Establishing the Henkes medal for Leadership in Ophthalmology

The Professor Dr Harold E. Henkes Foundation proposed to SOE to establish a Henkes Medal for Leadership in Ophthalmology. The proposal was agreed at the SOE Board meeting in Geneva 2011. The medal will be awarded every four years to the ophthalmologist for the greatest achievement in the field of leadership in ophthalmology.

 Prof. Henkes was born in Scheveningen in 1918 and studied medicine in Utrecht. He obtained his PhD with a thesis titled “Some applications of histological and micro-chemical vitamin C research”.

After his training as an ophthalmologist in Utrecht he started his career at The Rotterdam Eye Hospital. In 1961 he succeeded Prof. Flieringa as Medical Director. After the foundation of “Higher Clinical Education” he was appointed associate professor in 1961 and full  professor of ophthalmology in Rotterdam in 1967. Professor Henkes worked at The Rotterdam Eye Hospital and brought it to full bloom. After an apprenticeship in Sweden and America he studied electro-ophthalmology. He became the founder of electro-ophthalmology in Holland.

As secretary and treasurer during many years and later on as chairman of the SOE he particularly promoted the development of ophthalmology in Eastern Europe. Ophthalmology outside of Europe also had his attention; for instance, he encouraged his students to work in Africa.

Professor Henkes has held several management positions, both national and International.  Among others, he was the founder and chairman of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. He received the prestigious Von Helmholtz prize for his efforts in ophthalmology. He was a member of the Royal Academy of Science and of many other organizations.

Prof. Dr. Harold E. Henkes passed away in 2010.