American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site: www.aao.org
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September 2005

 
Academy Notebook
 
 

• What’s Happening
• FYI
• For the Record
• Washington Report
• Academy Store
• Meeting Matters
• Ophthalmology World News
• Members at Large


What’s Happening

This Year’s Laureate: Arnall Patz, MD
The Academy has announced that it will present Arnall Patz, MD, with its most prestigious honor—the Laureate Recognition Award.

His long list of achievements includes discovering the cause and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity in newborns and collaborating on one of the first argon lasers used in the treatment of degenerative eye diseases. Over the course of his career, he has been honored with many awards, including the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award in 1956 and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

The honors continued this year when Dr. Patz received the 2005 Lions Humanitarian Award. This, together with a $200,000 grant, was presented to him in recognition of his scientific breakthroughs in eye care and treatment. He is using the money to support the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at Wilmer Eye Institute.

To read a more complete account of Dr. Patz’s achievements, as well as those of past Laureates, visit www.aao.org/laureate. Early next year, the Academy will take nominations for the 2006 Laureate Recognition Award. Check January’s EyeNet for details.

FYI

Two Sessions to Help You Prepare for MOC
The American Board of Ophthalmology is moving from a process of recertification to Maintenance of Certification. Beginning next year, ophthalmologists who were Board Certified in 1992 or later will transition to the new MOC process.

To help you prepare, the Academy will offer an in-depth MOC Exam Review Course in the Chicago area from July 21 to 23, 2006.

This interactive course is designed to help diplomates prepare for the closed-book DOCK examination that the ABO will give in September 2006. The course will be based on the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum (POC)—the knowledge base the ABO will use to create the examination—and will be taught by instructors who helped to develop the POC.

Choose from sessions in Core Ophthalmic Knowledge (required) and 10 practice emphasis areas (subspecialties). Registration will begin in early 2006. More information will be available in the coming months.

Also, next month’s Annual Meeting features a free session that will help you prepare for the MOC process. Hear key tips and learn what resources are available. “Making Sense of Maintenance of Certification: What’s Required?” is on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in Room S406B.

For the latest news on the Academy’s MOC resources, visit www.aao.org/ame.

Seeking Nominees for International Blindness Prevention Award
The Academy’s International Blindness Prevention Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the prevention of blindness or restoration of sight.

You are invited to submit nominations for the 2006 award. Selection guidelines include: sustained activity in international blindness prevention; activity that affects
a significant number of people; demonstrated, personal commitment to the prevention of blindness; and proven ability to inspire others to save sight. Nominations must be received by Oct. 1.

Submit nominations to the Academy at international@aao.org.

Ethics of Postop Care and Comanagement
If you want to read up on the ethics of postop care or comanagement, you will now find links to all the relevant Academy documents on one Web page. These include:

  • three Advisory Opinions—Delegated Services; Postoperative Care; and Employment and Referral Relationships Between Ophthalmologists and Other Health Care Providers,
  • two Policy Statements—Pretreatment Assessment: Responsibility of the Ophthalmologists and An Ophthalmologist’s Duties Concerning Postoperative Care,
  • the Academy/ASCRS joint position paper on ophthalmic comanagement and
  • the Academy’s Code of Ethics.

To access these documents, visit www.aao.org/member, select “Ethics” and then “Compendium of Academy postoperative care documents.”


For the Record

Proposed Amendments to the 2005 Bylaws 
The American Academy of Ophthalmology Board of Trustees recommends the following proposed amendments to the Academy Bylaws for consideration and adoption by voting fellows and members via official mail ballot to be forwarded to the voting fellows and members after the Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. 

New language is underlined, and deleted words and phrases are indicated by strike through. Only the affected portions of the current documents are printed here. An explanation of the nature or reasons for the proposed changes precedes the segment.

Board of Trustees Statement: The following change to the Academy Bylaws will set the date of dues delinquency at a time “determined by the Board of Trustees,” allowing the Board the discretion to adjust the date from time to time as circumstances change.

Bylaws
1.21. Fees, Dues and Assessments.

. . . (b) Annual dues shall be established on the basis of the calendar year. The dues for a calendar year shall be payable on or before January 1 of that year and shall be considered delinquent if not paid by June 30 of that year the date as determined by the Board of Trustees. Assessments and fees shall be payable at the time or times determined by the Board of Trustees.

