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  • State and subspecialty societies' websites often serve multiple audiences. While they exist primarily to serve their members, they may also serve as an important resource for members of the public. As volunteers for their nominating societies, Leadership Development Program participants have led efforts to develop or update society websites to better serve both ophthalmologists and patients. Recent LDP website projects include the following.

    Mentoring and Advocacy for Young Ophthalmologists in Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology (TNAO)

    Janice C. Law, MD, LDP XVII, Class of 2015 - Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology

    Purpose: To increase participation and engagement of Tennessee young ophthalmologists-in-training in their state ophthalmic society; to nurture a relationship between ophthalmologists-in-training and Leadership Development Program graduates or board members from TNAO; to improve the online presence of the TNAO organization and marketing the importance of Eye MDs being the leader of the eye care team.

    Methods: A retreat is scheduled for October 2015 to unite both training programs in Tennessee: University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute and Vanderbilt Eye Institute. The retreat will have an (1) introduction by a TNAO board member on the history of the organization and its mission, (2) two key note speakers on marketing and shaping your online professional presence, and a (3) small-group brainstorming session to craft solutions for improving the current TNAO online presence. Ideas that come from the brainstorming session will be reviewed by the TNAO board and LDP graduates/board members will be assigned to mentor the groups during the completion of their projects throughout the year.

    A paper evaluation and online survey will be distributed post event to further understand how each participant experienced the retreat and brainstorming session. The results of the projects will be reviewed and evaluated in spring of 2016 before the academic year ends. A survey will be distributed to the TNAO organization to survey their experience in engaging young ophthalmologists in marketing and online presence improvement projects.

    Expected Results: Members-in-training and TNAO board members will be educated on how to enhance their own online presence as well as the ophthalmic society’s online presence with respect to marketing to the community the importance of Eye MDs being the leader of the eye care team. Members-in-training will build relationships with the members of Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology and have first-hand experience with working together towards crafting solutions and designing improvements for the state society.

    Results of improvement projects for TNAO’s online presence will be available Spring of 2016. We expect to see an increase in website traffic from the public as well as from members and non-member community ophthalmologists. We expect to see more educational information and outreach from the TNAO to the community establishing that Eye MDs are the leaders of the eye care team.

    We also expect that members-in-training will see the tangible impact they can make in their state society organization as it relates to advocacy.

    Expected Conclusions: Young ophthalmologists-in-training can play an important role in state societies. They offer a fresh energy, technology skillsets, and a unique perspective as it pertains to online professional presence, information acquisition, and outreach to communities. The Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology does not have a young ophthalmologists section and does not have direct relationships with the members-in-training in Tennessee. Conversely, most members-in-training do not realize that there are TNAO leaders within their own community.

    Young ophthalmologists-in-training need to be shown at an early stage in training the importance of state society membership and how the state society advocates for physician practices and patient safety. This project affords the trainees and practicing ophthalmologists an opportunity to work together, bridge local relationships, and rejuvenate the online presence of their organization. The organization benefits from the collaboration between groups and the young ophthalmologists will have first-hand experience they can take to other state societies in their future practices.

    Pediatric Ophthalmology Worldwide Education Resource (POWER) Center

    Faruk H. Orge, MD, LDP XVII, Class of 2015 - American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

    Purpose: To form a comprehensive educational and interactive website for pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. This website is formed with the AAO ONE Network infrastructure and will have an open access to allow anyone and everyone to reach the content.

    Methods: A generous donation from the Knight Templar Eye Foundation of $1 Million to the AAO Foundation secured for this project will allow acquisition, formation and maintenance of the site. More than 20 sections have been formed and multiple world renown experts are assigned as editors for each section. Under every section multiple chapters are formed by the editors and their teams. The content level is kept at the level of US pediatric ophthalmology fellowship training. More than 110 editors have volunteered to contribute more than 55 chapters, books, lectures, videos for this project Also under this project, novel concepts like “ROP Training Module” and “Strabismus Examination and Testing Simulator” was formed. This content is housed under the AAO ONE Network umbrella. This site was also endorsed and supported by national and international organizations such as AAPOS, IPOSC, ORBIS, etc.

    Results/Conclusion: This site immediately will not only expand the educational content accessible for pediatric ophthalmologists and strabismologists but also will be utilized as a tool by educators to be able to teach their students and ophthalmologists they are mentoring worldwide. There has been no other reliable, comprehensive resource available in this scale. The design of the site will allow expansion of the content constantly, forming an ever expanding dynamic digital library.