Dr Leonard Teye-Botchway was a surgeon for over 30 years. He trained and collaborated with leading Ophthalmology Centres in the USA and UK. He was a qualified Fellow of the colleges of surgeons of Glasgow, West Africa and Ghana. As a Consultant and subsequently as Medical Director, he led the team at his Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology (BIIO), providing innovative ophthalmic care obviating the need for some Bermudians to travel overseas. As an International Scholar of the American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO), Continual Medical Education was high among Dr Teye-Botchway’s priorities through training his staff and through his own regular attendance of AAO and John Hopkins Hospital ophthalmology conferences. Internationally Dr Teye-Botchway advised the Paralympic Committee as nominated Visual Impairments Classifier and was Honorary Consul to Ghana.
Leonard dedicated his life’s work to building an advanced clinical ophthalmic service, at the frontiers of innovation, to meet the needs of Bermudians. For over 22 years, BIIO collaborated with visiting consultants from the Wills Eye Hospital, Nemours International Paediatrics and the Lahey Hospital and Medical Centre.
As Medical Director Dr Teye-Botchway introduced key new services including-Performing Bermuda’s first multifocal lens implantation allowing his patients to see both near and far, reducing or eliminating their dependence on glasses.
He also introduced Optical Coherence Tomography with new equipment and instrumentation for the investigation and diagnosis of severe, potentially blinding diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Dr Teye-Botchway demonstrated his strong commitment to developing both his own skills and those of his staff through building on the foundations of his international training and through promoting further professional qualifications for the BIIO team.
In 2014 the AAO recognised Dr Leonard Teye-Botchway’s life-long commitment to learning by honouring him with the International Scholar Award. As an International Scholar, Dr Teye-Botchway joined an intellectual elite of ophthalmologists worldwide. His research interests included the use of technology in ophthalmology, ocular circulation and enhancing patient communication to optimise compliance.
Dr Teye-Botchway facilitated BIIO staff development with four staff achieving the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Certification from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the Practice Manager gaining Membership of the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators.
Dr Teye-Botchway combined his dual passions for ophthalmology and sport through his voluntary service. Affiliated to the International Paralympic Committee and International Blind Sports Federation, he achieved ‘Visual Impairment International Classifier’ status. In Bermuda, he organized community sporting events to promote fitness.
For example, he organized annual walk and fun runs for over fifteenth years, raising sizeable donations for Age Concern and the Skills Development program. He was a technical advisor to the Bermuda Society for the Blind.
As the first Honorary Consul for Ghana, Dr Teye-Botchway advised Bermuda’s Government about visas and represented the Government in an official, national capacity. He assisted Ghanaians in difficulty and promoted Ghana as a tourist destination.
Dr Teye-Botchway was a Government-appointed Justice of the Peace and served on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. For several years he was the Government-appointed ophthalmologist on the Board of the Bermuda Optometric Association and advised on vision requirements for driving.
In collaboration with the Bermuda National Trust, Dr Teye-Botchway invested in preserving the building that one of Bermuda’s National Heroes lived in. Born into slavery in Devonshire, Mary Princes’ ground-breaking autobiography “The History of Mary Prince” was published in London in 1831. She was the first British woman to publish a slave narrative. The Bermuda National Trust recognized the efforts of Dr Teye-Botchway recently in designating the preserved building as a Heritage site.
With his primary passion for developing ophthalmology services for Bermudians, Dr Teye-Botchway built up his Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology to provide a full range of specialist, leading-edge ophthalmic care and collaborated with distinguished tertiary centres overseas to bring superlative specialities to Bermuda to deliver cutting edge treatment.
Wider interests including advising the Bermuda Society for the Blind, serving the community as Honorary Consul of Ghana, combined with his dedication to promoting fitness sport through complete Dr Teye-Botchway’s wide-ranging portfolio.
Dr Teye-Botchway unfortunately passed away on the 3rd of September 2019.