Congratulations to the new National Medical Director of Vision Eye Institute and Vision Hospital Group, Dr Lewis Levitz. He takes over from esteemed colleague A/Prof Tim Roberts, who has helped steer the organisation through a number of significant events over the last eight years.

Dr Levitz is a longstanding doctor partner at Vision Eye Institute, having joined 13 years ago, and is a popular figure with colleagues and patients alike. He says he is excited and honoured to step into the prestigious Medical Director position.

‘I have seen firsthand the importance of our diverse doctor group, support staff and leadership team – each with different skill sets and personalities – and how they work as one to deliver exceptional patient care,’ says Dr Levitz.

‘It’s incredible to see what it takes behind the scenes to keep an organisation of our size running smoothly, meeting all required regulations, and responding to challenges like the global pandemic.’

As Medical Director, Dr Levitz reports directly to the Vision Eye Institute Board regarding the organisation’s clinical standards in patient care and management. He will work closely with the Clinical Care and Infection Control committees and plan how to continue delivering the highest standards of patient care. The Medical Director also represents the interests of Vision Eye Institute to RANZCO, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology.

‘Being Medical Director comes with a significant responsibility to the many people who make up Vision Eye Institute and Vision Hospital Group, the healthcare professionals who refer to us and the patients we care for.’ he says. ‘I look forward to meeting the high standards set by my predecessor, A/Prof Tim Roberts, and his predecessor, A/Prof Michael Lawless.’

An example of the high standards Dr Levitz refers to was A/Prof Roberts’ composure as healthcare providers, including Vision Eye Institute and Vision Hospital Group, faced enormous uncertainty with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. A/Prof Roberts met weekly via virtual calls with CEO James Thiedeman and the Medical Advisory Board to determine the organisation’s response to fast-changing healthcare advice and various lockdowns.

‘Great staff and teamwork are our foundation, and during the pandemic, we strived to support our doctors and all the team and keep everyone well informed,‘ says A/Prof Roberts. ‘Vision Eye Institute and Vision Hospital Group are on the cutting edge of technology and always mindful of what we can do to provide better resources for all of us to do our best work. Our mission of helping patients (and knowing that the work we’re doing every day is making an impact and transforming the lives of patients who need our help) is inspiring.’

During his tenure as Medical Director, A/Prof Roberts helped oversee the creation and launch of the not-for-profit research foundation, Future Vision Foundation – a nod to Vision Eye Institute’s deep heritage in ophthalmic research. The Foundation extends this commitment further by encouraging and supporting the research efforts of staff and associated clinicians (including those with little-to-no formal research experience).

‘The Foundation has been a dream since Vision Eye Institute first began – born from a shared desire by many of us to improve diagnosis, improve treatments and improve healthcare experiences for patients with eye conditions. We are thrilled to see it come to life,’ says A/Prof Roberts.

Like A/Prof Roberts, Dr Levitz speaks highly of the depth of talent at Vision Eye Institute and Vision Hospital Group. ‘I am often awed and genuinely thankful for the loyalty and dedication I see on a daily basis,’ Dr Levitz says. ‘Despite the size and spread of our doctor team, our annual doctor partner meetings allow us to catch up with our colleagues from across the country and share ideas, research and experiences. I am now in a privileged position to continue this culture of respect and collaboration.’