1.22. Termination of Membership.
(a) A Fellow or Member whose required dues, assessments, or other fees for a
calendar year are not paid in full by June 30 of that year the date as determined by the Board of Trustees shall be considered “delinquent.” If the delinquency is not removed by December 31 of that year, membership shall automatically terminate on the last day of that year, unless membership is extended in a manner determined by the Board of Trustees. A Fellow or Member whose membership has been terminated may reapply for membership as provided in Sections 1.17 and 1.18.

Board of Trustees Statement: The Board believes the amendment of the following Academy Bylaws will make the application criteria for endorsement consistent for applying for membership in both Associate and Research Scientist categories.

Bylaws
1.11. Associate Members. A person who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and who is not an ophthalmologist but is engaged in a field allied with or in a basic science related to ophthalmology, or a person who, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, has made significant contributions to ophthalmology, shall be eligible for nomination to receive an invitation for membership as an Associate Member.  A person thought to be an eligible candidate for invitation may be nominated by three (3) two (2) Active or Life Fellows or Members, on the form prescribed by the Board of Trustees.  If the Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, determines that the candidate should be invited for membership as an Associate Member, an acceptance form prescribed by the Board of Trustees shall be furnished to the candidate. 

Review the Candidates for 2005 Membership
The candidates for 2005 Academy membership are now listed online. These applicants have not yet been reviewed by the board of trustees. If you have reason to believe that any individual(s) should not be recommended by the board for election to membership, please submit the reason(s) with documentation (specific names, dates, places, etc.) in writing as soon as possible and no later than Oct. 7. Please send any documentation to: AAO, Member Services, Attention: Jill Hartle, P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424.

Membership is a privilege and is conferred upon recommendation of the board and election thereto by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the voting fellows and members present at the annual business meeting which takes place on Oct. 16 in Chicago.

To view the list of candidates, please visit the Academy’s Member Center at www.aao.org/member.

Notice of 2005 Annual Busines Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Academy’s Annual Business Meeting will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16, in Hall B at McCormick Place, Chicago, Ill., from 10 to 10:30 a.m. The order of business shall be:

  • Call to order
  • Report of the president
  • Report of the executive vice president
  • Election of fellows and members
  • New business
  • Announcements and notices
  • Adjournment

As stated in the Academy Bylaws, the order of business of each Annual Business Meeting may be amended by an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting fellows and members present and voting at the meeting.

Washington Report

P4P on the Agenda at CMS and Congress

The pay-for-performance (P4P) debate heated up in June with the CMS outlining new P4P initiatives and Senate leaders introducing an aggressive bill.

CMS pushes for P4P. CMS said it would shortly begin sharing data with individual physicians on their use of resources, as well as launch a P4P or “value-based purchasing” system in the Medicare fee-for-service program. It is testing claims data to measure fee-for-service physicians’ resource use, including the services provided and ordered. The Academy has raised concerns regarding the ability of CMS to differentiate among ophthalmic subspecialties using claims data (e.g., glaucoma specialists will order more visual fields). CMS also advised that the move to P4P is making steady progress, with the development of quality measures for specialties that represent more than 50 percent of Medicare payments (e.g., primary care). Specialties accounting for an additional 40 percent of physician spending also have measures under development.

Washington’s P4P bills. In Congress, Senate Finance Committee leaders introduced a P4P bill that, beginning Jan. 1, 2007, would penalize physicians 2 percent if they choose not to report on quality measures determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and CMS. The bill requires Medicare to move to a “value-based purchasing system” in 2008 based on quality, improvement and efficiency, which would put physicians in financial competition. The value-based purchasing system provides physicians who meet a threshold score or demonstrate improvement with a bonus from a 1 percent withhold of Part B funds that increases each year (e.g., 1.25 percent in 2009). The bill also establishes a MedPAC-recommended comparative utilization system that provides physicians confidential reports of their individual “efficiency of resource use. Unfortunately, the Senate bill doesn’t stop the scheduled 26 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement. At press time, a House P4P bill was expected to be introduced that would eliminate the SGR. The Academy and the AMA agree any new pay systems must begin with positive physician updates.

 

Academy Store

2005–2006 BCSC Is Now Available on CD-ROM
A convenient complement to the 2005–2006 BCSC print edition, the BCSC CD-ROM offers all 13 sections of the series (including the three new major revisions: Section 2, Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology; Section 3, Clinical Optics; Section 5, Neuro-Ophthalmology). The CD-ROM features an easily searchable format, plus an interactive self-assessment program and CME credit.

