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“Dr. D"

A. J. delaHoussaye, MD, FACS, also known as “Dr. D”, received the Chancellor’s Scholarship to pursue his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University before attending Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended LSU Medical School, New Orleans, on a Board of Supervisor’s Scholarship and graduated with Medical School Honors as one of three, out of a class of about 200.

Dr. D’s research publications have appeared in the Life Science Journal, and as a result of his definitive research, upon graduation, he was awarded the LSU Medical School Research Award. He then served as chief resident in ophthalmology at Ochsner in New Orleans where he graduated in 1998.

Dr. D was selected as LSU Young Alumnus of the Year in 2002 out of 300,000 graduates for his generosity to veterans, innovations in medicine and U.S. patents. This prestigious award was presented to Shaquille O'Neal (for his accomplishments in basketball) the previous year.

Dr. D founded SEECA in 1998, an ophthalmology practice that provides eye-care to South Louisiana. SEECA has a team of about 35, including four board certified ophthalmologists, and performs about 20,000 eye exams per year. Dr. D is proud of the reputation SEECA has earned as one of the most caring and professional medical practices in Louisiana. SEECA and Dr. D have been voted the Best Ophthalmologist in this region, multiple times.

Board Certified in Ophthalmology:

Dr. D is Board Certified in Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and Louisiana Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

He earned the coveted FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) designation, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a surgeon by the College.

Additional Awards:
  • Twice selected as Houma Small Business of the Year by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

  • Worldwide Microsoft Award for advanced implementation of SEECA EMR 2004. (Reuters and Toyota were the other winners of this award in 2004).

  • Patriotic Citizen of the Year in 2005 for generosity to Veterans and their families.

  • Appointed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal 2008-2012 to the Louisiana State Medical Advisory Board.

  • Recipient of a key to Houma in 2009 for starting the Independence Day Celebration.

Dr. D loves Veterans:

Dr. D’s father, a Marine fighter pilot, was killed in Vietnam in 1968 when Dr. D was one year old.  This tragedy made Dr. D realize how much Veterans and their families sacrifice for America. It was incredibly tough, growing up without a father, but it taught Dr. D that with time and perseverance, anyone can overcome tragedy.

Dr. D appreciates Veterans for pledging their lives to America and their fellow man. As a show of thanks, SEECA offers a significant discount for all Veterans in the optical shop and a discount on Lasik for Veterans.

Veterans Vision Day

SEECA Veterans Vision Day was started by Dr. D in 2002 as a way to say “thank you” to the veterans. Dr. D gives free full eye exams to all Veterans and their spouses on Veterans Day because Dr. D knows what it means to sacrifice for America.

Ballistics Grade Protective Eyewear for the military

Dr. D donated Oakley ballistics grade eyewear to local troops as a way to protect their eyes on the battlefield. These Oakley glasses are very special eyewear, (think bullet-proof protection for your eyes). In a twist of fate, the ballistics glasses Dr. D provided to one of our soldiers protected his eyes when a rocket hit his helicopter in Afghanistan and exploded in his face. The soldier credits the glasses with saving his eyes. Dr. D was gratified to know that his gift helped save this soldier's sight in battle.

Independence Day:

Dr. D founded, organized and sponsored the Houma/Terrebonne Fourth of July Celebration, starting in 2009. Over the years, this event has included a bike race, beauty pageant, fun run, parade, solemn ceremony, entertainment, food booths, kid’s events, jet flyovers, parachute jumpers and of course, awesome fireworks. Dr. D and SEECA are proud to work with the Wounded Warrior Project to sponsor an annual Fishing Rodeo that grew out of the Fourth of July Celebration. SEECA proudly partners with the Terrebonne Patriots, led by local civic leader Danny Picou, who helps orchestrate this annual event for the Houma community.

SEECA EMR (Electronic Medical Records)

Dr. D invented and copyrighted the software system that SEECA uses to examine patients. In 1998, when Dr. D started SEECA, he predicted the future of medicine would be computerized. There was not a computerized records system that met with Dr. D’s approval, so Dr. D used his programming experience to build one.

