American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site: www.aao.org
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January 2009

 
Academy Notebook
 
 

What's Happening 

The Academy’s New EVP and CEO: Dr. Parke

The Academy’s New EVP and CEO: Dr. Parke The Academy is proud to announce that it has selected David W. Parke II, MD, as its new executive vice president (EVP) and CEO.

Starting this April, he will succeed retiring EVP/CEO H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, who has led the Academy since 1993. “Dr. Parke brings an exceptional mix of clinical, academic, business and organizational expertise to this position,” said Academy president Michael W. Brennan, MD.

Dr. Parke has served on the Academy’s board of trustees since 2000 and was the 2008 Academy president. Dr. Parke is currently the president and CEO of the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit facilities devoted solely to research, clinical care and education in ophthalmology and vision science. He is also currently serving as professor and chairman of ophthal mology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, as well as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company.

The Academy’s search committee, comprising seven ophthalmologists as well as an outside executive search consultant, conducted an aggressive, competitive search starting in August 2008.

On accepting the position, Dr. Parke said, “My career as an ophthalmologist now will be dedicated to serving the profession I love. We have all benefited inestimably from the skills and commitment of Dr. Hoskins. He has led us all with a sure hand through many difficult challenges over the past 16 years, and our profession has fared well under his stewardship. I pledge to dedicate my best efforts to the same end.”

Dr. Hoskins noted that Dr. Parke has a full grasp on the needs of the profession. “One thing that has always impressed me about Dr. Parke is that he understands that the community, patients and our profession must come before individual needs,” said Dr. Hoskins. “This philosophy, combined with his incredible experience, will serve our members and our profession very well. I am proud that he will be the Academy’s next executive vice president.”

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2009 Mid-Year Forum

The Academy’s Mid-Year Forum will be held April 22–25 at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, D.C. This annual policy meeting brings together leaders throughout ophthalmology, including the Academy’s board of trustees and leadership from various state, subspecialty and specialized interest societies.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a series of Mid-Year Forum sessions covering the following topics: primary eye care and the role of the ophthalmologist; Medicare physician payment reform; physician relationships with device and pharmaceutical companies; the Academy’s advocacy efforts on the state and federal level; how communication strategies with mass audiences are evolving and impacting the Academy and its partner societies; and electronic health care.

The session on primary eye care and the role of the ophthalmologist will focus on how ophthalmology implements its lead role in an integrated eye care delivery team. The session will also examine various practice models and how to determine the importance of a long-term relationship—from a pediatric to a senior patient—while maintaining an optimal level of quality eye care.

Preceding this year’s Mid-Year Forum is Congressional Advocacy Day, an opportunity for all ophthalmologists to participate in advocacy at the federal level.

Academy members are strongly urged to attend this important event. Advocacy Day participants will learn about key Academy priorities during an evening briefing on April 22 and will head to Capitol Hill on April 23 for congressional visits arranged by the Academy’s Washington, D.C., staff. Of course, those members who attend Congressional Advocacy Day are welcome to stay for the Mid-Year Forum.

Registration for Congressional Advocacy Day and the Mid-Year Forum opens this month on the Academy’s Web site. For more information, visit www.aao.org/myf or contact Gabrielle Naughten at gnaughten@aao.org or 415-561-8565.

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For the Record 

Election Results

On Nov. 13, voting opened for four positions on the 2009 board of trustees. One month later, voting closed and the results are as follows:

  • President-Elect: Randolph L. Johnston, MD
  • Senior Secretary for Advocacy: Cynthia A. Bradford, MD
  • Trustees-at-Large: Laurie Gray Barber, MD, and George A. Williams, MD

For more information on the Academy’s board of trustees, visit www.aao.org/bot.

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Nominations for the Academy Board

By David W. Parke II, MD

As past-president of the Academy, it is my privilege to serve as chairman of the Academy’s nominating committee in 2009. This committee represents a variety of interests within the Academy and is charged with identifying appropriate candidates for the open positions on the 2010 board of trustees.