This year, the BCSC CD-ROM comes as part of a two CD-ROM set. There are two sets to choose from. One set (Product: #0282005) includes the BCSC plus the International Ophthalmology companion CD-ROM, formerly Section 13 of the series. The other set (#0282015) includes the BCSC plus The Profession of Ophthalmology companion CD-ROM, a new work that covers issues of practice management, ethics and advocacy.

Each CD-ROM set costs $685 for members and $982 for nonmembers. Special discounts on the CD-ROM sets are available for those who also buy the complete print set of the 2005–2006 BCSC, as well as for those who buy the three major revision volumes.

To buy the CD-ROM sets or to find out more about the discounts, phone 415-561-8540 or visit www.aao.org/bcsc.

Order Your 2006 Coding Resources
You can now place advance orders for 2006 coding products, including the 2006 Ophthalmic Coding Coach CD-ROM (#012301). The electronic version of the popular book enables you to search by code and keyword, and to print out pages for documentation. It costs $195 for members; $263 for nonmembers.

AAOE’s coding titles also include:

  • 2006 Ophthalmology Coding Coach print version—$195 for members; $263 for nonmembers (#012201)
  • 2006 ICD-9 for Ophthalmology—$56 for members; $76 for nonmembers (#012224)
  • 2006 CPT Pocket Guide for Ophthalmology—$35 for members; $47 for nonmembers (#012223)
  • 2006 Ophthalmic Coding Flipcards—$15 for members; $20 for nonmembers (#012225)
  • 2006 Ophthalmic Coding Series—$495 for members; $668 for nonmembers (#012202)

These products, together with the 2006 CPT and HCPCS, can be ordered online or by phone at the Academy Store—making it your one-stop coding shop. Orders of four 2006 coding products (or more) will be discounted by 10 percent. 

To place your advance order, phone 415-561-8540 or visit www.aao.org/store. Choose “AAOE: Coding and Reimbursement” from the drop-down subject menu to see a full list of the AAOE’s coding products.

Use Updated DVD to Teach Patients About Anti-VEGF Treatment
The award-winning Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration patient education DVD (#050106) has been revised to include a discussion of anti-VEGF treatment for wet AMD.

The DVD, which also covers PDT and AREDS information on dietary supplements, features actual patients who emphasize ways of maintaining an active lifestyle.

It also includes a Spanish-language option.

The DVD costs $180 for members and $232 for nonmembers.

To buy the DVD, phone 415-561-8540 or visit www.aao.org/store. To preview a clip of the DVD, visit www.aao.org/amdpe.

Meeting Matters

A little advance planning can help you make the most of your time at this year’s Subspecialty Day (Oct. 14 to 15) and Annual Meeting (Oct. 15 to 18).

Beat the Clock

Book Today
Act now to save money and get your first choice of Instruction Courses and restaurant reservations.

  • Last call for advance registration—Sept. 28. Take advantage of advance registration fees, as most registration categories and ticket fees increase onsite. You can still register online, but it is too late to do so by mail or fax. If you registered by Aug. 24, your badge materials will be mailed to you before the meeting. If you register after Aug. 25, you will need to pick up your materials at Advance Registration in Hall A of McCormick Place. To register and purchase advance tickets online, visit www.aao.org/annual_meeting until Sept. 28. 
  • Final Program Online. Get an early start on planning for Chicago. Information from the 2005 Final Program—including comprehensive information on scientific papers, posters and videotapes—is online. To read those excerpts, go to www.aao.org/annual_meeting.
  • Call now for your dining reservations. As a culinary capital, Chicago is bursting with world-class restaurants. To make restaurant reservations, phone Open Table at 312-791-6630 or visit its Web site at www.opentable.com.

Resources

E-Services
Stay connected with fellow attendees, and access meeting information before and during the Annual Meeting. Here’s a list of free e-services, followed by instructions for accessing them.

