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    Richard A. Zorab

    Academy Vice President of Clinical Education, Richard A. Zorab, died on Oct. 19 at the age of 68. Earlier that day, he had been recognized with the Academy President’s Guest of Honor Award at the AAO 2014 Opening Session in Chicago. He was the first serving education vice president in the Academy’s 118-year history to receive this honor.

    Mr. Zorab transformed ophthalmic education for the Academy and, in doing so, had a profound influence on the field of ophthalmology. By digitizing clinical content and building the ONE Network Web portal, he made the latest ophthalmic information accessible to more than half of the world’s ophthalmologists. To support this resource in his memory, the Academy established the Richard A. Zorab Memorial Fund.

    For more on Mr. Zorab’s life, visit the Richard Zorab tribute site.

    To contribute to the Richard A. Zorab Memorial Fund, visit the Academy's Foundation. 


    What's Happening

    Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is!

    The annual “Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is!” conference, developed by Robert H. Osher, MD, and managed by the Academy, updates ophthalmologists on the latest in cataract technique, technology, and science in an unorthodox yet practical way. Dr. Osher describes it as uncensored and “unlike any other conference that you have ever attended anywhere on the planet.” It features lectures, video presentations, and more than 90 vendor exhibits. Attendees can practice hands-on with new technology and techniques in 19 different wet labs, featuring faculty including Richard Mackool, MD, Warren Hill,  MD, Ike K. Ahmed, MD, and Michael Snyder, MD.

    The conference takes place Jan. 1518, 2015, in Sarasota, Fla. On Jan. 14, before the official kickoff, there will be a session on neuro-ophthalmology, followed by a dinner meeting that is called “Wednesday Night at the Movies,” where Dr. Osher will share videos from his collection as editor of the Video Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Thursday morning features a retina symposium, then cornea and refractive updates. At noon, the conference begins with new technology. Titled “Showdowns,” the session compares and contrasts phaco machines, microscopes, presbyopia correction, and femtosecond lasers.

    The sessions include Challenging Cases, IOL Selection, and Complications. The rest of the program ranges from sessions such as Intracameral Devices to Strange but True! videos. Other highlights include Hardcore Vitrectomy, Take Home a Pearl!, and Refractive Surprises. The days are intense, running from 7 a.m. to after 10 p.m. “We keep the sessions entertaining and interactive. When our experts share their knowledge on stage, we challenge each other and must defend our positions. It is a remarkable chemistry, and we aren’t afraid to disagree with each other. We also offer attendees an extensive opportunity for hands-on learning as well as Q&A.” Dr. Osher noted that he has received extremely positive feedback from his previous four meetings. “Simply put, we are here to teach. Our goal is for our 500 attendees to leave Sarasota more confident and better surgeons.”

    For more information and to register, visit


    December 2014 Academy Notebook
    AN INNOVATIVE AND ENTERTAINING FORMAT. