One of the three founders of Texas Retina Associates, William B. Snyder, MD, passed away on January 18, 2019, at the age of 87.
The child of two physicians, Dr. Snyder attended medical school at Vanderbilt University and completed his retina training at the University of Iowa. He came to Dallas in 1966 to join the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Ophthalmology Department. Along with his Texas Retina Associates co-founders Albert Vaiser, MD, and William Hutton, MD, he was eager to advance care in the emerging field of retina, and the three established Texas Retina Associates in 1975. Over the next four decades, they carefully grew the practice to its now 14 offices throughout Texas with 16 retina-fellowship-trained physicians.
Humble and hard-working, Dr. Snyder had a pioneering spirit and a passion for saving sight and continually pushing the limits of what was possible to improve patient care. Dr. Snyder’s drive, dedication and quiet leadership helped Texas Retina Associates to bring a number of innovations and “firsts” to the Dallas area, including treatment of diabetic retinopathy, vitrectomy to treat retinal detachment, membrane peels to treat macular puckers, and development of a number of new diagnostic tools and techniques.
Dr. Snyder was also instrumental in the establishment of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas in 1975. Again, this was driven by a desire to preserve vision by better understanding the root causes and progression of retinal diseases. He worked with Dr. Vaiser and Dr. Hutton to seek out the best medical scientists in the field at that time and eventually recruited David G. Birch, MD, PhD, and his wife Eileen Birch, PhD, to Dallas to help establish the Foundation. Dr. Snyder remained an active volunteer leader in the Retina Foundation of the Southwest throughout his career. He retired from Texas Retina Associates in 2012.
Texas Retina Associates’ Gary Edd Fish, MD, worked alongside Dr. Snyder for many years. “Dr. Snyder was a hero to so many, and a true inspiration and friend to me,” shares Dr. Fish. “I will always be grateful to him. Just seeing him in the morning always made me happy and listening to him always made me smarter.”
Texas Retina Associates CEO Jeff Brockette agrees, “The legacy Dr. Snyder leaves behind and the example he lived out every day will always remain a vital part of Texas Retina Associates.”