Howard V. Gimbel MD, MPH, FRCSCDr. Howard Gimbel has spent more than 40 years helping patients improve their eyesight and reduce serious risks to their vision. He is a pioneer in ophthalmology, and has developed new techniques in cataract surgery that have helped improve safety and results in patients across the globe. Dr. Gimbel is also known for his dedication to advanced technologies in both laser refractive and cataract surgery, and has co-authored two textbooks and a variety of book chapters on ophthalmology. The Gimbel Eye Center, headed by Dr. Gimbel, is the first freestanding ophthalmic surgery centre in Canada.
“Were it not for Judy,” says Dr. Howard Gimbel, “there would not have been a Gimbel Eye Centre.” For more than two decades, this remarkable woman has juggled the roles of wife, mother, grandmother, church worker, and senior executive.
As Chief Executive Officer of I Care Services Ltd., (the management company which operates Gimbel Eye Centre and provides management support to Howard Gimbel Professional Corporation), and as President of Gimbel Eye Foundation, Judy has made a major contribution to eye care internationally.
When Gimbel Eye Centre faced a period of explosive growth in the early 1980s, Dr. Gimbel knew he needed an administrator who shared his commitment to “doing what’s best for the patient” and who had the ability to manage many complex administrative duties. In Judy, he was fortunate to find just such an individual who shared his vision and goals and could manage the rapidly expanding clinic while simultaneously developing the Gimbel Eye Surgical Centre, which was the first outpatient surgical centre in Canada.
The need for highly skilled technicians to support growing patient demand motivated Judy to oversee the development of the Ophthalmic Assisting Guide, competency-based in-house training program which has launched the careers of many highly skilled ophthalmic technicians. This training program has since been translated into three languages.
Judy has always been deeply committed to Dr. Gimbel’s research and teaching activities. Because many patients were also interested in these activities and wished to support them in their research and educational endeavours, Judy founded the Gimbel Eye Foundation in 1984 and today she continues to serve as its President. This charitable organization was established with the goal of improving the quality of medical and surgical eye care around the world and currently works towards this mandate by funding clinical research studies and educational projects that impact the practise of ophthalmology around the world, some of the projects focus on the prevention of blindness.
Judy’s success in administering the affairs of a surgery centre can be attributed to her education in business and to her commitment, intuition, and energy. Judy credits her zest for living and her husband’s stamina to their adherence to healthy diet and lifestyle practices. Her lifelong interest in nutrition and health led her to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Loma Linda University. Gimbel Eye Centre’s focus on eye health and the video, An Eye on Wellness, resulted from Judy’s determination to educate patients about the benefits of healthful living.
Despite her busy professional life, Judy remains committed to her personal priorities. Her life is anchored in her Christian faith and her love of her husband and family. She is also very proud of her five children and twelve grandchildren and enjoys spending as much time with them as possible.