  • Stay in touch via the AAO Mail/Message Center. Send and receive e-mail, browse the Web and leave or retrieve messages for fellow registered attendees through the AAO Mail/Message Center.
  • Visit the Wi-Fi Hotspot. Access free, fast and reliable wireless connectivity from your laptop at the Wi-Fi Hotspot. The AAO Message Center is also conveniently available through the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Download abstracts from the 2005 Final Program into your PDA device. Meeting E-Abstracts is supported by Merck U.S. Human Health.
  • Use your PDA to reference meeting essentials. Download the Technology Pavilion schedule, shuttle schedule and exhibitor listings into your PDA device.
  • How do you access these e-services? Before the Annual Meeting, the AAO Mail/ Message Center and E-Abstracts will become available at www.aao.org/annual_meeting. During the Annual Meeting, visit the Academy’s Technology Pavilion (Booth #2979) to use an AAO Mail/ Message Center terminal. Visit the Wi-Fi Hotspot (Booth #2387) to beam abstracts and other meeting information to your PDA. You can also beam abstracts information to your PDA at the Merck U.S. Human Health exhibit (Booth #2626).

Read All About It!
When in Chicago, pick up the Annual Meeting’s newspaper, EyeNet’s Academy News, to read about Subspecialty Day, the Opening Session and other special events.

Program

Highlights of Free Meeting Events
During this year’s Annual Meeting (Saturday, Oct. 15 to Tuesday, Oct. 18), you can drop in on more than 60 free events—no ticket required. Here are some highlights.

Start your day with the latest findings. The scientific poster and video program will be open on Saturday at 10 a.m.; and Sunday through Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. in Hall A.

  • Sunday morning’s Opening Session—in North Hall B from 8:30 to 10 a.m.—features a keynote speech by Francis D. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. He will share insights about how advances in genomics can be applied to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.
  • Monday morning’s Cataract Spotlight Session—from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in North Hall B—includes more than 30 presentations on complicated cases and intraoperative complications. The session will be chaired by David F. Chang, MD, and Louis D. Nichamin, MD.
  • Monday evening’s Glaucoma Spotlight Session and reception—from 5:30
    to 8 p.m. in North Hall B—will focus on nine areas where glaucoma overlaps with ophthalmic diseases of other subpecialties. The session will be chaired by Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH, and Wallace L. M. Alward, MD.
  • Tuesday morning’s Glaucoma Spotlight Session—from 8:30 to 11 a.m. in North Hall B—will focus on state-of-the-art technology and techniques for evaluating and monitoring glaucoma. The session will be chaired by Cynthia Mattox, MD, and Carl V. Migliazzo, MD.

Food for Thought
There are 15 free lunchtime sessions to choose from at this year’s Annual Meeting. On the busiest day, Monday, highlights include:

  • Welcome to the Real World of Ophthalmology: Reality 101 for Residents and Fellows. This interactive forum will highlight the nonmedical aspects of practice (#SPE29; 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Room S502b).
  • Preferred Practice Patterns: Adding Practical Value to Daily Practice. Speakers will present highlights from newly revised PPPs on POAG, POAG suspect and primary angle closure. They will also discuss the role of the PPPs and Summary Benchmarks in maintenance of certification, office record review and the pay for performance initiative. Attendees will receive a free CD-ROM containing the Summary Benchmarks and all 18 PPPs in PDF format (#SPE32; from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in Room S504a).
  • Putting Patient Education to Work for Your Practice: Why and How to Do It Right. This session features a panel of physicians who will discuss a variety of patient education techniques—some common, some not so common (#SPE33; from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in Room N133).
  • Pressure, Productivity and Practice: The Future of Eye Care Delivery (#SPE48; 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. in Grand Ballroom, Room S100). This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities that are likely to arise during the next 25 years.

Boost Profits at Your Optical Dispensary
This year’s AAOE program offers an expanded optical track and, new this year, American Board of Opticianry credits are available for these courses:

  • Marketing Your Optical Dispensary (#220; Sunday, from 2 to 3 p.m.)
  • Practice Administrator/ Optical Manager Workshop (#258; Sunday, from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m.)
  • Can You Teach My Opticians How To Sell? (#346; Monday, from 9 to 10 a.m.)
  • Successful MD Optical Dispensing from A to Z (#438; Monday, from 2 to 4:15 p.m.)
  • Preventing Loss From the Optical Dispensary (#474; Monday, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
  • Capturing Optical Sales: How to Deliver the Ideal Patient Experience (#569; Tuesday, from 9 to 11:15 a.m.)
  • Incentive Programs and the Dispensary (#631; Tuesday, from 2 to 3 p.m.)

To purchase advance tickets online, visit www.aao.org/annual_meeting until Sept. 28.

