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October 2012

 
Academy Notebook
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What's Happening

Dr. Charles R. and Judith G. Munnerlyn Donate $1 Million

On Aug. 21, the Academy announced that it had received a $1 million donation from Dr. Charles R. and Judith G. Munnerlyn. The charitable contribution will be used to advance laser surgery education for ophthalmologists around the world. This gift, which is one of the largest individual donations in the Academy’s history, will establish the Dr. Charles R. and Judith G. Munnerlyn Laser Surgery Education Center and the Munnerlyn Endowment Fund that will be used to maintain it.

October 2012 Notebook 1
Munnerlyn Donation. The Dr. Charles R. and Judith G. Munnerlyn Laser Surgery Education Center is expected to launch in 2013.

The goal of the web-based center is to provide ophthalmologists with a central location for the most up-to-date and accurate information on advances in ophthalmic laser surgery; it will serve as a virtual skills transfer center. The Munnerlyn Laser Surgery Education Center will focus on providing educational resources in basic science principles, advances in laser surgery technology, systems-based patient safety programs, and pre- and postoperative care and management. Its programs will be housed within the Academy’s Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network (www.aao.org/ one), where it will complement the ONE Network’s ophthalmic content with its focus on all aspects of the application of laser technology to ocular surgery and procedures.

“The profession of ophthalmology will benefit significantly from the generosity of Charles and Judith Munnerlyn in providing the funding to advance laser science within eye care,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy Executive Vice President and CEO. “The knowledge that will be created from these funds, combined with the technology to dispense it to ophthalmologists around the world, will have a direct and immediate impact on the quality of care received by patients on a global basis.” 

Charles R. Munnerlyn, PhD, is a pioneer in translating laser science into ophthalmic applications. His work and dedication to ophthalmology, ophthalmologists, and the patients they serve have transformed the profession. Dr. Munnerlyn’s contributions are responsible for improving or preserving the vision of millions of people around the world who have undergone ophthalmic laser procedures. He is known for his work in developing the first autorefractor. He also designed the first excimer laser for vision correction and introduced what is now known as the Munnerlyn Formula. This mathematical formula calculates the amount of corneal tissue to be removed by the laser to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Dr. Munnerlyn’s contributions also include early work in the development of photocoagulation and pulse YAG laser systems for vision correction.

“The American Academy of Ophthalmology plays a critical, global role in the advancement of ophthalmic knowledge,” said Dr. Munnerlyn. “This gift to the Academy supports our personal and lifelong commitment to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from visual impairment.”

Dr. Munnerlyn currently serves on the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Advisory Board and the Optical Society of America Board.

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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 on Sunday, Nov. 11, in North Hall B of the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
The order of business shall be:

  • Call to order
  • Report of the president
  • Report of the EVP/CEO
  • 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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Take Notice

New Ophthalmic Technology Assessment

The Ophthalmic Technology Assessment (OTA) titled Anti–Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Pharmacotherapy for Diabetic Macular Edema, published in the October Ophthalmology journal, reviews the evidence about current anti-VEGF pharmacotherapies for the treatment of diabetic macular edema and concludes that treatment is efficacious and safe over a two-year period. Further evidence is required to support long-term safety of these therapies and their comparative efficacy.

Read this OTA and 40 others at www.aao.org/one. Select “Practice Guidelines” and “Ophthalmic Technology Assessments.” Full text is free to members and Ophthalmology subscribers.

EyeSmart Decorative Contact Lenses Campaign Returns in English and Spanish

Again this fall, the Academy’s award-winning EyeSmart public awareness campaign will highlight the dangers of decorative contact lenses obtained without a prescription. Such lenses can be a popular part of Halloween costumes. But when improperly acquired or used, they can cause eye infections or worse. Building on its successful public education effort in 2011, this year’s EyeSmart campaign will include resources and media outreach in Spanish, as well as English. Physicians can download a free educational poster about the dangers of decorative lenses in either language.

Learn more about the campaign and how EyeSmart educates the public about the value of ophthalmology at www.aao.org/eyesmartcampaign.

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October 2012 Notebook 2
ONE SPOTLIGHT: Learn With Expert Videos and Podcasts. The Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network’s extensive media collection includes videos and podcasts with expert analysis and discussion of the latest developments in ophthalmic care. From summaries of promising investigative therapies to news about recently approved ophthalmic devices, these updates from the experts explain how advances in clinical science are relevant to your daily practice.