We are especially interested in identifying leaders in our profession with experience in confronting the critical issues facing organized medicine and who reflect the strength and diversity of our members. The Academy’s leaders should be knowledgeable, experienced and prepared to devote the time and energy required by a large organization in these challenging times. This work is both demanding and rewarding for those interested in helping to assure the Academy’s success and responsiveness to members. With these characteristics in mind, I ask you to assist the committee by suggesting appropriate candidates for the following positions in 2010:

  • President-elect (to serve as president in 2011). Because the president-elect automatically becomes president the following year, it is crucial that nominees are individuals who have had leadership experience within the Academy. They also should have demonstrated leadership qualities in clinical practice, in their own ophthalmic communities and in other medical or ophthalmological organizations.
  • One trustee-at-large (four-year term). This individual should be an Academy fellow or life fellow who is especially attuned to the needs and expectations of our members. In addition to demonstrating strong leadership potential, he or she should be able to represent and articulate to the Academy board the needs and concerns of members.
  • One public trustee (a renewable three-year appointment; an advisor to and member of the board of trustees). The bylaws allow the board to appoint up to three public trustees. We currently are served by Humphrey J. F. Taylor and Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD. Mr. Taylor is chairman of Harris Interactive and is serving the first year of his sixth term. Dr. Ginsburg is president of Center for Studying Health System Change and is serving the third year of his second term. Public trustees do not vote on Academy governance, the budget or other programmatic issues. They do, however, provide insight on how ophthalmology can better work with the rest of medicine, the public, government and industry. A public trustee should not be an ophthalmologist, but should be someone who is familiar with and has a personal interest in current medical issues. The nominating committee will be pleased to receive suggestions for appropriate individuals, which may include physicians from other medical specialties or leaders in industry, government, public policy or advocacy.

Thank you for your interest and participation in this process. Membership participation is vital, not only for the Academy but also for our collective goals of being able to provide appropriate, accessible, affordable eye care to the public. I look forward to receiving your suggestions as we seek to identify our profession’s future leaders.

Please send your confidential suggestions by Feb. 6 to the following address: David W. Parke II, MD, Nominating Committee Chair, American Academy of Ophthalmology, P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424. Suggestions also can be e-mailed to nominate@aao.org or faxed to 415-561-8526.

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AAOE Announces Its New Board of Directors

Susan Lustig, JD, chief operating officer of Elite Eyecare Medical Group, assumed her one-year term as chairwoman of AAOE. Sandra Farr, CPC, CCS-P, OCS, has assumed the position of past chairwoman. AAOE also welcomed two new board members: Albert Castillo and Elise Levine, OCS.

For more information on members of the AAOE board, visit www.aao.org/aaoesite/board_of_directors.cfm.

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The Academy Honors Latest Life Members

The physicians below have been members of the Academy for 35 consecutive years. The Academy honors them for their support by granting them “life” status:

Robert I. Adler, MD
Charles G. Ange Jr., MD
Mohammad T. Ashrafzadeh, MD
Roger E. Atkins, MD
Richard D. Banyard, MD
John L. Barnes, MD
A. Robert Bellows, MD
David A. Bellows, MD, FACS
Robert M. Berger, MD
Donald S. Beser, MD
Raphael S. Bloch, MD
Michael A. Bloome, MD
Baldev S. Brar, MD
Gurmukh K. Brar, MD
Frederick S. Brightbill, MD
Donald P. Brotherman, MD
James A. Brownfield, MD
Marcos Calderon, MD
J. Charles Casebeer, MD
Florencio C. Ching, MD
M. Ishaq Chishti, MD, FACS
Rex W. Cole, MD
F. Ellison Conrad, MD
Andrew J. Cottingham Jr., MD
Raymond C. Croissant, MD
Melvyn Damast, MD
Harvey R. Dobrow, MD, FACS
Michael Easterbrook, MD
Eugene M. Eisner, MD
Madeleine Q. Ewing, MD
Hal A. H. Farquhar, MD
Paul Fecko, MD, MBA, FACS
Yale L. Fisher, MD
Allan H. Fradkin, MD
Robert N. Frank, MD
I. Butler Fuller III, MD
Saravut S. Fung, MD
Henry A. Futterman, MD
Thomas C. Gettelfinger, MD
Richard G. Gieser, MD
William A. Godfrey, MD
Kenneth P. Goldblum, MD
James S. Good, MD
Gary C. Graham, MD
Lynn F. Greenlee, MD
R. Thomas Griffey, MD
Daya K. Gupta, MD
H. King Hartman, MD
Alan B. Hefner, MD
George R. Hewes, MD
Ignatius S. Hneleski Jr., MD
Thomas C. Hoyle III, MD
Leonard Jacobson, MD
Robert M. Jacoby, MD
Jay C. Johnston, MD
Michael R. Kaplan, MD
Robert L. Kasper, MD
Walter L. King, MD
Robert J. Klimek, MD
Melvyn M. Koby, MD, FACS
Faruk M. Koreishi, MD
Joel H. Kramer, MD
John D. Lees, MD
Jerry S. Lehmann, MD
Richard E. Lernor, MD
Mark R. Levine, MD, FACS
Jerome H. Levy, MD
Norman S. Levy, MD, PhD
Robert E. Livingston III, MD
Jovin C. Lombardo, MD
George M. Lowry, MD
Samuel B. Luague, MD
Jonathan S. Lyons, MD
Alan L. Maberley, MD
Carl K. Marling, MD
John L. Marquardt, MD
Benjamin G. Martin, MD
M. Gene Matzkin, MD
Craig A. Mehldau, MD
Promila D. Mehta-Paul, MD
Oksana Mensheha, MD
David H. Miller, MD
Bernard A. Milstein, MD
Ben H. Moye, MD
Peter Nintcheff, MD
Robert I. Noble, MD, FACS
Denis M. O’Day, MD
Samuel Packer, MD
Richard D. Paolillo, MD
James A. Parisi, MD
James H. Patterson, MD
Joseph E. Paxhia, MD
David B. Pearce, MD
Charles A. Peter, MD
Raymond W. Petkus, MD
Roswell R. Pfister, MD
Anthony M. Pisacano, MD
Jerome D. Poland, MD
Anthony C. Porretta, MD
Edward J. Puttre, MD
Ned M. Reinstein, MD
Byron W. Riegel, MD
John E. Riffle, MD, FACS
Alan M. Roth, MD
Charles Rubin, MD, FACS
Juan L. Sanchez, MD
Roy H. Schnauss, MD
Elizabeth G. Serrage, MD
Stanley R. Shorb, MD
Ronald J. Simone, MD
Marcel J. Sislowitz, MD
Leon D. Solomon, MD
John E. Sorrells Jr., MD
Joseph Spina Jr., MD
Robert L. Stamper, MD
Walter J. Stark, MD
William H. Steen Jr., MD
Robert F. Stevenson, MD
Gerald S. Stoller, MD
William R. Sullivan, MD
Terry W. Talley, MD
Barry W. Uhr, MD
Ralph H. Weeks, MD
Robert D. Wertz, MD
Arthur Wierenga, MD
Stoney Williamson, MD
Fred M. Wilson II, MD
Alan F. Wolf, MD
Arthur H. Wolintz, MD, FACS, FACP

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International Ophthalmologist Education Award

The Academy is pleased to announce the recipients of the International Ophthalmologist Education Award for 2008. This award acknowledges Academy members who have demonstrated their commitment to staying current with advances in medicine through participation in CME and professional development activities.

Carlos A. Diaz, MD (Argentina)
Jerome R. Verelst, MD (Belgium)
Mounir Bashour, MD (Canada)
Joaquin Martinez, MD (Costa Rica)
Arnaldo Espaillat, MD (Dominican Republic)
Javier Aguirre Moreno, MD (Ecuador)
Ehab N. El Rayes, MD (Egypt)
Stefan Dithmar, MD (Germany)
Sofia N. Androudi, MD, PhD (Greece)
Ioannis Datseris, MD (Greece)
Timothy Y. Lai, MBBS (Hong Kong)
Samar K. Basak, MD, DNB, MBBS (India)
Rekha R. Khandelwal, MBBS, FRCS (India)
Raja Narayanan, MD (India)
Francesco Carones, MD (Italy)
Antonio Scoyni, MD (Italy)
Tsukasa Hanemoto, MD (Japan)
Guna Laganovska, MD (Latvia)
Ibrahim M. Ali, MD (Lebanon)
David Choy, MD (Mexico)
Graciela Garcia-Briones, MD (Mexico)
Fausto M. Lechuga-Ortiz, MD (Mexico)
Miguel Paciuc, MD (Mexico)
Abali I. Chuku, MBBS (Nigeria)
Mohammad Zubair Y. Arain, MBBS (Pakistan)
Gerardo H. Arana, MD (Peru)
Eduardo F. Marques, MD (Portugal)
Yousef I. Al-Megbel, MD (Saudi Arabia)
Patricio M. Aduriz-Lorenzo, MD (Spain)
Enrique Lopez-Sanchez, MD (Spain)

The award is open to all international members not currently enrolled in a training program. To receive this award, members must obtain 90 CME credits within three years after applying for the award.

