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September 2010

 
Academy Notebook
 
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What's Happening 

This Year’s Laureate: Dr. Straatsma

The board of trustees of the Academy is proud to announce the selection of Bradley R. Straatsma, MD, JD, as the recipient of the Laureate Recognition Award for 2010.

Dr. Straatsma is renowned as a pioneer in the study of peripheral retinal disease, investigations of tumors and research on ophthalmic conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and cataract.

In addition, he has developed and led one of the premier ophthalmology departments and research institutes in the United States.

Dr. Straatsma is professor of ophthalmology emeritus at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. He commenced faculty appointment at UCLA in 1959, was appointed professor in 1962 and director of the Jules Stein Eye Institute in 1964 and was chair of ophthalmology from 1968 to 1994. In 2002, Dr. Straatsma graduated from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.

Dr. Straatsma has been elected to the leadership of nearly all the major academic and educational entities in American and international ophthalmology, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the American Board of Ophthalmology, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, the American Ophthalmological Society and the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

Committed to world ophthalmology, he has also served as a member of the International Council of Ophthalmology and president of the International Council of Ophthalmology Foundation.

Dr. Straatsma has contributed substantially to ophthalmic science through authorship of more than 550 scientific publications and presentations—including distinguished named lectures—at meetings and congresses throughout the world.

In 2003, the Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education was established through the Academy, the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology and private funds, and is given to a program director dedicated to the principles and significance of residency education.

In recognition of Dr. Straatsma’s contributions to the profession of ophthalmology, the Academy acknowledges the debt owed him for his commitment to teaching and education, enabling many of his students to leave their mark on the profession.

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For the Record 

Annual Business Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Business Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will be held Sunday, Oct. 17, in Hall B at McCormick Place, Chicago, from 10 to 10:30 am.

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 bylaws of the Academy, 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.

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Proposed Amendments to the 2010 Bylaws and Procedural Rules

The American Academy of Ophthalmology board of trustees recommends the following proposed amendments to the Academy Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Procedural Rules for consideration and adoption by voting fellows and members via official hybrid (mail and online) ballot to be forwarded to the voting fellows and members after the Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 17, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

New language is underlined, and deleted words and phrases are indicated by strike through. Only the affected portions of the current documents are printed below.

Board of Trustees statement: The Board of Trustees supports the use of an electronic ballot for those members who wish to receive it.   These bylaws amendments collectively would serve to meet the preferences of those members, save print costs and “go green.”

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BYLAWS
Article V. Nominations, Elections, Removals, and Vacancies

5.02. Election. After each Annual Business Meeting of the Academy, an election to fill each vacancy that will occur on the ensuing January 1 in an Elected Office, in the position of Trustee-at-Large, or in the positions of Chair or Vice Chair of the Council shall be conducted by mail and electronic ballot of the Voting Fellows and Members in accordance with the Procedural Rules.

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BYLAWS
Article IX. Amendments and Revisions