Recent titles include the following:

  • Future Therapies for Corneal Endothelial Disease (video)
  • The Boston Keratoprosthesis in the Management of Limbal Stem Cell Failure (video)
  • iStent and the Advent of Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (podcast)
  • 23-Gauge Endoscopic Vitrectomy (video)
  • Visual Gains Maintained at 36 Months in RISE, RIDE Studies (video)
  • Nonsurgical Resolution of Vitreomacular Adhesion (video)
See what’s available at www.aao.org/one. Click on “Videos and Podcasts” under “Educational Content.”

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Academy Store

ICD-10 for Ophthalmology Book Now Available

ICD-10 will usher in the biggest change to coding in more than 20 years. With alphanumeric 3-7 digit codes replacing the current numeric 3-5 digit codes, the new system presents a steep learning curve for correct diagnosis selection.

The Academy and the AAOE’s new ICD-10 for Ophthalmology (#0120335) can help. This book includes a subspecialty-specific reference guide that will assist ophthalmologists and staff in making a smooth transition to ICD-10. It will also help you get a head start on training programs and system conversions, all of which will affect your practice’s finances.

The book is $78 for members, $130 for nonmembers.

For more information and to order, visit www.aao.org/store.

Ophthalmic Essentials in the New Physician’s Guide to Eye Care

The Physician’s Guide to Eye Care (#0240408) is now in its fourth edition. It describes how to diagnose and treat common eye problems and how to quickly identify serious ophthalmic conditions that require further treatment and referral. This popular guide for nonophthalmic medical professionals has been redesigned to fit into a lab coat pocket. Nearly 150 figures and illustrations make this an ideal resource for the internist, pediatrician, family physician, or emergency room physician.

The book is $90 for members, $120 for nonmembers.    

To purchase, visit the Academy store at www.aao.org/store.

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D.C. Report

2012 Joint Meeting Sessions

The national dialogue on health care intensified this year with the Supreme Court upholding the health care reform law. How the law will be implemented continues to be debated in Congress, however, and its effects on patient care and ophthalmology remain to be seen. And challenges to quality patient care and the profession are not exclusive to Washington, D.C.; optometrists are pushing for expanded scope of practice in a record number of states. Attend the following free events at the Joint Meeting and discover how the Academy is working for members and patients in Washington, D.C., and the state capitals.

Surgery by Surgeons Forum (Spe10). This forum reviews the latest activity in state legislatures related to optometry’s aggressive push for surgical privileges and previews what is expected in upcoming legislative sessions. When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Fairmont Hotel, Imperial Ballroom. Access: Registration for the fall Council meeting is required for the forum; attendance is limited to Academy members and invited guests.

2013 Medicare Update (Spe11). Get the latest news and Academy analysis of changes to the Medicare program driven by Congress and CMS. Discover how these changes and various incentive programs will affect practices in 2013 and beyond. When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 12:15-1:45 p.m. Where: Grand Ballroom S100c. Access: Free.

Dialogue With FDA: Ophthalmic Initiatives Affecting You and Your Practice (Spe13). Ophthalmic experts from the FDA will provide insights into agency initiatives such as the Proactive Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome Program. You will also hear about the latest developments in drugs and devices and their use in ophthalmic practices. When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 12:45-1:45 p.m. Where: Room N135. Access: Free.

Re-engineering the U.S. Health Care System: The Impact on Ophthalmology (Sym20). The 2012 American Medical Association Ophthalmology Section Council Symposium will consider how continuing implementation of the health care reform law and its rules and regulations impacts ophthalmology. When: Monday, Nov. 12, 8:30-10 a.m. Where: Room S406a. Access: Free.

Tele-Health in the VA, DOD, and Indian Health Service: The Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time (Spe17). Ophthalmologists from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and Indian Health Service will discuss how tele-health technologies are successfully being employed in federal health care systems. The government uses these technologies to provide care to deployed service members, perform diabetic retinopathy screenings in the primary care setting, and monitor diabetic retinopathy in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. When: Monday, Nov. 12, 12:45-1:45 p.m. Where: Room N427a. Access: Free.

