MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Judie F. Charlton, M.D., professor of ophthalmology in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, has been named recipient of the Judie F. Charlton Chair for Glaucoma Outreach.

“This endowed chair is integral in the WVU Eye Institute’s efforts to address the rising need for glaucoma care throughout West Virginia and nationwide,” Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, said. “Now, more than ever, it is time to honor the great work by faculty at the WVU School of Medicine and in particular Dr. Judie Charlton, who has dedicated her professional lifetime to serving West Virginians. Creating this endowed chair will provide the resources to continue glaucoma outreach services, research, and education and recognize her commitment to the well-being of West Virginians.”
When creating an endowed chair, which is an irrevocable commitment, the University ensures that the area of study is of long-term interest, such as glaucoma outreach. The chair honors both the named holder of the chair and also serves as an enduring tribute to the donors who establish it.

Endowed chairs are crucial for recruiting and retaining the highest-quality faculty and for honoring faculty that have made a significant impact. Building a strong base of faculty talent enriches the academic environment, which attracts and inspires motivated students.

The endowed chair was funded with a $1.5 million gift from many individuals with a strong commitment to the WVU Eye Institute’s goal of providing glaucoma outreach and care to all of West Virginia and beyond.

A native West Virginian, Dr. Charlton was previously chair of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology and director of the WVU Eye Institute. In 2011, she was appointed chief medical officer at WVU Healthcare and also vice dean for clinical affairs at the WVU School of Medicine.

“West Virginia University has afforded me many opportunities, and it is my honor to use this chair in fulfilling the grant mission of service to the state. It is impossible to diagnose glaucoma without simultaneously finding other potential eye problems, such as cataract, macular degenerations and diabetic retinopathy,” Charlton said.

“Our work, therefore, will include addressing many eye problems in addition to glaucoma.  Our state faces many geographic and socioeconomic challenges, and this chair will allow us reach places that struggle with access to eye care.”

Charlton has served on numerous national boards, including the Residency Review Committee for Ophthalmology, worked on national and state committees, and received many national honors, including Best Doctors in America and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award. She holds two patents, has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications, provided more than 100 presentations at national, state, and local conferences, and is lead or co-investigator in more than a dozen research activities.

Charlton has also been awarded nearly $1 million in grants for research in ophthalmology to restore vision and prevent blindness. She remains a faculty member of the WVU Eye Institute, sees patients on a regular basis, and provides glaucoma outreach services to individuals in rural West Virginia at the Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Mingo County.

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ts: 10-31-14