To apply, visit www.aao.org/international.

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FYI 

Renew Your Academy Membership for 2009

By now you should have received your membership renewal packet in the mail. Renew immediately so you can continue to take full advantage of all the benefits of Academy membership.

To ensure uninterrupted benefits, your Academy membership dues must be paid by June 1.

To renew your membership online, visit www.aao.org/member/paydues. You also can renew by mail, fax or phone, as specified in your renewal packet.

If you have questions, please contact Member Services by phone, 866-561-8558 (toll-free in the United States) or 415-561-8581, by fax, 415-561-8575, or by e-mail, member_services@aao.org.

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Why Create a Long-Term Patient Relationship?

You will find the answer in the January issue of Practice Management Pearls. Published quarterly, this e-newsletter is sent to all Academy members and features a sampling of the extensive resources available to AAOE members.

Look for your quarterly issue to arrive by e-mail no later than Jan. 31. Next month, you will be able to access the articles online at www.aao.org/aaoe.

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Need Coding Advice? Codequest Experts Are on the Road

Get up to speed on the trickiest coding conundrums by attending a Codequest course.

Sponsored by AAOE and your state or subspecialty society, Codequest is a comprehensive, state-specific, half-day course featuring the most up-to-date and clinically relevant coding information for ophthalmologists, managers and billers.

For a list of courses, visit www.aao.org/aaoe/codequest.

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Ask the Ethicist: FDA Panel’s LASIK Guidelines

Q: I have a sizable LASIK practice with many satisfied patients. Admittedly, I also have several patients who claim side effects. I work closely with them to ameliorate those effects.

Last April, there was an FDA panel meeting on quality-of-life issues for refractive surgery patients. How should the panel recommendations be incorporated into my practice?

A: The FDA panelists’ recommendations are relatively simple: Strengthen the information you provide to patients about contraindications and potential side effects. This message can be done in advertising, screening procedures and the informed consent process. A few examples follow:

  • Use photographs or illustrations to show how postoperative side effects like glare, starbursts and halos will appear. The panelists noted that these are side effects, not complications (i.e., many patients have these visual disturbances although they diminish with time). Explain that it is probable that certain side effects will occur.
  • Unambiguously explain that there may be potentially problematic postoperative effects, such as inaccuracy in IOP readings and in calculating IOL power. Also be clear that LASIK patients made emmetropic in their youth will need reading glasses in middle age.
  • Simplify descriptions of preexisting conditions that disqualify a candidate, such as ectatic conditions, autoimmune diseases, documented dry eye, extreme nearsightedness and large pupils.
  • Inform patients that not everyone will have a “quick” and “painless” procedure that guarantees a “lifetime of no glasses,” as LASIK is frequently marketed.

Of note, the FDA panel did not issue these recommendations as guidelines for physician advertising and said that inappropriate advertising would fall under Federal Trade Commission regulation. The panel acknowl edged that issues of inadequate informed consent and improper patient screening may fall under medical malpractice statutes.

With respect to refractive advertising, be aware that inappropriate or overreaching advertising claims can be used to supplement a plaintiff ’s malpractice suit. It can be successfully argued that superlative claims for refractive procedures lured a patient into the physician’s office, where the stated or implied promise of a particular result was unfulfilled. Civil damages awarded for such claims have no tortreform-enabled dollar cap. The awards can be staggeringly high.

For more information about physician advertising and informed consent, visit www.aao.org/about and click “Ethics.” To submit a question for this column, contact the Ethics Committee staff at eyenet@aao.org.

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Did You Know?

Through the Academy’s partnership with Marsh Affinity Group Services, U.S. Academy members have access to many costsaving insurance products for their practices. Available plans include:

• Term life plans with benefits up to $1,000,000,
• Major medical insurance,
• Catastrophe major medical plans,
• Long-term care insurance,
• Long-term disability income insurance,
• Group office overhead expense insurance and
• Group accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

For more detailed plan information, visit www.aaoinsure.com.

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Academy Store 

Get Savvy to the Latest Coding Changes

Use the AAOE’s newest coding resources to get up to speed in 2009. The 2009 Ophthalmic Coding Coach (#012354) and Ophthalmic Coding Coach CD-ROM (#012355) are comprehensive coding references with detailed content on each CPT code affecting ophthalmology. Each is priced separately at $195 for members and $263 for nonmembers.