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Members at Large

Michigan Society in Step With the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology

“The Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MiSEPS) places great value on its unique partners and alliances. These relationships in turn offer the eye society members an opportunity to support a variety of public services,” said MiSEPS President Evan H. Black, MD. One of its strategic alliances is with the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) and its founder and president, Philip C. Hessburg, MD—also a very active member within MiSEPS.

Founded in 1972, the DIO provides support and resources to enhance independence for the visually impaired and blind, and it conducts ongoing eye and vision research. (Dr. Hessburg was recognized by the Academy in 2011 as a Secretariat for State Affairs Hall of Fame Award recipient for his lifelong advocacy and commitment to public policies supporting quality medical and surgical care.)

Through its marketing efforts, newsletter, and website promotion, MiSEPS supports a number of DIO initiatives including the fundraising event Steps for Sight/Detroit Free Press Marathon, taking place this year on Oct. 21. “Detroit is unique in that we are connected by bridge and tunnel to Windsor, Ontario, making this, to the best of our knowledge, the only international marathon. Marathon participants run across the bridge from downtown Detroit into downtown Windsor and return to the United States via the tunnel under the Detroit River,” said Dr. Hessburg.   

MiSEPS also actively promoted other 2012 DIO events, including the June EyesOn Design Auto Show and the September Eye and the Chip. This year, the annual EyesOn Design took place at the historic Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. “EyesOn Design is unique in that it celebrates design in all vehicle categories, from prewar classics, sports cars, and exotic foreign makes to muscle cars, hot rods, customs, and motorcycles,” said Dr. Hessburg. The show is also distinctive in that it features an award by the DIO Visionaries: visually impaired and blind people who wear white gloves and select, strictly by touch, a winner in one vehicle category. The Eye and the Chip is a three-day world congress to accelerate progress toward “artificial vision” by providing a format for exchange of scientific advances among internationally recognized experts.

“For 40 years, the DIO has supported itself with special events focusing on education, research, and aid to many people who are visually impaired. The alliance we have with MiSEPS is beneficial to us both,” said Dr. Hessburg. “We are tremendously grateful to our signature sponsor, Art Van Furniture, and to MiSEPS, as well as to the DIO’s staff and volunteers for the special event, Steps for Sight, which has raised thousands of dollars for DIO programs.”

Who’s in the News

David Ingvoldstad, MD, and Emily Chew, MD, were quoted by The Wall Street Journal in an article on Aug. 14 about how an eye exam can reveal a variety of clues regarding a patient’s overall health. Dr. Ingvoldstad has detected diabetes, lupus, and even a brain tumor in patients who were unaware that they had the condition. Ophthalmologists can  initiate further assessment for potential medical conditions, leading to earlier treatment.

Dr. Chew said, “There’s no question the eye has always been the window to the body. … Anybody with any visual changes … should be seeing someone right away.”

Tina Rutar, MD, was interviewed by Medical Xpress for an Aug. 8 Web article on the kid-friendly setting at the UCSF Visual Center for the Child in San Francisco. The waiting room and exam rooms are newly designed in the interest of engaging children so that they can be more comfortable during their appointment. Dr. Rutar said, “When we examine young children in a nonthreatening way, we get information we might not get otherwise.”

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Candidates' Views

Meet the Official Slate of Nominees

In June, the Academy’s Board of Trustees nominated an official slate of officers for its 2013 Board of Trustees. The following have given their consent to serve if elected and therefore constitute the official slate. If the Academy’s membership approves all candidates, their respective terms begin Jan. 1, 2013. Academy members will be given the opportunity to vote online or by paper ballot for officers and trustee-at-large positions of the Board of Trustees.

EyeNet is pleased to present the personal statement provided by each of the candidates.

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Gregory L. Skuta, MD
Board of Trustees’ Nominee for President-Elect

October 2012 Notebook 3

It is an extraordinary privilege to be nominated as President-Elect of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I am honored and humbled by this special opportunity to serve our colleagues and profession and, thereby, patients from throughout the world who benefit from the care that we, as ophthalmologists, provide.

As the Secretary for Ophthalmic Knowledge and then Senior Secretary for Clinical Education over the past 12 years, I am very familiar with the importance of the Academy’s long-standing commitment to lifelong learning through our Annual Meeting, the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network, and numerous other programs. My service as President of the American Glaucoma Society, a Director of the American Board of Ophthalmology, a committee member for the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology also has broadened my perspective and experience.   

