Olmsted Ross Receives Lucien Howe Medal

By Lois Baker

Release Date: May 9, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Elizabeth Olmsted Ross, M.D. '39, has received the prestigious Lucien Howe Medal for outstanding achievement in ophthalmology.

The award, presented jointly by the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Buffalo Ophthalmologic Society, is named in honor of Lucien Howe, M.D., who began practice in Buffalo in 1874 and founded the Buffalo Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1876. In addition to his private practice, Howe served as professor of ophthalmology at the then-University of Buffalo from 1878-1909. The Howe medal, first presented in 1928, was one of a number of awards he established to recognize contributions in ophthalmology.

"Past awardees of the Lucien Howe Medal reads like a list of 'Who's Who' in ophthalmology," says James Reynolds, M.D., chair of UB's Department of Ophthalmology.

Olmsted Ross, who is the 23rd recipient of the medal, was selected to receive the award in recognition of her lifetime accomplishments in teaching, research and community service.

Olmsted Ross has been in private practice in Buffalo since 1944. She began teaching clinical ophthalmology at UB's school of medicine in 1955, and in 1974 was named clinical assistant professor, a position she still holds. She received a commendation for 50 years of service at Millard Fillmore Hospital and a citation for service at Deaconess Hospital, where, in 1968, she was named chief of the Department of Ophthalmology and chair of the residency program.

Recently, Olmsted Ross was honored by the Buffalo Blind Society, which named their newly renovated area the Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted Educational Center and by the Western New York Blind Association, which changed its name to the Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted, M.D., Center for the Visually Impaired. A reception in honor of her receipt of the Lucien Howe Medal was held at the center on May 3.