Dear Friend of the Institute,
As Board Chair, I have the unique opportunity to see the work of the Institute for Families (IFF) “up close and personal.” My first exposure to this was during my senior year at John F. Kennedy University where I was pursuing an M.A. degree in Integral Theory after retiring from a pediatric ophthalmology practice at Kaiser Permanente. One of our classes, “Ecological Medicine,” required that we select a program that we felt was providing medical services as well as dealing with the psychological and cultural aspects of care that are so often neglected. I chose to write a paper for that class demonstrating how the IFF did indeed honor the individual and social needs of patients and families while still supporting the aspects of care more traditionally covered in the medical field. Later I chose to write my senior paper on the IFF and was privileged to further observe their work.
In 2012 I joined the board at IFF and then in 2013 I assumed the position of board chair. This has given me the opportunity to see the work of the IFF from a new perspective and to appreciate the need for active support of its services from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
I am convinced of the importance of the service provided by IFF and by the skill and professionalism of its child and family specialists. They are truly supporting an important aspect of medical care by their presence and counsel during times when families are devastated by visual loss and life-threatening concerns that may arise in the context of their child’s eye care.
I invite you to become better acquainted with us and our work by navigating on this website. It is designed to promulgate the mission of the IFF as well as describe its day-to-day staff activities. You will also learn about initiatives taken by our board members to promote the health and well-being of children with significant visual challenges. I trust that you will be captivated by the importance of the care that is being provided by the IFF and invite you to contact us with any questions your visit may elicit.
Gary Huffaker, M.D.
Board Chair, Institute for Families