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What's Happening

Leadership Development Program Welcomes a New Class

The 15th class of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) met in San Francisco from Jan. 11 to 13. Participants included Eye M.D.s from across the United States. The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) and the European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE) held concurrent sessions of their leadership development programs, with a number of joint sessions with the Academy’s LDP. Participants in the Academy’s LDP learned about association management and leadership topics such as communication, media relations, professionalism, effective negotiations, delegation, efficient committee meetings, and others.

The LDP ophthalmologists heard about the challenges and opportunities facing each organization from Academy President Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, PAAO President Mark Mannis, MD, and SOE President Stefan Seregard, MD. They also visited the Academy’s headquarters to learn about the key priorities for the Academy and opportunities for global collaboration from Academy Executive Vice President and CEO David W. Parke II, MD. Dr. Sternberg encouraged participants “to take full advantage of this LDP weekend to network with program colleagues and to interface with society leadership. The connections and friendships you make here will benefit you for years to come.”

The next session for the LDP XV class will take place in April at the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum (MYF) in Washington, D.C., and it will focus on developing advocacy skills. Participants will take part in Congressional Advocacy Day (CAD), meeting with federal legislators and congressional aides to discuss ophthalmology issues.

Graduation from the program will take place at the Academy’s 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans after a final two-hour session. Participants will be formally recognized for completing the program during the Society Presidents’ Breakfast and Recognition Awards.

For more information about these Academy leadership development programs, contact Gail Schmidt at gschmidt@aao.org.

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March 2013 Academy Notebook
LDP GRADUATION. The Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) XIV, Class of 2012, pictured above, held its final session in Chicago. The incoming LDP XV, Class of 2013, began with an orientation session in Chicago.

Back row, from left to right:
Jeff H. Pettey, MD, Alan E. Kimura, MD, William W. Richardson II, MD, Eric R. Thomas, MD, Mark R. Melson, MD, Ronald A. Braswell, MD, Nathan M. Radcliffe, MD, Daniel E. Neely, MD, and Geoffrey G. Emerson, MD, PhD. Front row, from left to right: Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, Tatyana Milman, MD, Anthony J. Viti, MD, Sidney K. Gicheru, MD, Millicent Palmer-Johnson, MD, Prin Rojanapongpun, MD, David W. Johnson, MD (director of the LDP XIV), Susan K. Burden, MD, and Daniel J. Briceland, MD (Academy Secretary for State Affairs). Not pictured: Natalie A. Afshari, MD, and Don O. Kikkawa, MD.

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Foundation Leadership Change

March 2013 Academy NotebookAs of Jan. 1, B. Thomas Hutchinson, MD, has stepped down after six years as chairman of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Advisory Board. Christie L. Morse, MD, succeeds him. Dr. Hutchinson will continue to serve as a member of the board.

Dr. Hutchinson has a history of making significant contributions to the Foundation and to public service in ophthalmology. Most notable of these was his 1985 launch of a public service program pilot in three states, in which volunteers provided eye exams to older Americans. This program has grown in the last 28 years and is now known as EyeCare America. ECA has become the largest public service program in American medicine, with nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists, and has helped 1.8 million people across the United States.

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.eyecareamerica.org or e-mail pubserv@aao.org.

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Take Notice

Attend the Academy’s Coding Seminar

Presented in collaboration with ophthalmic state societies around the country, CODEquest helps attendees code accurately, prepare for all types of audits, and transition to ICD-10. Future CODEquest locations and dates include Hawaii (Aug. 17), Louisiana (May 3), Maryland (May 17), Nebraska (April 5), and Virginia (April 27).

Register at www.aao.org/codequest.

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Join Your Colleagues at the Mid-Year Forum

The Academy’s 2013 Mid-Year Forum (MYF) is scheduled for April 10 to 13 at the Renaissance Downtown in Washington, D.C. Congressional Advocacy Day (CAD), which is held in conjunction with the MYF, takes place April 10 and 11. (For more about CAD, see “D.C. Report.")

MYF attendees participate in sessions covering various topics affecting ophthalmology. The MYF will open with a session on how ophthalmologists can best navigate and prepare for a health care environment with increased clinical integration and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Additional sessions will cover the need for and use of practice extenders, the impact of integrating an EHR system, and issues surrounding the compounding pharmacies. In the closing session, patient satisfaction beyond clinical outcomes will be addressed, and practice reporting and other metrics will be identified.

