John D. (Jack) Baker, MD was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1942. He attended the University of Michigan and received his MD degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1967. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Kresge Eye Institute and Detroit Receiving Hospital. This was followed by a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC under the mentorship of Dr. Marshall Parks and department chair, Dr. David Friendly. Having Dr. Parks as longtime mentor and friend was something that Dr. Baker valued greatly in both his professional and personal life.
Following his fellowship, Dr. Baker returned to Detroit and joined Dr. Gerald Davies in practice at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine. He rose through the academic ranks and was named Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology in 1999. Children’s Hospital of Michigan has been a very important part of Dr. Baker’s life. He was Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology for 22 years, sharing the role as co-chair for a few years. Always a dedicated teacher, providing an outstanding educational experience was critical to him during his tenure as chair. A pediatric ophthalmology fellowship was initiated in 1991. In 2005, Dr. Baker relinquished his role as Department Chair to accept the Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. This was the first time in the 125-year history of the hospital that a physician was elected board chair.
Dr. Baker has been a very involved member of AAPOS since its inception and is passionate about its role in advancing the specialty of pediatric ophthalmology. He served as chair of the Finance, Membership, and Training and Education Committees. He also served as Secretary for Program and as President (1995). He received the AAPOS Lifetime Achievement Award and the Senior Honor Award from the AAO. He served or is serving as a board member of other organizations whose mission is better vision for children including the American Orthoptic Council, JCAHPO, the Vision Retinal Research ROPARD Foundation, Prevent Blindness American (5 years as Chair of the Pediatric Advisory Committee), the Children’s Eye Foundation in various officer positions, Medical Director of the Lions of Michigan Preschool Screening program and as an advisor to the director of the State of Michigan school and preschool vision screening program.
Dr. Baker’s research interests have been in the treatment of monocular congenital cataracts, strabismus and retinopathy of prematurity. He has published 49 peer reviewed manuscripts, been part of 74 collaborative study manuscript publications and has delivered several named lectures including the Costenbader, Parks and Scobee Lectures. Dr. Baker is happiest when he is on the water, especially if he can be with his wife Susie and their family. The Bakers reside in Detroit but like to be in Northern Michigan as much as they can.