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A Life Dedicated to Pediatric Ophthalmology

  A Life Dedicated to Pediatric Ophthalmology  

Dr. Leonard Apt.
Photo: Courtesy of UCLA Stein Eye Institute

The late Dr. Leonard Apt, an eye surgeon and founding member of UCLA Stein Eye Institute, was one of the first physicians in the world to become board-certified in both pediatrics and ophthalmology. He devoted his career to preventing blindness in children and was among the country’s first specialists in the field of vision care for children. Dr. Apt pioneered the creation of pediatric ophthalmology as a new subspecialty, and he established at UCLA the first pediatric ophthalmology service at a United States medical school.

Dr. Apt initiated his financial commitment to UCLA Stein Eye during his lifetime with the Leonard Apt Endowed Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology, in 2002, and later the Leonard Apt Endowed Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology, making him the first active faculty member to endow both a fellowship and a chair at UCLA. Upon his passing in 2013, Dr. Apt left a transformative estate gift of more than $15 million to support the UCLA Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology. The Leonard Apt, M.D. Pediatric Fellowship Fund, The Leonard Apt M.D. Pediatric EyeSTAR Residency Training Fund and The Leonard Apt, M.D. Pediatric Ophthalmology Fund were established by the Leonard Apt Trust, memorializing his legacy. “This funding is an important resource for pediatric ophthalmology, and we are humbled by Leonard’s generosity,” said Dr. Bartly J. Mondino, director of UCLA Stein Eye Institute, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and the Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology.

Dr. Apt received countless honors, including UCLA’s prestigious Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award, which honors outstanding research, teaching and service at the university. He also received the first Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

“Not only did Dr. Apt found the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Division at UCLA and lead it in its formative years, but the generosity of his estate also will elevate fellowship training and research at UCLA Stein Eye Institute to the highest levels of international prominence,” said Dr. Joseph Demer, chief of the division and Arthur L. Rosenbaum, M.D. Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology. “Dr. Apt’s philanthropy will create a living and enduring monument in the form of vast numbers of children who will enjoy the gift of sight in California and throughout the world.”

For more information, contact Gail Summers at: (310) 206-9701


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