• Transforming the Profession and Revolutionizing Patient Care

    Retired NASA astronaut David Wolf, MD, EE, provided insight into how space flight affects the eye during the keynote address at Mid-Year Forum 2018. 

    The Mid-Year Forum is one of the Academy’s most significant yearly meetings, bringing the ophthalmology community together to implement the highest quality of care for patients through politics, policy and practice management. Mid-Year Forum 2018 offered a peek into the future of ophthalmology by addressing the application of artificial intelligence in diagnosing and treating disease in clinical practice. The session, “The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology,” featured Lily Peng, MD, PhD, a Google product manager who discussed deep learning for the detection of diabetic eye disease. Google Ventures General Partner Krishna Yeshwant, MD, MBA, examined the potential of AI in health care, its promises and limitations, and what the future holds.

    Attendees were captivated by the keynote speaker, decorated NASA astronaut David Wolf, MD, EE, U.S. Air Force senior flight surgeon in the Air National Guard (1983 to 2004). He discussed his illustrious career and provided insight into his space flight experiences and the unique ways in which space flight affects the eye and vision changes.

    Breaking attendance records on Congressional Advocacy Day

    A record 442 Congressional Advocacy Day participants descended on Capitol Hill to advocate to legislators and healthcare staff on the issues that affect our profession and our patients. As a result of our efforts, the Academy obtained 13 cosponsors on key, Academy-backed legislation; optometry’s efforts to derail the VA’s Technology-Based Eye Care Services program failed to gain traction with legislators; and 100 congressional offices were primed to support our concerns on prior authorization and contacted CMS about its prior-authorization policy. At the Congressional Advocacy Day dinner briefing, Meron Haile, MD, was named the inaugural Robert A. Copeland Jr., MD, Advocacy Education Fund fellow.

    Inspiring young Academy members to engage in their profession

    L.E.A.P. Forward 2018, a session specifically geared toward Advocacy Ambassadors during Mid-Year Forum 2018, gave young members an opportunity to network and interact with advocacy leaders in ophthalmology. The L.E.A.P. (leadership, engagement, advocacy and practice management) Forward concept was first introduced at Mid-Year Forum 2015. Each subsequent year, the session organizers, the Academy’s Young Ophthalmologist Committee and the Secretariat for State Affairs have recommended improvements to the session. Enhancements to the session at Mid-Year Forum 2018 included placement of previous years’ advocacy ambassadors on the agenda to highlight how they’ve become engaged as leaders in our profession; the addition of a Q&A session for advocacy ambassadors with Academy CEO David W. Parke II, MD; and increased time for participants to interact in roundtables with Academy, subspecialty and state society leaders.