9.01. General. The Articles of Incorporation of the Academy, these Bylaws, and the Academy’s Code of Ethics may be amended or revised, and any proposed amendment or revision of the Procedural Rules may be ratified, by mail and electronic ballot conducted in accordance with the Procedural Rules after the annual business meeting of the Fellows and Members of the Academy referred to in this Section 9.01, provided that: (a) in the case of a proposed amendment or revision of the Articles of Incorporation, the Board of Trustees, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Trustees present and voting at a meeting, adopts resolutions setting forth the proposed amendment or revision and recommending that it be presented to the Fellows and Members at their next annual business meeting; and (b) in the case of a proposed amendment or revision of these Bylaws or the Academy’s Code of Ethics, either (i) the Board of Trustees, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Trustees present and voting at a meeting, adopts resolutions setting forth the proposed amendment or revision and recommending that it be presented to the Voting Fellows and Members at their next annual business meeting, or (ii) one percent (1%) of the total number of Voting Fellows or Members submit to the Executive Vice President, at least ninety (90) days prior to the date of the next annual business meeting of the Voting Fellows and Members, a petition signed by them setting forth the proposed amendment or revision to be presented to the Voting Fellows and Members at their next annual business meeting; and (c) in the case of a proposed amendment or revision of the Procedural Rules, the Board of Trustees, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Trustees present and voting at a meeting, adopts resolutions setting forth the proposed amendment or revision and recommending that it be submitted to the Voting Fellows and Members at their next annual business meeting for ratification; (d) notice of the proposed wording of the amendment or revision is given to all Voting Fellows and Members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the annual business meeting of the Voting Fellows and Members at which the proposals are to be presented; and (e) if a proposed amendment or revision of the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws or the Code of Ethics is amended solely to correct a grammatical error at the annual business meeting of the Voting Fellows and Members by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Voting Fellows and Members present and voting, the amended version of the proposed amendment or revision shall be the version submitted to the Voting Fellows and Members for action by mail and electronic ballot; and (f) each proposed amendment or revision of the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws or the Code of Ethics is adopted if it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Voting Fellows and Members who timely submit valid mail ballots; and (g) each proposed amendment or revision of the Procedural Rules is ratified if it receives the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the Voting Fellows and Members who timely submit valid mail ballots.

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PROCEDURAL RULES

J. Online Voting

  1. In lieu of voting by mail as provided under Paragraphs H and I of these Procedural Rules, each Voting Member or Fellow shall have the option to cast his or her vote online at the Academy’s Web site. Each Voting Member or Fellow shall have the option to waive receipt of an Official Ballot via mail and to receive only the Online Ballot via electronic communication. If a Voting Member or Fellow chooses to uses online voting, the following procedures shall apply:

    (a) the Online Ballot shall contain the same information as the Official Ballot described in Paragraphs H and I;

    (b) the Voting Member or Fellow must access the Online Ballot and use his or her e-signature and membership number to log in;

    (c) the Online Ballot must be completed in accordance with any instructions and submitted before the deadline specified in the Online Ballot, which deadline shall be the same as that set for the receipt of Official Ballots that are mailed; and

    (d) after an Online Ballot has been submitted, the Voting Member or Fellow will not be able to access it again or make any changes to it.
     

  2. Properly submitted Online Ballots shall be counted in the same manner as if they were valid mail ballots. If a Voting Member or Fellow votes both by a mail ballot and by an Online Ballot, the Online Ballot will be discarded and of no effect.

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Board Approves Policy Reaffirmation

The Academy board of trustees has approved reaffirmation of the policy statement Color Codes for Topical Ocular Medications.

To read this policy, visit www.aao.org/about and click “Policy Statements.”

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FYI

YOs Receive Discounted AAOE Membership

The AAOE is offering free membership to those young ophthalmologists in residency, fellowship training or their first year of practice. Plus, young ophthalmologists in their second year of practice can join for the discounted price of $145.

AAOE membership ensures you stay current on important issues like PECOS, RAC audits, ICD-10 and PQRI.

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

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Visit the Academy at ESCRS

If your plans take you to the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meeting, Sept. 4 to 8 in Paris, be sure to stop by the Academy’s booth and ask about the latest educational products and October’s Joint Meeting in Chicago.

For more information, visit www.aao.org/meetings and click “Academy Exhibit Plans.”

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Academy Store

Check Out New Coding Product

The 2011 Ophthalmic Anatomy and Physiology for ICD-10 Coding Module (#0123008) is a detailed review of the ophthalmic system designed to help you understand how ICD-10-CM is used to identify the appropriate diagnosis and condition.

This product will be included in the 2011 Ophthalmic Coding Series: Essential Modules Kit (#0123020).

Individual modules are $45 for members and $60 for nonmembers.

2011 coding products are now available for preorder at the Academy Store. Receive a 10 percent discount when you order four coding titles together.

For a complete list of coding titles, visit www.aao.org/codingproducts.

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Watch Expert Demos of Cataract and Glaucoma Surgeries

The Academy is releasing two new DVDs in time for the 2010 Joint Meeting.

The Complications During Cataract Surgery: Posterior Capsule DVD (#0252427) addresses the posterior capsule tear and demonstrates strategies for successful management of that complication.

