Low Vision Clinic is the only facility with the resources these patients need to maintain their quality of life.

The Optometry Clinic

In addition to routine eye exams, contact lens fittings and low vision exams, the Optometry Clinic provides customized exams and continual follow-up for hard-to-fit patients. The full-time staff of optometrists enables the Optometry Clinic to treat some ocular emergencies.

The Patient Clinic

Designed to maximize physician/patient effectiveness, exam rooms are clustered by specialty into nine patient modules and share a central check-in/check-out and waiting area. The Pediatric Suite, designed specifically for young patients, includes six exam lanes and its own waiting area. The Patient Clinic is supported by the Diagnostic Suite located directly below it on the first floor.

Optical Shop

The Union Eye Care optical shop, located on the second floor near the entrance to the skyway, is a convenient place for patients to fill their prescriptions for glasses before leaving the building.

Floor 3

The Research Suite

Housed on the third floor of the Eye Institute, this state-of-the-art facility is used by the best and brightest researchers dedicated to investigating new ways to prevent blindness and restore vision. The location of this research pavilion--adjacent to the clinician's administrative offices--provides for the cross-fertilization of ideas between clinicians and scientists. It contains eight lab modules, an electromicroscopy lab, the research director's office, and the research conference room.

Physicians' Administrative Suite

Strategically located on the third floor next to the Research Suite, these offices promote the close collaboration between clinicians and scientists.

Your Role in Preventing Blindness

Eyesight is a priceless gift, a gift you can give by supporting the work of the Cole Eye Institute. Give a gift today to the Cole Eye Institute. You can designate your gift to the Cole Eye Institute and its Research, Education or Macular Degeneration Fund.

Your support will help us continue developing new treatments for eye diseases that will save or restore a patient’s eyesight. With your help, the Cole Eye Institute can continue advancing treatments for eye diseases and shaping the future of eye care — so someone doesn’t have to imagine life without eyesight.

Request More Information

To request more information about making a charitable gift, call or send an email to:
Mayme Patthoff, Senior Director of Development

How You Can Help

You can help by making a contribution in a variety of ways:

A Gift

Cash gifts, usually in the form of checks, are the most popular type of charitable contribution. Donors will qualify for an income tax charitable deduction for a gift of cash.

A Charitable Lead Trust

The most flexible of the charitable trusts, a Charitable Lead Trust is an effective way to transfer wealth to children or grandchildren while reducing the amount of transfer tax.

The donor first transfers assets to a trust. After paying income to Cleveland Clinic, the trust transfers the remainder to designated heirs.

A Life-Income Gift

Several forms of gifts provide donors or their named beneficiaries an income for life while committing resources to future use by Cleveland Clinic. Donors to any of these life-income arrangements are entitled to charitable deductions in the year the gift is made for part of its fair market value, and are often able to increase their spendable income.

Gifts of long-term appreciated property also avoid or defer tax on the capital gain.

  • A charitable remainder trust may be funded with cash, securities or real property. One or two beneficiaries named by the donor will receive income on a quarterly basis for a period of years or their lifetime. At maturity, the trust principal is transferred to Cleveland Clinic.
  • A charitable gift annuity is an agreement between a donor and Cleveland Clinic in which the donor makes a gift and one or two designated beneficiaries receive a guaranteed income for life. Some of this may be tax free.
  • Cleveland Clinic's Pooled Income Fund pools gifts in the form of cash or securities from many donors for investment purposes. Beneficiaries designated by the donors receive a proportionate share of the net income earned by the fund, quarterly, for life.
A Charitable Bequest Provision

A charitable bequest is an easy way to make a meaningful gift to Cleveland Clinic. The full amount of the bequest is deductible from a taxable estate.

Naming Opportunities

A permanent legacy in the name of a donor or designee (such as a family member or physician) can be created through a gift to support the Cole Eye Institute. Please contact us for more information on naming opportunities.

Personal Fundraising Page

You can create a personal Cleveland Clinic Fundraising Page to honor a loved one or celebrate a special event. Share your page with friends and family to raise support for research and world-class care at Cleveland Clinic.

  • Honor a loved one or caregiver: A simple, yet powerful way to appreciate and cherish a special someone who has touched your life.
  • Remember someone special: Pay tribute to the life of a family member, friend or colleague by creating a page in his or her memory.
  • Celebrate the milestones in your life: whether it’s a birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, anniversary, wedding or the end of medical treatment, you can set up a fund to mark your special occasion.

Thank You

Thank you for your consideration in supporting the Cole Eye Institute. We appreciate the generous support that we receive from the philanthropic community. Philanthropic support is helping to elevate the Cole Eye Institute to be among the best eye care providers and allows us to continue conducting cutting edge research and make breakthroughs in visual science to help those with eye diseases.

Cleveland Clinic & KOHL'S Cares Vision First Program


Vision First was launched in 2002 through collaborative efforts of the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cleveland’s philanthropic community. A new partnership with KOHL’S Cares was established in 2013. Cole Eye Institute manages the day to day operations of the Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’S Vision First program and with its partners jointly promote the community activities and benefits of the Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’S Vision First throughout the year. Together we will help Northeast Ohio students in need of eye treatment, seek and gain the advanced care to correct their vision. The investment will benefit the entire community by building the confidence of our youngsters to grow into bright stars in the community.

Preventing Blindness in Children

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is the most common cause of vision problems in children. Left untreated, it can lead to vision loss in adults, but the condition is completely reversible when it’s caught early in childhood.

Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’s Vision First provides eye examinations for 4- to 6-year-olds enrolled in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The centerpiece of the program is a customized van with two examination spaces. The van makes stops at all elementary schools in the Cleveland school district and can be found at one of these schools each day during the school year. Staffed by an ophthalmic technician, the Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’s Vision First van is equipped to provide screenings for a variety of eye diseases and conditions. For children that fail this initial screening, an optometrist is available to perform complete ocular examinations, write prescriptions for those who require corrective lenses, and provide referrals to local pediatric ophthalmologists for further care.

Based on studies up to 13.8 percent of the children tested may be diagnosed with vision ailment. The majority will simply require eyeglasses to correct the problem. It is estimated that only 14 percent of all children under the age of six undergo an eye examination. With these staggeringly low statistics, it is anticipated that a high percentage of children will have vision problems detected for the first time by our Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’s Vision First program since all Cleveland school children are provided the opportunity to receive an eye exam free of charge.

If your child is not in the Cleveland school district, call 216.444.2020 today to schedule an eye exam at one of 12 Cole Eye Institute offices throughout Northeast Ohio.

Vision First Accomplishments

Through Cleveland Clinic & KOHL’s Vision First program, the Cole Eye Institute has set the benchmark in vision screenings in Ohio and nationally since this is the first and most comprehensive program of its type. Several cities have replicated the program including Philadelphia and Baltimore. Screening over 5,000 children annually, and more than 55,000 children over the past ten years, there is an immediate and future impact on the lives of the children, families, the county and the state of Ohio.

Almost 15 percent of students receiving eye exams are in need of additional attention to correct their vision, allowing them to become better students and future leaders. Cleveland Clinic & KOHL'S Vision First provides eye glasses to all the students in need of corrected lenses.The Cleveland Clinic & KOHL'S Vision First program  has become an invaluable community benefit to the young students, since most to do have the ways and means to receive quality health care and annual eye exams.    

Olympics anchor Bob Costas' suffers from conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Conjunctivitis is a common ailment and usually resolves on its own in about a week. Cleveland Clinic ophthalmologist Dr. Rishi Singh discusses.

A Double Cornea Transplant Gives One Woman New Sight

Cleveland Clinic ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Allen Roth discusses the procedure.

Cleveland Clinic Receives $1 Million Grant to Build Ophthalmic Surgical Education Lab

Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute's receipt of a $1 million grant helped allow the building of a state-of-the-art ophthalmic surgical education lab, providing advanced microsurgical training for future ophthalmic surgeons.

Genetic Testing For Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute's landmark CATT study clarifies the relationship between gene risk indicators for age-related macular degeneration, and a person's response to treatments such as Avastin and Lucentis.

Laser Surgery for Cataracts: No. 6 Cleveland Clinic Innovation for 2013

Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute has named the Femtosecond Laser Technology as a top innovation in 2013. This technology, already popularly used for LASIK surgery, is found to have great results when used for cataract surgery. This offers patients with a bladeless option for cataract surgery that also increases incision accuracy, reduces surgery time, causes less inflammation, and offers more stability when implanting a new lens.

The growing epidemic of "eye strain"

Cole Eye ophthalmologist Amy Babiuch, MD, discusses eye strain, a growing medical issue caused by constantly looking at technology such as computer or smart phone screens.

Second-year results of Cleveland Clinic-led study confirms Lucentis and Avastin are equally effective in treating macular degeneration

In a landmark drug-comparison study, Cleveland Clinic researchers found that bevacizumab (Avastin) is equivalent to ranibizumab (Lucentis) in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through two years.

New study finds possible link between cognitive problems and damaged retinas

Cleveland Clinic retina specialist Dr. Rishi Singh comments on a new study that discusses a possible link in cognitive problems with retinal diseases in a recent WKYZ news interview.

Peter K. Kaiser, MD appointed Chaney Chair for Ophthalmic Research

Peter K. Kaiser, MD, has been appointed the Chaney Family Endowed Chair for Ophthalmology Research at Cole Eye Institute. A clinical trials specialist, he has chaired five major multicenter international retina trials. Dr. Kaiser serves on numerous study executive committees and was first to treat any patient with a modified small RNA-interfering molecule. Bruce and Virginia Chaney endowed the chair more than a decade ago in gratitude for their care at Cole Eye Institute. With the passing of the Chaneys, their son, with his wife and children, continue the family's support of vision research here.

Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute receives $3 million endowed chair

Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute received a $3 million gift from Barbara and A. Malachi Mixon III in recognition of the sight-saving care Mr. Mixon received at the Institute.

Study finds Bevacizumab as effective as FDA-approved Ranibizumab in treating macular degeneration

A new study shows bevacizumab (Avastin) is as effective as ranibizumab (Lucentis) for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study, led by Cleveland Clinic, was published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Premier surgeon announces the PS250 List of leading innovators in the field of premium IOL implant surgery

Ronald Krueger, MD was recently named to the PS250, a list of the nation's top surgeons in the field of premium IOL implant surgery. An intraocular lens (IOL) is an implanted lens in the eye, usually replacing the existing lens because it has been clouded over by a cataract, or as a form of refractive surgery to change the eye's optical power.

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    To find a Cole Eye Institute specialist for your needs, contact us at 216.444.2020 (or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 42020)

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    To arrange a same-day visit, call 216.444.CARE (2273)