The VitreoRetinal Surgery Foundation (VRSF) strives to promote education and research related to retinal and macular diseases. We support research by funding awards for young investigators with a potential for a career devoted to retinal disease and research.  We promote professional education by sponsoring courses designed for medical professionals including ophthalmologists, optometrists, residents, fellows, technicians and students.  We promote community outreach education by raising awareness of retinal diseases, treatment options, and available resources.

Research

The VRSF has established a competitive Research Award/Fellowship to encourage young physicians to pursue a career in retinal disease. Projects with a potential for additional funding, presentation and publication are encouraged. The Research Award/Fellowship is open to residents, fellows, medical students and undergraduates under the supervision of university based ophthalmologists, retina specialists or basic science investigators. The Research Award/Fellowship includes grant support for research as well as travel funds for presentation at national meetings.

Education

The VRSF organizes and supports the annual Retinal Update meeting designed for ophthalmologists, optometrists, residents, fellows, technicians and students. The meeting features presentations by nationally recognized retina experts, representatives from the academic community and the physicians of VitreoRetinal Surgery.  Program topics are selected to highlight new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to retinal diseases as well as the results of current clinical retina research.

Community Outreach

The VRSF organizes and supports seminars and awareness campaigns throughout the state and our local community.  These presentations are designed to inform the public concerning retinal and macular diseases, treatment options and available resources. The VRSF develops educational materials that eye care professionals can use in the clinical setting.  The VRSF disseminates information concerning retinal disease through local media releases, brochures and newsletter articles.

Organization

The VRSF is organized as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit public charity.  The VRSF Board is composed of representative physicians from VitreoRetinal Surgery, academic and community ophthalmologists, as well as non-physician community leaders.  The VRSF is completely separate from VitreoRetinal Surgery PA.

Donations

The VRSF solicits donations from professional colleagues, patients and families affected by retinal disease and the general public.  Educational grants are also solicited from the ophthalmic business community to support courses and seminars.  All donations to the VRSF are tax deductible.

Board of Directors

      • Herbert L. Cantrill, MD, Retina Specialist, VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A.
      • David W Parke III, MD, Retina Specialist, VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A.
      • John B. Davies, MD, Retina Specialist, VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A.
      • Peter H. Tang, MD, PhD, Retina Specialist, VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A.
      • Martha M. Wright, MD, Professor, Glaucoma Service Director, University of Minnesota
      • Steve Rice, Executive Vice President, Physician Services, Integrated Healthcare Strategies
      • Timothy Olsen, MD, Professor, Ophthalmology and Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic

    VRS Fellowship

    VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A. offers a two-year, AUPO FCC compliant, medical and surgical fellowship.  One candidate is accepted to the program each year. The goal of the program is to train the future leaders of the retina subspecialty.

    Fellows will receive a broad and robust medical and surgical educational experience. The fellow will work closely with attendings in clinic and will develop proficiency in patient evaluation, examination skills, imaging interpretation, and medical decision making. There will be ample opportunities to perform office procedures, including intravitreal and periocular injections, lasers, and cryotherapy. The fellow will manage a continuity clinic with appropriate supported autonomy. The surgical experience will be especially strong. The fellow will work with numerous attendings, each teaching the fellow a diversity of surgical techniques and approaches to management. The fellow will serve as primary surgeon for a large proportion of cases.

    There will be regular didactic sessions, conferences, journal clubs, and opportunities to discuss difficult and challenging cases. The fellow will be expected to participate in clinical research and will be encouraged to publish and present at local and national meetings. Call responsibilities and vacation time will be reasonable and balanced.

    In addition to a superb clinical education, the fellow will gain valuable exposure to practice management, billing and coding, technology, and medical informatics.

    Applications are available through www.sfmatch.org. In addition to the application, a curriculum vitae, and photograph are required. Applications for the 2021-2023 program will be accepted until October 1, 2020.

