Joins departmental effort to create J. David Carey, M.D. Endowed Chair

For more than 45 years, J. David Carey, M.D., was a vital thread in the fabric of the Department of Ophthalmology at Henry Ford Hospital. Arriving as an intern in 1964, he built a career and a family in the department, where he grew to become an accomplished surgeon and physician.

Known for his humor, warmth and generosity in addition to his skill as an ophthalmologist, Dr. Carey made a profound impact as an educator and mentor, serving for many years as residency director for the department. In this role, he dramatically grew the residency program in size and impact, touching the careers of numerous young physicians who completed their training at Henry Ford.

When Dr. Carey passed away in 2018, many of his former colleagues and trainees attended his funeral, sharing stories, jokes and words of wisdom passed on by Dr. Carey. These remembrances left a strong impression on Dr. Carey’s family, including his son Tim, who was moved by the legacy his father had clearly left through his life and career.

“When we had his funeral, I was in awe of the stories his colleagues shared. I thought I had heard every story there was about my father, but there were so many more that I didn’t know,” Tim said. “I knew how important the hospital and the people in the department were to my dad, but those stories just reinforced how important he was to them.”

In the months after Dr. Carey’s passing, the Department of Ophthalmology organized a fundraising effort to create an endowed chair in his memory, with many of the department’s physicians and leaders giving philanthropically to build a fund in honor of their former colleague and mentor.

Three years into this effort, the fund is producing ongoing support to enrich and grow the residency program and is very close to reaching the $1.5 million threshold to establish the J. David Carey Endowed Chair, thanks in part to a major, generous contribution from Tim and his family.

“When we learned about the fund, my family and I were honored,” Tim said. “Contributing to the fund was a really easy decision. To be able to continue my dad’s passion for the residency program, for me it was the perfect fit.”

Tim has lived in California for more than 20 years, but still feels a strong connection to Michigan – much of his family still live in the area, and one of his three sons is a student at the University of Michigan – and to Henry Ford, where his stepmother Connie and his sister Lynn enjoyed long and meaningful careers as healthcare providers.

And Henry Ford still sets the standard in his mind for high quality care.

“I had gone to Henry Ford my entire life and became used to that standard of care. When I moved to California and had to find a whole new network, I really began to understand the quality and compassion that you find at Henry Ford,” Tim said. “The hospital was a special place for my dad, and it has done a lot for my family and me, too. That’s something that will stay with me forever.”

You can make a gift to support the J. David Carey Endowed Chair by clicking here and selecting the fund from the dropdown menu under Ophthalmology.

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