After 2 years of programming, SEECA EMR was launched.  SEECA currently has a technology team that works fulltime to continuously update its electronic medical records.  Patients experience the benefits of this technology as increased efficiency and accuracy which helps Dr. D, the technicians and the patients.

Patients often ask if they need to check out at the front desk before they exit.  They are pleasantly surprised to learn that there is no need, since payment has been previously collected and their appointment information has already been printed out.  Respect for the patient’s time is one of SEECA’s main goals.

Invention and United States Patents:

Dr. D received a US Patent for a computerized lighting system that makes SEECA much more efficient. This unique system helps Dr. D maintain an average exam time of less than 30 minutes.  This accomplishment is a reflection of the patent and the awesome team that Dr. D has assembled.  Each SEECA team member is committed to serving the patients as efficiently as possible.  This patent is another example of SEECA’S commitment to respecting the patients’ time. Dr. D’s other US Patent relates to bicycle safety.

Artificial intelligence:

Dr. D invented a specialized version of artificial intelligence and has been using this technology since 2002 to assist with glaucoma management. Google and IBM popularized artificial intelligence about 10 years after Dr. D, but years before these technology giants thought about artificial intelligence, Dr. D was using it on a daily basis to help his patients.

The concept behind artificial intelligence is simple. Computers can calculate complex data quickly and the answer is correct 100% of the time. For example, when was the last time your computerized calculator gave you the wrong answer? Artificial intelligence takes very complex data and distills this data down to the correct answer…every time.

​Back in 2002, Dr. D was using artificial intelligence to calculate “target intra ocular pressures” for glaucoma patients. This task would normally take a doctor 7-10 minutes to calculate but the computer calculates this number in a half-second and it is always correct. Since using this artificial intelligence, the computer has never been incorrect. Doctors should never say “never”, but in this case it's accurate.

​Since the success of the first artificial intelligence system, Dr. D has invented other artificial intelligence systems that are more complex. SEECA uses artificial intelligence on every patient during every visit. One hundred percent accuracy in diagnosis and treatment is the goal.

​For example, let's say an individual has been a SEECA patient for 18 years, and years ago this patient experienced an episode of a rare infection that responded to an uncommon medication. It is probable that a doctor may not recall this episode, but the computer never forgets. The system quickly recalls this particular infection and alerts the doctor to use the correct antibiotic, even though it's been 18 years.

​This type of great care would be unlikely without the aid of artificial intelligence and computers. Dr. D has been on the forefront of this revolution since he started SEECA and predicts that artificial intelligence will help doctors practice better medicine in the future.

Additional Inventions and copyrights by Dr. D (all still used at SEECA)
  • Invented and copyrighted glaucoma artificial intelligence in 2002

  • Invented and copyrighted a retinal drawing tool in 2004

  • Invented and copyrighted a computerized vision checking system in 2005

  • Invented and copyrighted a cataract astigmatism correction system in 2007

  • Invented and copyrighted LASIK artificial intelligence in 2008

  • Invented and copyrighted cataract surgery artificial intelligence in 2010

  • Invented and copyrighted eye exam artificial intelligence in 2016

Technology

Dr. D invested in one of the most advanced lasers in the world (Lasik VISX S4 LASER) which delivers the most precise, customized LASIK refractive surgery correction possible. This is the same technology used on America’s fighter pilots and astronauts. This level of commitment to excellence defines everything at SEECA.

The Accident:

In 2012, Dr. D was involved in a near-death bicycle wreck that resulted in a broken neck (cervical vertebrae 2, 3 and 7), spinal cord damage, cerebellar stroke, multiple shattered skull bones, and multiple cranial nerve palsies. After losing a critical amount of blood, Dr. D became unconscious and was hanging on by a thread.

Dr. D barely made it to the hospital where the doctors frantically tried to save his life. After emergency surgery, Dr. D woke up from the coma, but was unable to speak, walk, eat or breathe without a ventilator.