Buy the book and CDROM together and save 30 percent. This Ophthalmic Coding Coach Kit (#012356) is priced at $275 for members and $368 for nonmembers.

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Gonioscopy Book Revised

The Color Atlas of Gonioscopy (#0212357) is a comprehensive introduction for clinicians wishing to be proficient in examining the anterior segment of the eye.

The second edition features a reader-friendly format; updated text, references and review of disorders evaluated by gonioscopy; and new chapters on selective laser trabeculoplasty, ultrasound biomicroscopy and anterior segment imaging. The book also includes a DVD-ROM of video clips demonstrating basic and advanced gonioscopic techniques.

The Color Atlas of Gonioscopy costs $69 for members and $89 for nonmembers.

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New Patient Products for the New Year

Check out the Academy’s latest patient education materials:

  • BPH Medications and Eye Surgery Eye Fact Sheet (#057157)—discusses the effect of alpha blocker drugs for patients undergoing eye surgery. Packs of 25 are $9 for members and $11 for nonmembers.
  • Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK) Brochure (#05140)—discusses this cornea transplant technique. Packs of 100 are $32 for members and $40 for nonmembers.
  • Enhanced Lens Options for Cataract Surgery Booklet (#052054)—provides patients with concise information on various lens options available after cataract surgery, including traditional and presbyopia-correcting lenses. Packs of 20 are $44 for members and $55 for nonmembers.
  • Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration DVDROM (#050118)—features real AMD patients discussing their experiences with the disease and physicians discussing diagnosis and treatment options. It is $225 for members and $295 for nonmembers.
  • Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy DVD-ROM (# 050117)—explains nonproliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy from both the physician’s and patient’s perspectives. It is $225 for members and $295 for nonmembers.

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Focal Points 2009: Online and in Print

The 2009 print version of the Academy’s Focal Points CME program features 12 modules on hot clinical topics. Combining the latest research findings with concise clinical discussions on diagnosis and treatment of a specific disease or condition, every module also includes the popular “Clinicians’ Corner”—an experts’ forum on controversial clinical issues discussed in the module.

Purchase of the print version includes access to Focal Points Online, which features video clips and direct links to online references. Subscribers also have the option of receiving only the online version at a reduced price. While the print modules will be mailed in four quarterly packets, online modules are published monthly.

This year’s module titles include:

  • Intensive Therapies in Managing Diabetes Mellitus
  • Surgical Treatment of Presbyopia
  • Anterior Vitrectomy for the Anterior Segment Surgeon
  • Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome (TASS)
  • Pterygium Surgery
  • Management of Dislocated Intraocular Lenses
  • Scleritis and Episcleritis
  • Imaging the Anterior Segment
  • Epiretinal Membrane
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Angle Closure Glaucoma Update
  • Adult Strabismus

Sample module. For a free sample of a past module, visit www.aao.org/focalpoints.

CME. Earn up to two AMA PRA Category 1 credits per module for a maximum of 24 credits per subscription.

Cost. A one-year subscription for the combined print/online package is $175 for members and $235 for nonmembers. The online version alone is $145 for members and $195 for nonmembers.

To order a 2009 subscription, visit www.aao.org/focalpoints or phone the Academy Service Center at 866-561-8558 (toll-free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.

Academy Store

To order products from the Academy Store, visit www.aao.org/store or phone the Academy Service Center at 866-561-8558 (toll free in the United States) or 415-561-8540.

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Meeting Matters 

San Francisco Welcomes Back the Academy

The 2009 Joint Meeting of the Academy and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology will take place Oct. 24–27 at the Moscone Convention Center in the Academy’s hometown, San Francisco. It will be preceded by the Academy’s Sub-specialty Day, Oct. 23–24, which will feature meetings in refractive surgery, retina, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology and pediatric ophthalmology.

For updates on the Joint Meeting, visit www.aao.org/2009.

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Claim Your 2008 Atlanta CME Credits by Jan. 21

The CME credits that you earned at the 2008 Joint Meeting and/or Subspecialty Day must be reported by Jan. 21.

As a service to members only, the Academy maintains a transcript of Academysponsored CME credits earned, provided the member reports those credits to the Academy. Members also may report credits earned through other CME providers, so that a record of all CME credits earned is available on a single transcript.

To report your CME, go to www.aao.org/cme.

