Callahan Eye Hospital celebrates 50 years - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Callahan Eye Hospital celebrates 50 years

Posted: Updated:

This month marks the golden anniversary for one of the south's leading eye care facilities.

The Callahan Eye Hospital was the brain-child of Dr. Alston Callahan. 50 years later, Callahan's dream remains "in focus."

His goal was three fold. To provide the best eye care regardless of a person's ability to pay. To create a research program to help cure eye diseases. And, Callahan wanted to provide education to the next generation of ophthalmologists to carry on his dream.

Michael Callahan is Alston Callahan's son. He recalls his father's passion and determination to bring top notch eye care to Birmingham.

The younger Callahan is an ophthalmologist at the hospital that bears his father's name.

"He knew the benefits of putting everybody with eye trouble in one center," says Callahan. "Right away he started plans to build an eye hospital. The dream became an obsession, and the obsession became reality."

Before it could become reality, money was needed.

"It took him about 13 years to raise the money to build the hospital. Because in those days, we didn't start construction until you had all the money."

The facility opened in 1963 as The Eye Foundation Hospital. The hospital was re-named the Callahan Eye Hospital in 1999.

It became part of UAB in 1971.

Once that partnership formed, so did a residency training program with the UAB Department of Ophthalmology.

Christopher Girkin serves as chair of the department. "(Callahan) wanted to create a facility in which anyone could receive care, regardless of socio-economic status. He also wanted to create a facility that would educate the ophthalmologists of Alabama to distribute those doctors out to patients," says Girkin.

So far, the residency program has trained more than 200 ophthalmologists.

"We train five residents a year. It's highly sought after residency program. We have more than 400 applications a year for five spots," Girkin explains.

The hospital also has 80 surgeons and more than 150 medical staff members.

Girkin says, "We have specialist that work on all different parts of the eye. We have specialists who work on the cornea. We have specialists who just do glaucoma. We have specialists who do retina. And we have generalists who work and kind of help see the whole picture."

Brian Spraberry serves as CEO of Callahan Eye Hospital.

He says the hospital sees more than 23,000 patients and performs nearly 10,000 surgeries each year. The hospital also features the only 24/7 eye emergency center in the state.

Now, as the Callahan Eye Hospital begins its 50th year in Birmingham. Spraberry considers the next fifty years.

"The hospital was here 50 years, and it will be here another 50 years," says Spraberry. "When you look at the baby boomer population. There will be a tremendous need for eye surgery in the next 10 to 20 years."

"You look at all the work that went into building this hospital and all the surgery that we do here. It's a very special place for Alabama."

Another way the hospital is commemorating that anniversary. On the exterior of the building, you might notice a work of art.

It's called "Complex Vision" by the Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. It was installed 30-years-ago. 

Throughout the years, the colors have faded. The hospital is looking for donations to restore this work.

The value of "Complex Vision" was estimated two years ago at $11.9 million. If you are interested in donating, contact UAB's community relations department at (205)-325-8526.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:06:14 GMT
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
  • State Rep. Barry Moore arrested on felony perjury charges in connection with public corruption investigation

    State Rep. Barry Moore arrested on felony perjury charges in connection with public corruption investigation

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:32:51 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- An member of the Alabama House of Representatives was arrested Thursday on perjury charges, acting Alabama Attorney General W. Van Davis said.More >>
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- An member of the Alabama House of Representatives was arrested Thursday on perjury charges, acting Alabama Attorney General W. Van Davis said.More >>
  • Deputy Arrested For Synthetic Marijuana

    Deputy Arrested For Synthetic Marijuana

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:57:01 GMT
    A Russell County Sheriff's deputy is accused of participating in a drug trafficking operation.The man was arrested Wednesday after police found 1.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana, or spice, in his Lee County apartment. The deputy has been with the sheriff's department for about two months where he worked in the traffic division. He previously worked as a police officer in Phenix City, Ala.It's unclear if charges have officially been filed in the case. A call to the sheriff's office wasn't imme...More >>
    A Russell County Sheriff's deputy is accused of participating in a drug trafficking operation.The man was arrested Wednesday after police found 1.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana, or spice, in his Lee County apartment. The deputy has been with the sheriff's department for about two months where he worked in the traffic division. He previously worked as a police officer in Phenix City, Ala.It's unclear if charges have officially been filed in the case. A call to the sheriff's office wasn't imme...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:40:34 GMT
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
  • Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:37:50 GMT
    All piping inside the Mark Village Housing Development in Gate City has been replaced, according to Naomi Truman, executive director of the Housing Authority--Birmingham District. Truman told ABC 33/40More >>
    Continuing coverageMore >>
  • Birmingham man becomes third suspect arrested in Inglenook triple shooting investigation