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City and as an active clinician, surgeon, and medical educator, I also understand the importance of advocacy with respect to equitable reimbursement for our professional services, scope of practice issues, funding for vision research, and engaging our residents and fellows in the process. To ensure that government leaders understand what we as ophthalmologists offer, I have frequently visited Capitol Hill in Washington and the Oklahoma State Capitol and also have hosted numerous federal and state officials in our facility. Continuing interaction with our governmental leaders will be vital during this era of challenges and uncertainty regarding the future of health care. At the same time, as demand for our profession’s expertise continues to expand, it will be important for us to maintain high standards while identifying mechanisms, including an effective ophthalmology-led integrated eye care model, by which we can ensure that “ … the public can obtain the best possible eye care,” as advocated by the Academy’s mission statement.

We are fortunate that 93 percent of practicing U.S. ophthalmologists are members of the Academy. However, of a membership of almost 32,000, the robust 9,000-plus international membership from 139 countries reflects the Academy’s impact on a global scale.  As someone who is proud of our Eye Institute’s engagement in China and Swaziland, has served on the Board of Governors of the World Glaucoma Association, and has been devoted to developing educational programs that benefit both domestic and international audiences, I look forward to the continuing opportunity to serve as an advocate for the Academy as we reach out to our global partners.    

To serve on the Academy’s Board of Trustees and Awards Committee has only strengthened my respect and admiration for the amazing Academy staff and the hundreds of Academy members who willingly volunteer their time, energy, talents, and resources to support the Academy and its missions. Given that energy and talent, I believe that our future remains promising and bright. If afforded the honor of serving as 2013 President-Elect and 2014 President of the Academy, I pledge my steadfast commitment to our members and to the AAO programs that enable us to advance the quality of care that our patients richly deserve. 

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Louis B. Cantor, MD
Board of Trustees’ Nominee for Senior Secretary for Clinical Education

October 2012 Notebook 4
“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”
—Robert M. Hutchins 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology provides a multitude of services to its members. Education has always been one of the highest priorities of the Academy; therefore, it is an extraordinary honor and privilege to be nominated by the Board of Trustees as the Academy’s Senior Secretary for Clinical Education.

The educational programs of the Academy place a priority on lifelong education and learning. Throughout the continuum of our professional careers from medical school throughout our years of practice, education and learning never cease. The educational programs of the Academy are consistently recognized, both nationally and internationally, as outstanding and of the highest caliber. The Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) has served as a fundamental resource for educational content for residents in training as well as a comprehensive reference for practicing ophthalmologists. The impact and reputation of the BCSC are highlighted by recent collaborations with the European Board of Ophthalmology, where the BCSC is now recognized as the primary educational resource and content outline for residents within training programs throughout the European Union. The reach of the BCSC as well as other Academy educational programs and resources is being extended online globally through the growth of the ONE Network, which is to be substantially enhanced with the release of version 2.0 within the next year. The potential to extend the reach of the Academy’s educational programs electronically cannot be fully appreciated or measured at this time. However, it is clear that the impact of the Academy’s educational programming will play an ever-increasing role globally.  

The dedication and efforts of the Secretaries in Clinical Education within the Academy and the commitment of the numerous volunteers who support the educational initiatives of the Academy have resulted in the establishment and enhancement of the outstanding educational programs of the Academy. The Ophthalmic Knowledge Secretariat, the Secretariat for Quality of Care and the Hoskins Center, the Secretariat for Knowledge Base Development along with our Online Education/eLearning Secretariat, and the Ophthalmology journal will continue to provide direction for residents and fellows in training along with practicing ophthalmologists seeking board certification and throughout the maintenance of the certification process. It is my goal to help facilitate the work of our many committed leaders and volunteers. 

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Thomas A. Oetting, MD
Board of Trustees’ Nominee for Trustee-at-Large

October 2012 Notebook 5

I am honored by this nomination to serve on the Academy’s Board of Trustees. I hope that I can share my experiences as an active member of the Academy in the areas of education, advocacy, and veterans’ affairs.

I grew up in Montgomery, Ala., in an Air Force family. My father helped to create innovative educational programs for the Air Force, including teacher training and college correspondence courses for remotely assigned airmen. He helped to spur my interest in education. I was fortunate to obtain an Air Force ROTC scholarship for Duke University, where I studied electrical engineering and computer science. Following college, I spent four years in active service and six years in the reserve service of the Air Force. While in the Air Force, I was an executive officer for a senior officer and managed the acquisition of large electronic systems. This experience helped me to better learn how to navigate within a large organization. 