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Enjoy Highlights of the 2008 Joint Meeting in Atlanta

If you missed a particular session from the 2008 Subspecialty Day or Joint Meeting, you can still catch up on the following highlights.

  • Go online for Scientific Posters. View hundreds of scientific posters from 2008 and other past Annual Meetings for free.
  • Download individual audio sessions in MP3 format. Review an Atlanta presentation by purchasing an MP3 from the archives, or order a CD-ROM.
  • Buy an Atlanta DVDROM. Six DVD-ROMs cover the Subspecialty Day programs. A DVD-ROM also is available for Spotlight on Cataract Surgery 2008.
  • Download course and Technology Pavilion handouts. Handouts from 2008 Instruction courses and select technology presentations are available to download in PDF format.

To take advantage of these highlights and more from past Annual Meetings and Subspecialty Days, select “Meeting Archives” at www.aao.org/meetings.

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2008 Best of Show Videos

Congratulations to the recipients of the Best of Show video awards at the Joint Meeting in Atlanta. The seven winning videos were selected by the Annual Meeting Program Committee based on educational value, originality and expert use of medium. To view any of the 2008 videos online, select “Meeting Archives” at www.aao.org/meetings.

The Best of Show videos were:

  • Understanding the Dropped Nucleus. Senior Producer: Robert H. Osher, MD
  • Scleral Fixation Without Conjunctival Dissection. Senior Producer: Richard S. Hoffman, MD
  • Capsular Tension Ring Complications and Fish-Tail Technique for Stress-Free Insertion. Senior Producer: Romesh I. Angunawela
  • Endothelial Keratoplasty: Please Don’t Fold. Senior Producer: Donald Tan, MD, FRCS
  • Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty Using the “Big Bubble Technique” in Hurler-Scheie Syndrome.. Senior Producer: Namrata Sharma, MD
  • Late Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma Following Descemet-Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty and Its Management. Senior Producer: Samar K. Basak, MD, FRCS
  • The Surgical Correction of the Palpebral Fissure Narrowing and the Vertical Deviation on Adduction in Duane Syndrome. Senior Producer: Seung Hyun Lee, MD

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2008 Best Papers

Congratulations to the authors of the Best Original Papers at the Joint Meeting in Atlanta. The 15 winning papers were selected by the panels in each of the 15 paper sessions. At the conclusion of each session, an expert panel conferred and selected the paper they considered the best of the group.

Sunday’s Best Papers were:

  • Cataract. First Photochromic IOL (Matrix Acrylic Aurium), presented by David Mendez Noble, MD (Event Code PA008)
  • Retina Session 1. Phase 2 RESOLVE Trial: Twelve-Month Analysis of Ranibizumab in Diabetic Macular Edema, presented by Pascale G. Massin, MD (PA016)
  • Retina Session 2. Intravitreal Bevacizumab for Early Post-Vitrectomy Hemorrhage in Diabetics: A Randomized, Double-Masked Clinical Trial, presented by Hamid Ahmadieh, MD (PA021)
  • Refractive Surgery. Stability of LASIK in Corneas With Forme Fruste or Suspect Keratoconus, Where Keratoconus Was Excluded by Epithelial Thickness Mapping, presented by Dan Z. Reinstein, MD (PA028)

Monday’s Best Papers were:

  • Cornea. Recipient Risk Factors for Graft Failure in the Cornea Donor Study, presented by Alan Sugar, MD (PA054)
  • Glaucoma Session 1. Vision and IOP After Descemet-Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty in Patients With Preexisting Glaucoma, presented by Thasarat S. Vajaranant, MD (PA040)
  • Glaucoma Session 2. Pupillographic Multifocal Objective Perimetry for Glaucoma, presented by Ted Maddess, PhD (PA042)
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology. Reliability of Papilledema as a Sign of Shunt Failure in Children, presented by Sayeda A. Nazir, MD (PA058)
  • Ocular Tumors and Pathology. Lymphangiogenesis in Malignant Melanomas of the Posterior Uvea: A Novel Prognostic Factor, presented by Ludwig Maximilian Heindl, MD (PA050)
  • Orbit, Lacrimal, Plastic Surgery. Factors Prompting Sneezing in Intravenously Sedated Patients Receiving Local Anesthetic Injections to the Eyelids, presented by Ana M. Susana Morley, MD, FRCOphth (PA056)

Tuesday’s Best Papers were:

