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Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery
Global Ophthalmology Emory
LASIK & Refractive Surgery

Faculty and Physicians

Susan Lewallen, MD

Visiting Scholar (adjunct), Emory Global Vision Initiative


Dr. Lewallen established the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) in Moshi, Tanzania, in 2001 and has served as a co-director there for the past 10 years. In that role, she has taught, conducted research and directed programs throughout eastern Africa for KCCO.

Prior to establishing KCCO, she practiced clinical ophthalmology in Bellingham, Wash., and served as an adjunct professor at University of British Columbia from 1994-2001. Prior to that she practiced clinical ophthalmology in Malawi (4 years), Ethiopia (1 year), and St. Kitts (1 year), with short working visits to Nepal, China, India and Korea.

In 2011 she and Paul Courtright, (the other co-director of KCCO), will help create Emory Eye Center’s inaugural program in global health that will explore strategies to ensure that under served communities in Georgia, and internationally, have access to and utilize high quality eye care services.

She has published more than 100 scientific articles, both on clinical topics and in public health ophthalmology. Clinical interests include the eye in leprosy, ocular manifestations of HIV/AIDS in developing countries and traditional eye medicine in Africa. In 1993 she published the first descriptions of previous unreported findings in the ocular fundus in cerebral malaria; these findings have proven to be the sine qua non of cerebral malaria in African children.

Her experience in trying to practice ophthalmology in resource-poor settings has convinced her that the greatest needs in preventing visual disability in poor countries lie in public health ophthalmology. Without the infrastructure that is taken for granted in the United States, even legions of well trained doctors cannot provide adequate services for needy patients.

She and Dr. Courtright received the American Academy of Ophthalmology International Blindness Prevention Award in 2008.

She holds membership in the International Society of Geographic & Epidemiologic Ophthalmology, is an editorial board member of PloS (Public Library of Science), and is a fellow in the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Susan Lewallen

Medical School
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center: 1980

Residency in Ophthalmology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center: 1982-1985

Fellowship in Cornea and External Disease of the Eye, Francis I. Proctor Foundation: 1988

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