    Please mail supporting documents to:

    VitreoRetinal Surgery, PLLC
    Attn: Scott Heintzeman
    3601 West 76th Street, #300
    Edina, MN 55435

     

    For questions or additional information, please feel free to reach out to us at Heintzeman@VRSsurgery.com.

    Thank you for your interest in our program!

    Robert A. Mittra, MD
    Fellowship Co-Director

    D. Wilkin Parke III, MD
    Fellowship Co-Director

    VRS Fellowship Remarks

    Peter_Belin

    As my first year of fellowship is nearing the end, I have the opportunity to reflect on my amazing experience at VRS thusfar.  First and foremost, the doctors at VRS are an incredible group, trained at prestigious programs around the country and provide excellent patient care.  It has been great to learn from them and they have all been invested in imparting their knowledge and experience to the fellows.  The variety of pathology seen at VRS is diverse and encompasses everything in medical and surgical retina necessary to become a skilled and competent vitreoretinal surgeon after fellowship.  The high volume of patients seen at VRS provides the opportunity for phenomenal surgical numbers and one specific highlight of the program is certainly the emphasis on scleral buckling.  Another notable aspect of the fellowship is the strong research component including our clinical trials department as well as the support to conduct and present research at national and international meetings.  I have received excellent training in pediatric retina, gaining experience in ROP screening, treatment with laser and anti-VEGF, and late stage ROP surgical repair. We also see and manage a variety of other pediatric retinal disorders such as Stickler syndrome, Coats’ disease, FEVR and a number of inherited retinal diseases. Our ocular oncology experience includes multimodal imaging for diagnosis and monitoring, plaque brachytherapy, and vitrectomy guided biopsy for pathology and genetic testing.  I would be remiss to not mention the wonderful staff at VRS who are extremely skilled, caring and friendly people who go out of their way to support the fellows. In summary, VRS has met and exceeded all of my expectations for fellowship. 

     

    Dr. Peter Belin, VRS Fellowship 2019

    Dr. Rubino

    Part of interviewing for fellowships is figuring out what is important to you.  I actively sought out a program that emphasized surgical exposure, offered a wide breadth of pathology, and was full of great people to work with.  VRS has met every one of those expectations with flying colors.  Spending 2-4 days each week in high volume eye OR’s facilitates rapid skill development, especially in the context of a block schedule where you primarily work with 3 surgeons for 3 months at a time.  I have especially enjoyed the range of procedures and pathology including secondary IOL’s, plenty of scleral buckles, and working with Dr. Quiram and her nearly statewide catchment area for late stage ROP.  But the best part is definitely the culture of the practice.  Everyone — physicians, technicians, receptionists, you name it — is incredibly friendly, hard working, and personally invested in your professional development and success; and that’s worth its weight in gold.  

     

    Dr. Shaina Rubino, VRS Fellowship 2018

    Alex Ringeisen 3

    I am now entering my second year of fellowship at VRS and it has been a wonderful experience thus far! At VRS, fellows learn from a diverse set of mentors who have obtained fellowship training from a variety of world class institutions.  

     In the clinic setting, fellows are involved in the care of a diverse population of patients including significant exposure to uveitis, pediatrics and oncology. Clinics are high volume and run efficiently due to fantastic receptionists, technicians, scribes and clinic supervisors. Fellows can expect to perform hundreds of in-office procedures each year and gain autonomy by running their own urgent clinic and supervising local resident clinics at the nearby VA and County hospitals.

     Clinical research and involvement in clinical trials are emphasized and supported by the faculty. Furthermore, VRS provides excellent funding support for fellows to present their research at national and international meetings.

     The surgical experience during the VRS Fellowship is second to none and involvement in the surgical care of patients is heavily emphasized from day one. Primary involvement is expected in over 700 cases and fellows can expect exposure to a wide variety of surgical cases including the management of complicated diabetic and PVR detachments.

    Overall, my first year at VRS has been wonderful and given me an excellent foundation to grow into my second year and career beyond!

     

    Dr. Alex Ringeisen, VRS Fellowship 2017