The keynote address will be given by Alex Castellanos, CNN contributor, during the MYF Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 11. His talk is titled “Politics: A Look Into the Future.”

MYF registration costs $250 both online and on site. Online registration closes March 18. The fee includes all materials and most meals. CME credit will be available.

To learn more, visit www.aao.org/myf.

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EyeSmart’s Fifth Anniversary

As it passes its five-year anniversary, the Academy’s public-facing website, www.geteyesmart.org, celebrates its achievements. The site hit 1 million visitors in 2012 and has received multiple public relations awards, including the 2012 PR Daily Award for Best Public Service Announcement.

For more information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

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March 2013 Academy Notebook ONE SPOTLIGHT: New Ophthalmic Technology Assessments now available. The Academy’s Ophthalmic Technology Assessments (OTAs) on the Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE) Network evaluate the safety and clinical effectiveness of new and existing procedures, drugs, and diagnostic and screening tests. Among the most recent OTAs are the following:
  • Options and Adjuvants in Surgery for Pterygium—Findings include evidence that mitomycin C and conjunctival or limbal autografts reduced the recurrence rate after surgical excision of a pterygium. 
  • Interventions for Toxoplasma Retinochoroiditis—A review of the evidence found that no randomized controlled study demonstrated that routine antibiotic or corticosteroid treatment favorably affected visual outcomes or reduced lesion size. 
  • Femtosecond Lasers for LASIK Flap Creation—The assessment concludes that femtosecond lasers are efficacious devices for creating LASIK flaps with accompanying good visual results, and it reviews complications unique to this method. 

The full-text OTAs are free to Academy members and Ophthalmology subscribers. 

To view the full collection of OTAs, visit www.aao.org/ota.

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Academy Store

Register for the MOC Exam Review Course

Prepare for maintenance of certification (MOC) exams by attending the Academy’s 2013 MOC Exam Review Course. It is led by expert faculty involved in the creation of the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum, which is used to develop the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge exam. The course offers in-depth reviews of Core Ophthalmic Knowledge and your choice of one or two practice emphasis areas. The class will be held July 19 to 21 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. Registration closes June 20.

To register, visit www.aao.org/moc.

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Educate Your Patients About AMD

March is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Keep your patients informed and compliant with the Academy’s patient education videos and brochures.

  • Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration DVD (#050117) or downloadable video (#050124V).
  • Macular Degeneration brochures in English (#051141) and in Spanish (#051339), AMD and Nutritional Supplements brochure (#051142), and Anti-VEGF Treatment and AMD brochure (#051143).

For more information, visit www.aao.org/store.

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D.C. Report

Participate to Impact Policy Change

Academy members can influence key legislative issues affecting ophthalmology by attending Congressional Advocacy Day (CAD) on April 10 and 11. More than 300 ophthalmologists are expected to meet with lawmakers and their aides on Capitol Hill to lobby for federal laws and regulations promoting quality eye care and practice viability. They will also discuss the perils caused by recurring temporary fixes to the flawed formula that is used to calculate Medicare physician pay, as well as the need for a permanent solution to protect beneficiaries’ access to care. 

Build on past successes. Efforts at previous CADs have positively impacted the profession. For example, last year the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appointed a full-time national program director for ophthalmology. The VA action was the result of the Academy and 2012 CAD participants’ multipronged advocacy campaign for legislation to create the position.

Join an alliance of advocates. Nineteen ophthalmic subspecialty and specialized interest societies have joined the Academy as partners to promote participation to their members. The Academy, ophthalmology training programs, and state, subspecialty, and specialized-interest societies are also supporting resident and fellow participation through the Advocacy Ambassador Program.

Develop lobbying skills. CAD begins on the evening of April 10. Attendees will be briefed on key legislative priorities, protocol during congressional meetings, and effective lobbying skills. On April 11, participants will put these skills to work during meetings scheduled by the Academy. No prior lobbying experience is necessary to participate.