Four Ways to Enhance Your Coding Skills
1) Attend the AAOE/JCAHPO Coding Camp: A Workshop to Appropriately Maximize Reimbursement. This takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel. The fee is $235. To register, call 800-284-3937 or visit www. jcahpo.org.

2) Sign up for Breakfast With the Experts, Instruction Courses or a lunchtime Roundtable. From “ABCs of Coding: Basic Core Competencies” to “ICD-9: Coding the Complex,” there are more than 20 hours of classes and roundtable discussions to choose from. New this year, JCAHPO continuing education credits are available for all ticketed Instruction Courses on coding. To purchase advance tickets online, visit www.aao.org/annual_meeting until Sept. 28.

3) Need to solve a coding conundrum? Visit the experts at the “Coding Questions” desk in the Academy’s Resource Center (Booth #2144).

4) Take the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist exam. You can pick up an exam application form at the “Coding Products” desk in the Academy’s Resource Center (Booth #2144), where you can also browse the AAOE’s coding resources (see page 57).

Come Blow Your Horn During the 2005 Noontime Concert
The Academy’s 18th Annual Noontime Concert takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m.

To participate, contact Rebekah Stout at rstout@ aao.org for details.

Honorary Lectures

Barraquer Lecture
“Hyperopia Challenge”
Carmen J. Barraquer, MD
Monday, Oct. 17
2:49 to 3:09 p.m.
North Hall B
During the Controversial Procedures in Refractive Surgery symposium (SYM18; 2 to 3:33 p.m.)

Castroviejo Lecture
“Tear Film Stability in Ocular Health and Disease”
Gary N. Foulks, MD
Tuesday, Oct. 18
2:02 to 2:30 p.m.
North Hall B
During the What You Need to Know About Systemic Diseases and the Anterior Segment symposium (SYM28; 2 to 3:42 p.m.)

Parker Heath Lecture
“Physician Associations as the Leaders in Medical Education and Standards”
James Rohack, MD
Sunday, Oct. 16
11:43 to 11:58 a.m.
Room S406b
During the Education, Certification, and Competence of the Ophthalmologist symposium (SYM03; 10:30 a.m. to 12:02 p.m.)

William F. Hoyt Lecture
“Advances in the Diagnosis and Management of Optic Nerve Sheath Meningiomas”
Neil R. Miller, MD
Monday, Oct. 17
10:08 to 10:28 a.m.
Grand Ballroom, Room S100
During the Causes of Diplopia You Do Not Want to Miss symposium (SYM13; 8:30
to 10:30 a.m.)


Wendell Hughes Lecture
“Surgical Management of Congenital Microphthalmia: Socket and Adnexal Considerations”
James A. Katowitz, MD
Tuesday, Oct. 18
3 to 3:25 p.m.
Grand Ballroom, Room S100
During the Fear Factors: Things Most Feared in Oculoplastics symposium (SYM27; 2 to 3:30 p.m.)

Jackson Memorial Lecture
“Late Open-Angle Glaucoma After Vitrectomy”
Stanley Chang, MD
Sunday, Oct. 16
9:33 to 9:58 a.m.
North Hall B
During the 2005 Opening Session (SPE08; 8:30 to 10 a.m.)

Charles D. Kelman Lecture
“Technique Ahead of Its Time”
I. Howard Fine, MD
Monday, Oct. 17
12:05 to 12:25 p.m.
North Hall B
During the New Pearls on Managing Complicated Cases and Complications Spotlight on Cataract Surgery (SPO1; 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

Marshall M. Parks Lecture
“Parameters for Surgical Planning in Complex Strabismus”
Edward L. Raab, MD
Tuesday, Oct. 18
9:35 to 9:58 p.m.
Room S406a
During the Surgical Techniques in Strabismus symposium (SYM24; 8:30 to 10 a.m.)

A. D. Ruedeman Lecture
“A Story Within the Story”
Walter Tillman, BCO,    FASO
Sunday, Oct. 16
4:53 to 5:13 p.m.
Grand Ballroom, Room S100
During the Current and New Concepts for the Ideal Socket symposium (SYM10; 3:45 to 5:16 p.m.)

Whitney Sampson Lecture
“Allergic Reactions of the Ocular Surface and Contact Lenses”
Peter C. Donshik, MD
Sunday, Oct. 16
3:04 to 3:28 p.m.
North Hall B
During the A New Look at Corneal Reshaping symposium (SYM05; 2 to 3:30 p.m.)

