The Glaucoma Institute of Austin was founded by Russell Hayhurst, M.D., F.A.C.S., in 2002. The Glaucoma Institute is the first and only clinic in Central Texas dedicated to the care of glaucoma patients.

GIA is staffed by Board Certified Ophthalmologists and fellowship trained glaucomatologists who provide ongoing care for glaucoma patients, glaucoma screening exams, second opinions, and diagnostic and therapeutic consultative evaluations. GIA’s highly trained and sensitive staff provide glaucoma and ophthalmology services in a caring environment with an emphasis on patient education.

Our Staff

Please allow 48 hours for responses to email inquiries. If you need immediate assistance, please call our office at (512) 452-8467 or toll free at (866) 738-8467


Russell Hayhurst, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Board Certification: Ophthalmology
Fellowship Training: Glaucoma

Dr. Hayhurst graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California, with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. He completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and moved to St. Louis to perform research as a pre-residency fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology at Washington University.

Dr. Hayhurst then returned to Houston to complete his Internship in Pediatrics at Hermann Hospital. After completing his Ophthalmology residency program at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, he remained at Mt. Sinai as Academic Chief Resident and Glaucoma Fellow.

He moved to Austin in 1994 and began his medical practice. In 2002, Dr. Hayhurst founded the Glaucoma Institute of Austin, a clinic dedicated to the special needs of the glaucoma patient. By creating the only clinic of its kind in Central Texas and focusing solely on glaucoma patients, Dr. Hayhurst is better able to care for his patients with glaucoma.

Dr. Hayhurst is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Opthalmology and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America by his peers and is a member of multiple professional organizations. He is actively involved in the leadership of Seton Northwest Hospital.

Email: Dr. Russell Hayhurst, M.D.


Samantha Chai, M.D.

Dr. Samantha Chai is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma and other ophthalmic conditions. Dr. Chai earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University and received her medical doctorate from Cornell Medical College in New York City. She completed her ophthalmology residency at the Cullen Eye Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

She received various awards throughout her career such as Bloomberg Memorial Cataract Surgery Competition award, presented by the American College of Eye Surgeons, American Board of Eye Surgery, the National Eye Institute Travel Grant Award given by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, excellence in research awards including the Milton Boniuk and Lions Eye Bank Foundation Research Award and the prestigious Goar Research Award.

Her passion for glaucoma and intraocular surgery led her to pursue a fellowship in glaucoma at the Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Owing to her love for learning and ophthalmic surgery, Dr. Chai had the unusual privilege of completing a second subspecialty fellowship in oculoplastic surgery and neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. During her fellowship, Dr. Chai treated and performed surgery on countless glaucoma patients. She also underwent extensive training in surgery of the eyelids, orbits, mid-face, and tear ducts, as well as the diagnosis and management of neurological diseases that affect the eye and visual pathways.

Dr. Chai has numerous publications in peer-reviewed medical journals and is the co-author of chapters in ophthalmology textbooks. She has also given numerous presentations at national ophthalmology conferences. Dr. Chai has been practicing ophthalmology in California prior to joining the Glaucoma Institute of Austin. Currently, Dr. Chai holds certifications from the American Board of Ophthalmology, and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society. Aside from her scholastic and clinical accolades, Dr. Chai was recognized for humanitarian services she provided for underserved patients with cataract surgeries in Los Angeles, California, and she hopes to fulfill her desire to help those in need here in Texas and abroad. Dr. Chai is fluent in English, Korean, and conversational Spanish. When not at work, Dr. Chai enjoys the outdoors, hiking and biking, activities at church, and spending time with her family including loving husband, three adorable kids, and caring parents.

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Glaucoma Institute of Austin

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