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Charles D. Phelps, MD (September 16, 1937 – September 13, 1985),
Professor and Head 1983 – 1985
The Charles D. Phelps Memorial Award was established in 1989 in honor of Dr. Phelps (1937-85), who was on the faculty of the department from 1971 to 1985 and served as head of the department during the last year of his life. The award was created through the generosity of many friends, colleagues, and patients, and is meant to encourage the kind of research and educational opportunities for which Dr. Phelps was recognized.
Dr. Phelps was raised in Iowa. He studied under Dr. Armaly prior to his ophthalmology residency and after residency with Dr. Bernard Becker at Washington University in St. Louis. He succeeded Dr. Armaly as Director of the Glaucoma Service.
Dr. Phelps was a highly recognized authority in glaucoma when he became Department Head. Unfortunately within 18-months of his appointment he died of cancer leaving behind his wife Dorsey and four children.
The first American Glaucoma Society meeting was held to honor the memory of Dr. Phelps in Iowa City, in June of 1986.
On the final day of the conference, a Washington Hawthorne tree was planted in his memory near the University of Iowa's Westlawn Building. Due to the remodelling of the Westlawn Building, the tree was transplanted in the fall of 1998 to the East side of the Pomerantz Familty Pavilion which now houses the University of Iowa's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. On Septmeber 18th, 1998, during a Clinical Conference, a commemorative bronze plaque was unveiled on the wall of the walkway near the site.