Dr. Thomas A. Deutsch To Lead Chicago Lighthouse Board

Jun 26th, 2023

Esteemed ophthalmologist and medical executive will guide the 117-year-old organization during a period of unprecedented growth.

CHICAGO (June 15, 2023) – The Chicago Lighthouse is proud to announce the election of Thomas A. Deutsch, M.D., F.A.C.S, as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Dr. Deutsch, who is Senior Advisor to the CEO of RUSH and has served on The Chicago Lighthouse’s Board since 1996, will guide the 117-year-old non-profit at a time of tremendous growth and opportunity.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Deutsch for more than a decade, and I am quite certain he is the exact right person to lead our board at the exact right time,” said The Chicago Lighthouse’s President and CEO, Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D. “Over the past three years, we have laid the groundwork to providing our services for people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veterans for generations to come, and Dr. Deutsch has the medical and organizational experience to implement our programs on a larger scale.”

Dr. Deutsch will shepherd The Chicago Lighthouse as it completes construction of the 76-unit Foglia Residences, which will provide affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities and Veterans; continues to participate in a groundbreaking clinical trial of the world’s first wireless Intracortical Visual Prosthesis, which has been proven to restore light perception for some individuals who are completely blind; and expand its social business enterprises, which serve the dual purpose of employing people with disabilities and generating revenues for The Lighthouse’s social service programs.

Thomas Deutsch

“I completed my ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, which is just across the street from The Chicago Lighthouse,” said Dr. Thomas Deutsch. “As a young resident, I was impressed with the organization’s deep commitment to helping individuals who are blind or visually impaired live confidently and independently. That commitment has only grown in recent years, and I am honored and humbled to be asked to help further the agency’s mission.”

Dr. Deutsch has held leadership positions at RUSH for over 30 years, including Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Dean of Rush Medical College, and as Provost of Rush University. He is currently a professor of ophthalmology at Rush Medical College and the James A. Hunter, M.D., Presidential Chair (Emeritus) of Rush University. Dr. Deutsch received his medical degree from Rush Medical College and was a resident in ophthalmology at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is the author of over 75 articles, books and book chapters.

This will be Dr. Deutsch’s second term in leadership at the Chicago Lighthouse, having previously led the board from 1999 to 2002. In addition to his 27 years on The Chicago Lighthouse board, Dr. Deutsch is a member of several professional groups, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the American College of Surgeons. He is also a past president of the Chicago Ophthalmological Society, and is the recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award, as well as its Senior Achievement Award.


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