Our Founder, Watson Gailey, MD, was a nationally renowned specialist and a pioneer in the field of Ophthalmology. His goal was to be a leader in eye care for the area, using the latest technologies and procedures.
Dr. Gailey was born in 1882 in Ashland, IL. In 1904 he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He performed his internship at Cook County Hospital followed by his residency training at Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. In 1908, Dr. Gailey started an Otolaryngology practice in Bloomington, Il, providing the community with the finest medical and surgical ear, eye, nose and throat care available. In 1912, Dr. Gailey went to Vienna, Austria to study diseases of the eye. When WW I broke out, he enlisted in the US Medical Corps and he later lead the eye department at the US General Hospital in Lakewood NJ, where he remained until 1919. Over the next several years, Dr. Gailey traveled extensively to acquire the knowledge necessary to open a clinic specifically tailored for eye care.
In 1941, Dr. Gailey opened the first Gailey Eye Clinic at 1008 N. Main Street, Bloomington, IL. Being committed to quality surgery and excellence in Ophthalmology, in 1945 he founded and served as the first president of the Illinois Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. In 1949, he founded the Watson Gailey Eye Foundation followed by starting the Watson Gailey Mennonite Hospital Eye Bank in 1951.
Although Dr. Gailey passed away in 1959, his legacy lives on today in our clinic locations throughout central Illinois. We continue to uphold his goal of being a leader in eye care, delivering unsurpassed eye care and surgical results.