Robert N. Shaffer Lecture
“How Much of Glaucoma Damage Is Pressure-Dependent?”
Paul F. Palmberg, MD
Sunday, Oct. 16
11:32 to 11:57 a.m.
Grand Ballroom, Room S100
During the Addressing the Patient Perspective on Glaucoma symposium (SYM01; 10:30 a.m. to noon)

Zimmerman Lecture
“Histopathology of Genetically Defined Forms of Retinitis Pigmentosa and Photoreceptor Disease”
Thaddeus P. Dryja, MD
Monday, Oct. 17
9:23 to 9:53 a.m.
Room S406b
During the Genetic and Pathologic Basis of Eye Disease symposium (SYM12; 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.)

To preview a full schedule of speakers and topics for a particular symposium, note the symposium’s event number (e.g., SYM12) and search the online program at www.aao.org/annual_meeting.

Ophthalmology World News
Academy and ISRS/AAO in Turkey
This month, the Academy is collaborating with the Turkish Ophthalmological Society to present a joint symposium on cataract and an eye exam course at the 39th Turkish National Ophthalmology Congress. It takes place in Beldibi, Turkey, Sept.17 to 21. For more information, visit www.tod2005.org.

Next year, ISRS/AAO will be hosting its second annual international meeting—International Refractive Surgery: Art and Science. This will be held in Istanbul, Turkey (May 26 to 28) with program directors Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, and Oemer Faruk Yilmaz, MD. Further details will be posted at www.isrs.org as they become available.

Members at Large

State to State: Dr. Kim Is Named a “Champion of Change” in Alabama
The Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF) has selected Wonsuck Kim, DO, as a Champion of Change.

As part of his participation in the Academy’s Leadership Development Program, Dr. Kim sought to bring eye care to underserved regions. He developed the EyeCare Alabama program in cooperation with the Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology (ALOA), the Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of ophthalmology.

Dr. Kim “is being recognized by AQAF for his commitment and vision to meet Alabama’s eye care needs. Dr. Kim’s mission is to travel to underserved areas in Alabama to provide needed eye care services for those who might otherwise not receive care due to issues related to cost, transportation or insurance,” said AQAF’s Bill Hawkins.

Dr. Kim, along with ALAO volunteers launched the pilot effort July 22, 2003, in Marengo County, providing the area’s first diabetic eye evaluation and treatment community service. Volunteers saw more than 75 patients at the latest event, which took place on Saturday, June 25, 2005, in Tuskegee. Under Dr. Kim’s leadership, EyeCare Alabama has expanded from a diabetes outreach program to one that includes patients with any type of eye problem.

Who’s in the News
Pioneer Press, a newspaper in St. Paul, Minn., interviewed Abdhish R. Bhavsar, MD, and Howard D. Pomeranz, MD, PhD, for a May 28 article. The two Eye M.D.s were asked about their case series of patients with sildenafil-associated nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy.

As a patient of Jorge G. Camara, MD, you can’t fail to notice the OR’s piano. It enables “the surgeon to play for patients as they are being put under anesthesia; during surgery the piano plays by itself, using prerecorded music by the surgeon,” said Dr. Camara in a May 19 article that appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser. This may be the only OR in the world that is: a) dedicated to laser surgery on blocked tear ducts and b) equipped with a piano, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported in an article that was published the following day.

People
The University of California at Los Angeles has presented Leonard Apt, MD, with its S. Rodman Irvine Prize. 

Melvin I. Freeman, MD, has received the 2005 Don Jacobson Outstanding Citizen Award in recognition of his contribution to allied health education at Renton Technical College, a state college in Washington.

At its annual meeting, the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers presented David G. Gerkin, MD, with its AASC Medical Director of the Year Award. Dr. Gerkin is medical director at the Tennessee Valley Eye Center in Knoxville.

Walter J. Kahn, MD, was reelected to the AMA’s council on constitution and bylaws, where he currently serves as vice-chairman.

Gholam A. Peyman, MD, is the inaugural recipient of the ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmic Translational Research Award.

The World Cornea Congress V selected five ophthalmologists to receive the World Cornea Congress Medal. Frank Polack, MD, Claes Dohlman, MD, Richard Troutman, MD, Yves Pouliquen, MD, and Saiichi Mishima, MD, were honored for their lifetime contributions to the field of cornea, external disease and corneal surgery.