Dear Friends and members of our Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Dr. Marilyn Miller, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

Dr. Miller was a dear friend, an incredible mentor, and a trailblazer in ophthalmology who made an impact on all of us. Personally, Marilyn had a profound influence in my personal and professional life, and she was someone I always turned to for advice, guidance, and support.

The contributions Dr. Miller made to our Department, College of Medicine, and our profession are beyond measure. She has been recognized for her many contributions to international service. In 2019, Dr. Miller received the Laureate Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognition of her exceptional contributions for the betterment of eye care, leading to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight worldwide. She received the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and the Howe Medal by the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS). The Howe Medal denotes distinguished service to ophthalmology and has had 75 recipients since first awarded in 1922. Dr. Miller was only the third woman to receive this honor. 

Dr. Miller touched the lives of generations of eye health providers and patients around the world. For over 25 years, Dr. Miller visited Nigeria with FOCUS, Inc. Originally, their visits involved clinical care, then expanded into teaching and lecturing. Dr. Miller has been on the organizing committee for many international congresses for pediatric ophthalmology. She has been an educator at national and international medical schools and hospitals, and served on numerous boards and advisory committees. Dr. Miller also led many of the international programs for the AAO, Chairing one of the first international committees, the Committee on International Ophthalmology. In addition, for many years she served as one of the AAO’s representatives to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Please join me in sharing condolences to Marilyn’s husband, Dr. Ronald Fishman, and their family.

With deep sadness,
R.V. Paul Chan, MD, MSc, MBA, FACS
Professor and Head, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
The John H. Panton, MD Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, Pediatric Retina and ROP Service
Co-Director, Vitreoretinal Fellowship