Many feared Dr. D might not live through such a violent accident, but even if he lived, the spinal cord damage meant that Dr. D would likely never walk again. This new reality was inconceivable to people who were close to Dr. D. In hindsight, Dr. D says this is one of the most important lessons he learned from this accident. Dr. D says “He treasures every moment and every relationship like it's GOLD, because life can change in an instant.”

Dr. D credits the awesome doctors at TGMC for saving his life, but after about a week, because Dr. D's injuries were so severe, he got worse. The decision was made to transfer Dr. D by helicopter from TGMC to Ochsner because of their famous trauma doctors. Despite great care at Ochsner, including from Dr. John Ochsner himself, Dr. D unfortunately got even worse. At Ochsner, he received the diagnosis of “failure to thrive” so out of desperation, Dr. D's family transferred him to a third hospital by Jet Ambulance. TIRR Hospital in Houston was Dr. D's last chance to get better but upon admission (and about 5 weeks after the accident), Dr. D still could not walk, talk, eat or breathe without a ventilator.

During his ordeal, Dr. D was genuinely scared that he might not make it, and with tears in his eyes, he made a promise to God. If God allowed Dr. D to survive, he would spend the rest of his life giving God the credit for saving his life.

To reaffirm this promise every day, Dr. D would read the healing prayer below, which gave Dr. D hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Dr. D recalls thinking that his condition would never get better, but God was listening and had different plans.

Healing Prayer

Heavenly Father, I call on You in a special way.

It is through You that I was created.

Every breath I take, every morning I wake.

Every moment, every hour, I live under Your power.

Father, I ask You to touch me with that same power.

For if You created me from nothing,

You can certainly recreate me.

Fill me with the healing power of Your spirit.

Cast out anything that should not be in me.

Mend what is broken, root out any unproductive cells.

Open all blood vessels and rebuild any damaged areas.

Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection.

Let the warmth of Your healing love pass through my body.

Father, please restore me to full health in mind and body

So that I may serve You the rest of my life.

I ask this through Christ our Lord

and I thank You Lord for listening.

AMEN

Some believe that Dr. D may have received some kind of miracle because on discharge, after about 2 months at TIRR, Dr. D could walk, talk eat and breathe without a ventilator. His doctors, therapists, and everyone who knew his case, was stunned by the improvement. It was a miracle that Dr. D was free of his wheelchair.

It would take an additional three years before Dr. D was able to go back to work full time, but going back to ophthalmology was truly unbelievable because most thought Dr. D would never walk again, much less practice ophthalmology. Most didn’t count on God having the last word.

True to his word, Dr. D gives the credit for his survival to God and as part of his promise, Dr. D provides free exams to all diabetics. Dr. D knows how great it feels to get a helping hand when you need it. Helping diabetics, who otherwise might not be able to get specialist-care, is a tip of the hat to the help Dr. D got when he was down.

More details of the accident and the miracle can be found on this website in the article titled “A Walking Miracle” written by the Bayou Catholic magazine about Dr. D and his accident.

Empathy:

“Being completely disabled after the accident was a humbling experience for Dr. D, and life-changing because he experienced medicine from the perspective of the patient.

As a result, the empathy that Dr. D has for his patients transcends the normal doctor-patient relationship. When Dr. D says, “I know exactly how you feel” it's because Dr. D lived through a number of eye related issues, including severe blurred vision, double vision, watery eyes and inability to blink. These issues gave Dr. D a unique appreciation for how devastating these eye issues can be.

​Dr. D thinks that TRUE EMPATHY is one of the most important characteristics of a good doctor. The accident allowed Dr. D to cherish patients in a profound way that sometimes happens when doctors experience medicine as a patient. The bicycle accident was very unfortunate, but there is a silver lining. The bike accident forced Dr. D to see medicine from the patient’s perspective and Dr. D understands this perspective because he lived this reality, as a patient, for years.

​The result is a very different doctor and a very different practice. Dr. D says “patients say that our practice has a special feeling they can discern instantly.”

As bizarre as it sounds, Dr. D is grateful that he got into the bike wreck that almost killed him. To Dr. D, the accident was worth the pain because it gave him the wisdom to be a more compassionate doctor, husband, father and boss.