ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local ophthalmologist and retina specialist, who helped blind children see, has died.
Dr. Mina Chung, an associate professor of ophthalmology at URMC’s Flaum Eye Institute and a faculty member in the University’s Center for Visual Science, died in a skiing accident in Italy last week. She was 51 years old.
“Mina Chung was an exceptionally skilled, caring surgeon who also excelled as a scientist and educator in the field of ophthalmology,” said Mark B. Taubman, M.D., president and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center in a statement. “She was a valued member of our faculty who will be missed by the many patients and colleagues whose lives she touched, not just here in Rochester, but around the world.”
As a clinician, Dr. Chung provided medical and surgical care to patients of all ages suffering from retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, genetic retinal diseases, ocular trauma, uveitis and other diseases relating to the back of the eye.
Former URMC Chair of Ophthalmology Steven E. Feldon, M.D., said that Chung was the first faculty member he recruited after coming to Rochester in 2001 to found what is now Flaum Eye Institute.
“Mina’s patients definitely experienced ‘Medicine of the Highest Order’ from her, day in and day out,” said Feldon, who is now Associate Vice President of URMC and Director of the Biomedical Research and Development Office, in a statement. “She immediately understood the potential clinical impact of ophthalmic imaging research on her patients with hereditary and acquired retinal degenerations. A diminutive person with an outsized mind and heart, Dr. Chung will forever have a special place in the ethos of the Flaum Eye Institute.”
Chung is survived by her husband, Edward P. Lin, an associate professor in the URMC Department of Imaging Sciences who specializes in neuroradiology. At the time of the accident Lin was with his wife in Italy, where she had traveled to attend an ophthalmic research conference, URMC officials say.
The couple lived in Canandaguia and had a beloved pet white Samoyed dog, Nika, whom Chung often brought to the office, URMC officials say.
Memorial service arrangements will be announced at a later date, URMC officials say.