It is a tremendous privilege to be nominated for the position of trustee-at-large for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
My experiences as a private practice ophthalmologist, with leadership roles at the AAO, local, and state levels of medical governance and in ophthalmic education, have prepared me well for this critical position. The Academy's mission of protecting sight and empowering lives by serving as patient advocates and facilitating education is a great responsibility and the focus of my career.
I obtained a Bachelor of Science with honors in microbiology and French from the University of Toronto in 1983 and studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, graduating in 1988. I completed internal medicine and ophthalmology residencies at Wayne State University. I am a comprehensive ophthalmologist and started my Michigan practice in 1997. I enjoy teaching residents and medical students as a professor at Oakland University and as a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University. My experiences with global outreach through mission trips to Kenya, where access to health care is a challenge, further deepened my appreciation for the privilege of practicing in the U.S.
My involvement in organized medicine began in 2002 when I joined the third-party payer committee for the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MiSEPS). There I learned the importance of having a seat at the table for discussions concerning reimbursement policy, and how these subsequently affect patient care and safety. The importance of advocating for our patients and profession and the necessity of forming legislative relationships was emphasized during my term on the Academy’s OPHTHPAC® committee, 2011-15. Today I sit on the J8 Medicare Administrative Contractor advisory committee for MiSEPS.
In 2004, I graduated from the Academy’s Leadership Development Program. This exceptional program shaped my future. The Academy is a phenomenal organization with excellent staff, and with its support, I have honed leadership skills including team communication flexibility and the importance of empathy, patience, and perseverance. These crucial skills contributed to subsequent successful leadership positions, including as a resident of MiSEPS in 2010 and as a Michigan representative on the Academy council from 2005 to 2010.
My service with Academy committees has involved membership education, succession planning and advocacy. From 2003-07, I was part of the practicing ophthalmologist curriculum panel for comprehensive ophthalmology, editing questions for future Maintenance of Certification (MOC) curriculum. Since 2008, due to my internal medicine background, I have contributed as a subcommittee member for the Basic and Clinical Science Course™ Section 1: Update on General Medicine.
In 2010 I was fortunate to serve on the Academy nominating committee. In 2019, I chaired the Academy task force on membership, a due diligence initiative exploring future Academy policy. I now serve on the Academy committee for state organizational development secretariat for state affairs. I have been honored with the Academy senior achievement and secretariat awards.
The position of trustee-at-large is a distinctive opportunity to relay the concerns and opinions of our membership to the Academy Board of Trustees. If elected, I will honor, uphold and defend the mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.