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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v16.i3.60
pages 261-264

IN MEMORIAM: A Tribute to Dr. Robert C. Allen, an Inspirational Teacher, Humanitarian, and Friend (Nov. 18, 1950−Mar. 24, 2005)

Richard Edlich
Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emanual Hospital; and Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, USA
Jill Amanda Greene
Washington State University, Vancouver, WA, USA
William B. Long III
Trauma Specialists LLP, Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center for Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emmanuel Hospital Portland, OR, USA

ABSTRACT

Dr. Robert C. Allen was a gifted educator, as well as experienced ophthalmologist, who was a close personal friend of Dr. Edlich at the University of Virginia Health System. While serving on the faculty at the University of Virginia Health System, Dr. Allen proved to be a compassionate physician, who developed close personal relationships with the residents, faculty, and his patients. Dr. Allen was invited by Dr Edlich to be a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants. When Dr. Allen told Dr. Edlich that he had ocular melanoma in 2000, this news was a wake-up call to Dr. Edlich on the need to prevent skin cancer, as well as ocular melanoma. Empowered by this news, Dr. Edlich was honored to co-author four articles on skin cancer prevention, as well as the latest article focusing on prevention of ocular melanoma. The Ocular Melanoma Foundation (Richmond, VA (USA)) was founded in 2003 by Dr. Robert C. Allen to increase awareness, enhance education, and provide advocacy among both patients and health care professionals regarding this rare, but potentially lethal cancer. It has a website that provides patient information, up-to-date information and enables communication/ discourse between and among patients and practitioners (admin@ocularmelanoma.org). Dr. Allen died on March 24, 2005, at his home surrounded by family and loved ones.
When surgeons are faced with challenging healthcare diseases, Dr. Edlich's mentor, Dr. Owen Wangensteen, advised Dr. Edlich that he should seek the advice and guidance of skilled basic scientists, who are familiar with the problem. Dr. Wangensteen is recognized as the greatest surgical teacher during the 20th century. Consequently, Dr. Edlich enlisted the advice and guidance from the two co-authors of the next article regarding the scientific basis for the selection of sunglasses to prevent the development of cataracts, pterygia, skin cancer, as well as ocular melanoma. Dr. Reichow is a Professor of Optometry at Pacific University College of Optometry (Forest Grove, OR (USA)). Dr. Citek is Associate Professor of Optometry at Pacific University College of Optometry (Forest Grove (USA)).