    Birmingham man becomes third suspect arrested in Inglenook triple shooting investigation

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:44:18 GMT
    Three suspects charged in connection with a triple shooting in the Inglenook community of Birmingham. (abc3340.com)Three suspects charged in connection with a triple shooting in the Inglenook community of Birmingham. (abc3340.com)
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Birmingham police have arrested a third suspect in connection an investigation into a triple shooting in the Inglenook community.Cedric Willis, 28, of Birmingham, is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault for his alleged role in a shooting on Apr. 16 that injured three people. Prior to Willis' arrest, investigators charged two other men -- 22-year-old Tradarryl Boykins and 24-year-old Leroy DeBruce -- in connection with the incid...More >>
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Birmingham police have arrested a third suspect in connection an investigation into a triple shooting in the Inglenook community.Cedric Willis, 28, of Birmingham, is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault for his alleged role in a shooting on Apr. 16 that injured three people. Prior to Willis' arrest, investigators charged two other men -- 22-year-old Tradarryl Boykins and 24-year-old Leroy DeBruce -- in connection with the incid...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:57:29 GMT
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
  • Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:06:29 GMT
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>
  • Gadsden man found with over 600 pornographic images and videos, arrested on child porn charges

    Gadsden man found with over 600 pornographic images and videos, arrested on child porn charges

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:11:36 GMT
    Pablo Gabriel UrbinaPablo Gabriel Urbina
    A Gadsden man was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges following an extensive investigation by several law enforcement agencies, the Etowah County Sheriff's Office said.More >>
    A Gadsden man was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges following an extensive investigation by several law enforcement agencies, the Etowah County Sheriff's Office said.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Blount County DA cracking down on degrading social media accounts

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:06:14 GMT
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
    Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is on a mission to shut down several Instagram accounts degrading young women throughout the county. The accounts with names such as "WHORESOFBLOUNTCOUNTY" and "SLUTSOFSUSANMORE" show pictures of teenagers with degrading comments underneath. Casey said the pictures are used without the girls' permission. One site has been taken down, and Casey has asked the social media website to remove them all.More >>
  • IndyCar drivers Power, Pagenaud enter Barber weekend with tension over Long Beach incident

    IndyCar drivers Power, Pagenaud enter Barber weekend with tension over Long Beach incident

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:00 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:00:42 GMT
    A week off did nothing to mellow the tension between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stemming from contact between the two at Long Beach.More >>
    A week off did nothing to mellow the tension between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stemming from contact between the two at Long Beach.
    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa documents city's post-tornado progress in three videos

    Tuscaloosa documents city's post-tornado progress in three videos

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:08:47 GMT
     Motto: Safer, Smarter & StrongerMore >>
     Motto: Safer, Smarter & StrongerMore >>
  • Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Authorities find body of Riverside man who went missing in Lake Logan Martin

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:57:29 GMT
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
    ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- Authorities have found the body of a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake last weekend."At approximately 2:40 pm today the body of Mr. Willie Cosby was recovered from Logan Martin Lake in Riverside by search personnel," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said in a released statement. "Mr. Cosby was located in the area where multiple agencies have been searching since Monday morning."Cosby, 48, was fishing with his wife when he fell from the boat at ...More >>
  • Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Birmingham leaders criticize teen "wet" and "twerk" parties

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:40:34 GMT
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
    Recent parties asking teens to "freak," "twerk" and "get wet" are raising safety concerns among Birmingham City leaders.Some of the parties have been held at the Continental Ballroom and other venues for quite some time. Earlier this month, a shooting at the Continental Ballroom resulted in one teenager's injuries. City leaders, consequently, revoked the owner and party promoter's business licenses for that incident and prior complaints.But other upcoming teen parties are planned. They all ch...More >>
  • Shelby County mom expected in court next week

    Shelby County mom expected in court next week

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:39:08 GMT
    Prosecutors in Shelby County have asked a judge to require an Alabaster mother to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings.More >>
    Prosecutors in Shelby County have asked a judge to require an Alabaster mother to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings.More >>
  • Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Housing director: pipe replacement complete in Marks Village

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:37:50 GMT
    All piping inside the Mark Village Housing Development in Gate City has been replaced, according to Naomi Truman, executive director of the Housing Authority--Birmingham District. Truman told ABC 33/40More >>
    Continuing coverageMore >>
  • Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:06:29 GMT
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>
    An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15. He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker. His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day."He's talki...More >>