The Glaucoma Filtering Surgery and Drainage Devices DVD (#0252420) presents a step-by-step approach to trabeculectomy and drainage device surgery from exposure to closure.

Each DVD is $140 for members and $190 for nonmembers.

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Look Out for New Edition of Basic Ophthalmology

The ninth edition of Basic Ophthalmology (#0230061) will be available in October and features practical information on the diagnosis, management and referral of common ocular disorders. Extensive updates include neuro-ophthalmology, ocular manifestations of systemic diseases, and drugs and the eye.

Basic Ophthalmology is $48 for both members and nonmembers and is available for preorder.

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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Members At Large

Minnesota Academy Lends Support at Special Olympics

On June 18 and 19, members of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology (MAO) joined local optometrists, opticians and Lions Club members in the Opening Eyes vision screening for athletes participating in the Special Olympics Minnesota’s 2010 Summer Games.

“The MAO has a long tradition of helping with community service activities, and its participation in the vision screening event is just another example,” said MAO president Scott T. Schaefer, MD.

Nearly 1,300 athletes from across Minnesota competed at the 2010 Summer Games. Dr. Schaefer reported that 399 athletes were screened—the most ever—by MAO members at the Opening Eyes event. Screenings were provided by MAO secretary Erick D. Bothun, MD, Kevin C. Engel, MD, MAO legislative chair Eugene O. Gullingsrud, MD, MAO board member Martin B. Kaplan, MD, and Charles M. Yancey, MD, PhD.

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People

The District 22-C of the Lions Club International has presented J. Alberto Martinez, MD, with its Humanitarian of the Year Award. “Dr. Martinez has been recognized at the national and international level for giving his professional time and thousands of pairs of eyeglasses to people in underdeveloped countries,” said District governor Bill Thomas. Dr. Martinez has traveled to Kenya and Colombia to provide care for hundreds of underprivileged patients.

“I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine when I was 5 years old,” said Dr. Martinez. “While growing up in a very small town in Colombia, I met a doctor who came to our village once a month to provide care for anyone who needed it. I really admired this man and wanted to someday care for people, too.”

Joan W. Miller, MD, has been awarded the 2010 Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women by Harvard Medical School (HMS). An internationally recognized expert in the field of macular degeneration, Dr. Miller is the 16th recipient of the award.  

She is the first female clinician-scientist to become professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and also the first woman to chair the department.

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Washington Report

2010 Elections Hold Much for Ophthalmology

Fall is here and that means campaigns are in full swing as the countdown to Election Day begins. It is important to have friends in Congress in both political parties, as it takes both Republicans and Democrats to move legislation. It also takes understanding of the issues. Most candidates and members of Congress do not have an ophthalmology background, so they rely on OphthPAC and you to educate them. You are on the front lines, seeing patients every day and witnessing how they are affected by changes made on Capitol Hill. You have to practice under the guidelines and rules set by CMS and have to live with the results of its decisions. Sharing your personal stories with members of Congress helps them understand how their decision-making impacts real people—sometimes in unexpected ways.

There are 20 to 30 House members and five to 10 senators in particularly competitive races this year. Some candidates giving the incumbents a run for their money are physicians. This could be good news for ophthalmology as physicians are often more aware and understanding of our issues. The Academy is learning more about what those candidates stand for and where they sit on ophthalmology’s issues and are providing support for those campaigns where the Academy sees eye to eye with the candidate.

Getting involved in this election is critical to ensuring that more friends of ophthalmology are representing the profession. If we sit back and do nothing, we get nothing. That is why contributions to OphthPAC are so important. Donations allow the Academy to speak with a collective voice that forces Congress to pay attention. These donations also help establish solutions to the flawed Medicare physician payment system, quality patient care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, patient access and quality care, and continued funding for vision research.

For information on donating to OphthPAC or becoming an ophthalmology advocate, visit www.aao.org/ophthpac.

Getting involved in this election is critical to ensuring that more friends of ophthalmology are representing the profession.

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