Also attend the MYF. CAD is held every year in conjunction with the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum (MYF). The forum provides an opportunity for leaders from the Academy and allied ophthalmic organizations to discuss critical issues facing the profession (see “Join Your Colleagues at the Mid-Year Forum”).

How to sign up. Preregistration for the 2013 Mid-Year Forum, including Congressional Advocacy Day, is available until March 18. There is no fee for Congressional Advocacy Day.

Mark your calendar to attend. Your participation can significantly impact the profession.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/myf.

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Meeting Matters

Sneak Peak at 2013 Symposia

Planning is already under way for the 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The 2013 symposia (free for all attendees) will include the following:

  • The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform in 2013: Pearls and Potential Perils. This symposium will discuss the law, the impact on physician shortages, and changing payment methods. Combined meeting with the National Medical Association Ophthalmology Section.
  • A Multidisciplinary Approach to Emerging Therapies in Neuro-Ophthalmology. This symposium provides an overview of several diseases and describes emerging treatments for these patients. Combined meeting with the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society.
  • Advanced Applications of Femtosecond Lasers for Refractive Surgery. Attendees will receive a comprehensive update on femtosecond lasers and will understand the benefits of such technology for both cornea- and lens-based refractive procedures. Combined meeting with the International Society of Refractive Surgery.
  • Innovations in Pediatric Eye Surgery. Although surgical advances in ophthalmology are highlighted at each year’s Academy meeting, the unique characteristics of the developing eye and the challenges of surgical intervention in the pediatric age group warrant special attention. Combined meeting with the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
  • Stage 2 of Meaningful Use: What You Need to Do to Qualify for Payment. To help ophthalmologists qualify for Meaningful Use incentives, this symposium will address the timeline, updates, and criteria for stage 2. Combined meeting with the Committee on Medical Information Technology.

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Submit Abstracts for Papers, Posters, and Videos

If you are interested in being a presenter at the 2013 Annual Meeting, you must submit abstracts online. For papers, posters, and videos, the online submitter opens on March 13 and closes on April 9.

For abstract guidelines, go to www.aao.org/presentercentral. For further information, e-mail meetings@aao.org.

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Save These Dates for New Orleans

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Academy’s 2013 Annual Meeting. Circle the following dates:

  • June 26 Registration and housing reservations open to Academy and AAOE members.
  • July 10 Registration and housing reservations open to nonmembers.
  • Aug. 7 Last day to register and qualify for Early Registration fee.
  • Oct. 2 Last day to register to have your badge and meeting materials mailed to you before the meeting.
  • Oct. 23 Last day to register online.
  • Nov. 15-16 Subspecialty Day.
  • Nov. 16-19 Annual Meeting.

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International Travelers

Get ready for New Orleans by making sure your passport is up to date and checking to see if you need a visa to enter the United States.

  • 37 countries, including Taiwan, participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers from these countries coming to the Annual Meeting may not need a visa, but they do need a machine-readable passport and Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval. Additional passport requirements may apply.
  • Citizens of Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda generally do not require a visa to travel to the United States, but they do need a valid passport.
  • Travelers from other countries will likely need a visa. Apply now, as processing can take up to six months.

For more information on visitor visas, to download the letter of information, and to read travel guides about New Orleans, visit www.aao.org/2013.

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Visit the Academy Around the World

View the latest Academy products, get information about the Annual Meeting, or resolve your membership questions at the Academy’s booth during the following ophthalmic meetings:

  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS): 2013 Symposium & Congress. April 19-23, San Francisco. Booth 334.
  • European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE): 2013 Congress. June 8-11, Copenhagen, Denmark. Booth number to be determined.

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March 2013 Academy NotebookMUSEUM: THIS MONTH IN OPHTHALMIC HISTORY. On March 21, 1887, the ophthalmologist and revolutionary, Jose Rizal, MD (1861-1896), published his first satirical novel. It indicted the Spanish and the Catholic clergy for their roles in ruling colonial Philippines. His books and reform organization, La Liga Filipina, rallied his fellow countrymen in the struggle for independence. Seeing Dr. Rizal as a threat, the Spanish government had him arrested and executed for treason. Today, Dr. Rizal is considered a founding father of the independent Philippine nation, and he is honored on stamps and coins and with three national museums.

Learn more about Dr. Rizal at www.museumofvision.org/bios.

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