  • Cornea, External Disease. Efficacy of 3-Day Topical Gatifloxacin in Reducing Conjunctival Flora in Patients Undergoing Intravitreal Injections, presented by Jason Matthews Moss (PA098)
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology. Resolution of Retinal Hemorrhages in Children With Accidental and Inflicted Trau matic Brain Injury, presented by Anamika Tandon, MBBS (PA073)
  • Retina, Vitreous Session 1. One-Year Results of a Phase 2 Study of Intravitreal VEGF Trap-Eye in Patients With Neovascular AMD, presented by David S. Boyer, MD (PA080)
  • Retina, Vitreous Session 2. Intraocular Telescopic Lens in Visually Impaired Patients: U.K. Experience, presented by Brendan Joseph Moriart y, MD (PA084)
  • Refractive Surgery. Neuro-Vision Treatment Results in Adults With Unilateral Amblyopia, presented by Henia Lichter, MD (PA087)

To view the Best Papers abstracts, go to www.aao.org/meetings, click “Meeting Archives” and “2008 Online Program,” and type in the paper’s Event Code.

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Members At Large 

Illinois Association of Ophthalmology’s Outreach in Vietnam

“This was a fantastic opportunity for skills transfer, global outreach and cultural exchange,” said Illinois Association of Ophthalmology (IAO) member, Ronald C. May, MD. Last October, Dr. May spearheaded an effort to bring an IAO group to Hanoi, Vietnam.

During a two-week course at the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology in Hanoi, IAO members, including James A. Katz, MD, Chitra V. Nadimpalli, MD, Marie E. Rosselson, MD, and executive director Richard Paul, trained 15 ophthalmologists in phaco technique as they begin a transition from the extracapsular procedure.

Eye screenings and evaluations also were conducted in several locations to assess the need for future mission trips. In addition, the group met with the directors of the provincial eye clinic in Dong Ha and the Quang Tri Secondary Medical School to get a better sense of existing eye care needs and to establish more supportive long-term relationships that can be sustained in the future.

“This is the start of what we hope will be an enduring relationship with our colleagues in Vietnam and the patients they serve,” said Dr. Katz. “We certainly envision future efforts in this area, as the need is great.”

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Washington Report

Your Voice Needed at Advocacy Day

The Academy’s 2009 Congressional Advocacy Day is scheduled for April 22 and 23. The annual event strengthens ophthalmology’s presence on Capitol Hill, builds support for key legislative issues and ensures quality eye care for patients. A briefing kicks off the event on the evening of April 22 at the Capitol Hilton, where attendees will get tips on effective lobbying, be briefed on key legislative priorities and receive two CME credits for participating. On April 23, participants will put this knowledge to work when they meet with members of Congress and congressional staff. The Academy will schedule all meetings, and there is no fee to participate. For those members who are new to advocacy, mentors will be available during registration.

This year’s Congressional Advocacy Day will focus primarily on Medicare reimbursement and optometric scope of practice. Thanks in part to the influence of ophthalmologists at last year’s Congressional Advocacy Day and their sustained efforts throughout this past spring, Congress passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. The legislation gave physicians a temporary, 18-month reprieve from both the 10.6 percent physician Medicare payment cut implemented last July and the 5.5 percent cut scheduled for the beginning of this year. Instead, physicians continued to receive last January’s 0.5-percent positive payment update through the end of 2008 and a 1.1 percent increase beginning this month. With a 21.6 percent cut being threatened on Jan. 1, 2010, the fight is not over. Your participation in Advocacy Day will protect ophthalmology and help advance a permanent solution for reforming Medicare physician payment.

Other advocacy issues include children’s vision, NEI funding and optometry’s role in Medicaid. In April 2007, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D–Ill.) and Mary Bono Mack (R–Calif.) introduced the Optometric Equity in Medicaid Act of 2007 (H.R. 1983) to require Medicaid coverage of medical and surgical services provided by optometrists—services that Medicaid currently covers when a physician provides them. This is one of the American Optometric Association’s top legislative priorities. In the 110th Congress, H.R. 1983 got 55 cosponsors. Introduction of a Senate companion bill is anticipated. Protecting patients from surgical practice by optometry remains a priority issue for the Academy. Let your voice be heard this April at the Academy’s 2009 Congressional Advocacy Day.

For more information, go to www.aao.org/meetings and click “Mid-Year Forum.”

There is no fee to participate in Congressional Advocacy Day and no prior lobbying experience is necessary.

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