"Richard S. Ruiz, MD, was born in Houston on July 12, 1932. He established the Hermann Eye Center in 1977. A native Houstonian, Ruiz attended Texas A&M and graduated with an M.D. degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1957. During his internship at Hermann Hospital, Ruiz decided to specialize in ophthalmology. He was accepted at the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit for a three year residency to train in ophthalmology, and then received a fellowship to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of the Harvard Medical School where he trained under Charles L. Schepens, MD, who is known as the “father” of modern retinal surgery. In July 1962, Ruiz returned home and opened his ophthalmology practice in the Hermann Professional Building. He worked diligently to build his practice and during the next ten years, founded Houston Eye Associates, brought highly trained subspecialists into the partnership, and was appointed Chief of Ophthalmology at Hermann Hospital. Along with practicing medicine, Ruiz worked to improve the hospital’s training program for new eye doctors.
In 1969, the University of Texas formally announced that it would establish a medical school in the Texas Medical Center, with Hermann Hospital as its primary teaching hospital. When details emerged about plans for Hermann’s new hospital building, a facility that would be interconnected to the Medical School and the hospital’s Robertson Pavilion, Ruiz began to develop an idea to utilize space in the new building to create a world class eye center. His plan would bring together his private ophthalmology practice, Hermann Hospital eye patients, and the teaching and research of the Department of Ophthalmology at the medical school into one endeavor. Ruiz’s appointment as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology in the new medical school enabled him to take the final steps to create a comprehensive eye center. In time, the Hermann Eye Center became known for excellence in patient care, education, and research in ophthalmology.
Ruiz served as Chief of Ophthalmology at Hermann Hospital (later Memorial Hermann – TMC) from 1967 until 2009. He was the founding director of the Hermann Eye Center and the Hermann Eye Fund, and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Texas Medical School – Houston for the first thirty-seven years of its history." (1)
Dr. Ruiz died September 22nd, 2021.
- This biographical note is a direct quote from the book cover of: Ruiz, Richard S. and William H. Kellar. Ophthalmology at Hermann Hospital and the University of Texas, Houston: A Personal Perspective. N. p. 2010.