Dr. Mills passed away on May 9, 2020. He was born in Evanston, Illinois September 13, 1943, where his father was Professor of Speech at Northwestern University. He graduated from Yale University magna cum laude as a Scholar of the House in Biology in 1964, authoring a thesis on fruit fly wing muscle. He then received his M.D. degree cum laude from Yale in 1968, studying the fine structure of activated human leukocytes. After a transitional year in internal medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, he did his ophthalmology residency at the University of Washington as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He earned an M.P.H. degree at the University of Washington in 1999, with a thesis on quality of life in glaucoma.
Dr. Mills entered the private practice of comprehensive ophthalmology in Olympia, Washington, and completed two mini-fellowships in neuro-ophthalmology, with the late H.J.L VanDyk MD in Salt Lake City and with William F. Hoyt MD in San Francisco. As a volunteer clinical faculty member, he taught neuro-ophthalmology to University of Washington residents over the next 11 years. While in Olympia, Dr. Mills served as Medical Staff President of St. Peter Hospital, and President of the Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.
Drawn by a continuing interest in clinical research and teaching, Dr. Mills joined the University of Washington faculty full time in 1984, following a glaucoma fellowship with Dr. Stephen Drance at the University of British Columbia. He rose through the academic ranks, becoming Professor in 1987 and Acting Chair in 1997. He then left Seattle to assume the Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of Kentucky from 1999-2003, but returned to Seattle in the private practice of glaucoma with Murray Johnstone MD. He authored over 120 peer reviewed articles, 27 book chapters, 90 editorials, 5 edited books, and was a center PI in three NEI funded collaborative clinical trials.
He served the American Academy of Ophthalmology in numerous positions, including chair of the Public Information Committee, Secretary for Public and Professional Information, President (1995), Delegate to the AMA, Bylaws Committee Chair, Director of EyeCare America, and for 14 years as Chief Medical Editor of EyeNet magazine. He chaired an Academy skills transfer course on Glaucoma Drainage Devices for 20 years. He was a Director of the American Board
of Ophthalmology, delegate to the American Board of Medical Specialties and Vice-Chair of the Residency Review Committee. He served the American Glaucoma Society as Director at Large, Quality of Care Subcommittee member, and Secretary (2006-9). He was an editorial board member of the Journal of Glaucoma. He served as Secretary and Treasurer of the International Perimetric Society, was an invited member of the international Glaucoma Research Society, and was a member of the governing Council of the American Ophthalmological Society.
Dr. Mills leaves behind his wife, Karen Covington, three daughters, six granddaughters, and one grandson, all of whom live near Seattle. Dr. Mills played piano, enjoyed hiking, and adored fine opera.
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