West Virginia University has named Thomas Mauger, M.D., to lead the WVU Eye Institute and serve as chair for the Department of Ophthalmology. He will also serve as associate dean for practice plan integration.
Dr. Mauger specializes in medical and surgical care for corneal disease, including keratoconus, Fuchs' corneal dystrophies, corneal transplants and cataract surgeries.
“Every patient is unique, and the resources at WVU, as well as our unique position across our clinical care areas in the state, allow us to examine a problem and explore potential solutions with the patient, helping them find what works for their lifestyle,” Mauger said.
He joins WVU from Ohio State University, where he served as professor, department chair and director of the Havener Eye Institute for his alma mater. He earned a master’s degree in physiological optics and doctoral degrees in optometry and medicine at OSU. Mauger also completed residency training in ophthalmology and a fellowship in cornea and external disease at OSU.
In 2015, he completed a second master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Mauger’s philosophy is that there’s no cookie-cutter answer when it comes to care.
Mauger is joined by his spouse, Carol Laxson, M.D., Ph.D., who will serve as assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and as the director of diabetic retinopathy screening and prevention. Laxson earned a doctoral degree in anatomy and a medical degree from OSU. She completed residency training in opthalmology and a retinal fellowship, both at OSU.
“We were impressed that the University, from top to bottom, is committed to improving the health and lives of the people of West Virginia,” Mauger said. “There is a feeling of purpose in the staff and faculty throughout the hospital and medical school. The leadership of WVU are committed to fostering an environment of innovation and progress and health for the state of West Virginia and beyond. It is an exciting time to join the Mountaineer mission.”
Mauger sees potential for innovation in West Virginia, which has one of the highest prevalence of diabetes in the nation. He says the WVU Eye Institute is uniquely positioned to create a system to detect diabetic eye disease through screening and then to prevent visual loss through timely, state-of-the-art treatment.
“We are thrilled that both Tom and Carol are joining the WVU Medicine family and are committed to improving access to quality eye care across the state,” Clay Marsh, M.D., WVU Health Sciences vice president and executive dean, said. “They are world-class physicians and experts in their specialties and will enhance the WVU Eye Institute with exciting new treatment and research opportunities.”
Both have been recognized on the list of Best Doctors in America, and Mauger earned the Makley-Battles Teaching Award of Resident Education and the OSU Excellence in Teaching Award.
Active in outreach and community-based care, Mauger is a past board member for Prevent Blindness Ohio and serves as an alumni advisory council member for Fight for Sight. He served a leading role in creating a free ophthalmology clinic for underserved community members in Ohio, and also gives back on a global level through his collaborative work in Ghana and Nicaragua.
Mauger and Laxson join WVU in September and are the most recent recruits in a series of high-profile clinical leaders for WVU’s departments, centers and institutes, including the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, WVU Medicine Children’s and WVU Cancer Institute.