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Dr. Karen Gehrs was honored April 27, 2012, at the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LVIM) Lakeland Derby VIP Reception.

The Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine organization annually recognizes those in the medical community who make a significant contribution.  According to the May 14, 2012, edition of The Ledger,  “Dr. Richard Honer, general surgeon at Gessler Clinic in Winter Haven, received the Glen A. Barden Community Service Award on April 27 at The Lakeland Derby VIP Reception. Dr. Karen Gehrs, ophthalmologist at Center for Retina & Macular Disease in Winter Haven, received the 2012 Medical Research Award. Dr. Jeffrey L. Puretz, obstetrician with Lakeland OB-GYN, was named LVIM Physician of the Year. Dr. Edward J. Williams, Lakeland dentist, was named 2012 LVIM Dentist of the Year.”

The requirements to be nominated for the LVIM Medical Research Award include:

  • The physician has made a significant contribution to medical research that has impacted, or has the strong potential to impact, human health through the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease.
  • Provides a professional example that the study of science and technology can enable or has the potential to enable an extended, healthy, productive life.
  • The research exhibits innovation, insight and leadership in the field of medicine and patient care.
  • Is in good standing in the Polk County medical community.
  • Is currently practicing or has retired from practicing in Polk County.

Dr. Gehrs received her B.S. in Chemistry from Rhodes College and her M.D. from the University of  Missouri.  Dr. Gehrs continued her postdoctoral education with numerous training and fellowship appointments including a Vitreoretinal Fellowship at Duke University Eye Center where she also served as Chief Resident.

During her research and clinical career, Dr. Gehrs has authored or coauthored over 40 peer reviewed research publications, and has been the lead or co-investigator in numerous grant-funded research projects.   This physician’s years of outstanding research has led to changes in the clinical management of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy..  In the past year Dr. Gehrs has published several seminal papers on the genomics of eye disease.

In addition to Dr. Gehrs being awarded the 2012 Medical Research Award, Dr. Michael Tolentino of Center for Retina and Macular Disease received the LVIM Medical Research award in 2010.

Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LVIM) is a volunteer-run medical clinic that provides free quality medical care to the working uninsured of Polk County.

To learn more about LVIM, visit the LVIM website.


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