Following my active service, I went to graduate school in engineering and medical school at Duke University, where I received an MS and an MD degree. I did an internship at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis before starting my residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. Following my residency, I spent 18 months in a private general ophthalmology practice with Dr. Robert Wankum in Jefferson City, Mo. I decided to return to Iowa City and join the faculty in 1997.  

For the past 15 years, I have been on the faculty at Iowa, where I serve as residency director and chief of the VA eye service (Iowa City VAMC). My academic interests have been in the area of complex cataract surgery and resident training. I have been fortunate to have great mentors at the University of Iowa and amazing residents who are easy to lead and teach. 

I started my involvement with the Academy years ago when I was president of the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology. I was able to attend one of the first classes of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program, which prepared me for advocacy work and gave me a sense of the Academy’s structure and scope. I have been very involved in the maintenance of certification effort by the Academy and currently chair the Cataract/Anterior Segment of the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum Panel. I was also on the EyeNet editorial board and led the monthly column Morning Rounds for years. I have been active in several courses at the Academy, mostly related to cataract surgery and teaching residents. I was elected to the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Program Director Council and will serve for several more years. I also have leadership roles in ASCRS, mostly related to teaching cataract surgery. 

Again, I am honored to have been nominated for the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to serving Academy members in this capacity.    

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Mildred M. G. Olivier, MD
Board of Trustees’ Nominee for Trustee-at-Large

October 2012 Notebook 6

This nomination honors me deeply. My admiration for the Academy began when I served as a young physician delegate for Academy to the American Medical Association in 1991. I have been an active member ever since.

I am the CEO and founder of the Midwest Glaucoma Center, a specialty practice for glaucoma referrals in the Chicagoland area. In a normal week, I see patients, perform glaucoma surgeries, and enjoy teaching residents as associate professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and Midwestern University. Throughout the year I travel to medical conferences and symposia, including representing the Academy at the American Medical Association. Since 1993, I have been making frequent medical missions to Haiti and joined the Academy’s Task Force on Haiti Recovery after the earthquake of 2010.

I am committed to keeping ophthalmic organizations strong, especially through adopting technological advances that help us better serve patients. Issues affecting women physicians and international efforts to save sight are keenly important to me. I work to promote international advancements for women and to address domestic medical concerns. In Haiti, I learned we can achieve much more than simply donating our time and services. When we work to transfer our skills to the doctors who live there, the impact goes far beyond the scope of our own visits.

Ophthalmology has enormous power to benefit lives, but the changing world challenges us. Sometimes it may be beyond individuals to bring about necessary changes, but there is no limit to what we can achieve when we come together. We gather as doctors to learn from one another, pool our talents, and link our efforts. Our unified voice has the wisdom and strength to be heard. That is why I have devoted much of my energy to the Academy. 

I serve on the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives Electronic Health Records subcommittee, the American Glaucoma Society Patient Care – Advocacy and Government Relations subcommittee, a national quality forum technical advisory panel on eye care, and the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. During 2006 and 2007, I was honored to participate in the Academy’s Leadership Development Program. Since 2004, I have served on the steering committee and in various other capacities for the American Medical Association’s Commission to End Health Care Disparities. I have been a member of AMA’s Women Physicians Congress since 2000, with several terms on the board and one as vice chair. I am active with Women in Ophthalmology, where I have held various offices since 2004, including my current role as president-elect. Other organizations for which I have held board and committee posts include the National Eye Institute, the National Medical Association, the American Glaucoma Society, Prevent Blindness America, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

I am grateful for the leadership and development opportunities I’ve experienced thanks to my work with the Academy. I would be honored to put them to work for the Academy membership on the Board of Trustees.

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Academy Governance Overview

Board of Trustees. The policy-making body; manages and directs the business affairs of the Academy in furtherance of its mission and strategic goals.

Committee of Secretaries. Involved in developing and managing program activities and services; advises the Board on the priority of major Academy programs.

Committees. Under the direction of the Secretariats, committees develop and implement specific Academy programs.

Council. Makes recommendations for Board action based on membership concerns.

For more information, go to www.aao.org/bot.

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