November 27th, 1937 – November 30th, 2013
Dr. David Dulaney, one of the founding partners of Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, had a passion for changing people’s lives through advanced vision care. The practice he helped to create began as a merger between two ophthalmic competitors more than 35 years ago and has steadily grown into one of the largest, most highly respected eye care enterprises in the world. Dr. Dulaney’s legacy will continue to change lives every day.
The Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center family is forever grateful for his ability to see the potential of the people around him, his foresight into the benefits of advanced technologies, his intrepid pursuit of a better patient experience, and his ultimate devotion to patient care.
It is with the deepest sorrow that I tell you that over the Thanksgiving weekend Dr. David Dulaney passed away. Dr. Dulaney believed in “potential”, the potential for innovative technology solutions and the potential of individuals. While many never had the opportunity to know him because he retired from the practicing in 2006, many employees, colleagues, family and friends knew him well and were influenced by him in their careers. Dr. Dulaney was my employer for almost 15 years, but, more than that, he was my mentor and very much my friend. He always encouraged people to work at our fullest potential.
Dr. Dulaney was a true visionary, continually pushing the envelope toward innovation and new ideas. He had a passion for all things vision correction and was one of the first ophthalmologists to perform LASIK in the United States when the rest of the country had barely begun with PRK. He began performing procedures when he bought the first microkeratome in the United States after having traveled to Bogota, Colombia, to see it used. He used the microkeratome to perform ALK, which was the predecessor to LASIK. He was also one of the few first investigators to use the implantable contact lens, as early as 1996, almost 10 years before FDA approval. Dr. Dulaney was the first ophthalmologist to perform a procedure on the Wavelight Allegretto laser when it was brought to the United States for clinical trials. His history includes being the first in Arizona to use a YAG laser and one of the first in the state to develop an ASC for eye surgery. The list of his cutting-edge accomplishments goes on to include clear cornea incisions for cataract surgery and so much more.
Dr. Dulaney’s vision extended to other areas as well. In 1997 he gave me and others the book by Bill Gates called Business @ The Speed of Thought. The book talked about the role of computers in how we would do business and communicate in the future, suggesting that a computer would be available on a “watch-type device,” which is precisely the world we now live in. He passed out the book and said this was our future. He suggested that we prepare for it by investing heavily in our information technology infrastructure at a time when very few were thinking about it, certainly no one in medicine.
Dr. Dulaney believed in what was possible. When a contract for eye care became available for bid at the Veterans Hospital, most thought it was ridiculous to think a private practice could secure it. Needless to say, he did not agree. When I told him what we would have to spend on consulting fees, he replied, “that would not be the most we’ve ever lost … go for it.”
Almost 30 years ago, he founded the Dulaney Foundation to provide Continuing Medical Education to ophthalmologists and began the Dulaney Aspen Meeting. Widely heralded as a “think tank” for key innovators in anterior segment surgery, this meeting has evolved into the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (ACOS) Winter Meeting attracting key opinion leaders from around the world. Virtually every breakthrough innovation in anterior segment eye surgery has made its debut at this meeting before release for widespread commercialization. The ACOS Aspen Meeting and the Dulaney Foundation continue today as tributes to the visionary efforts of Dr. David Dulaney.
Dr. Dulaney’s impact on ophthalmology is, and always will be, recognized throughout the world.
Executive Director, Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center
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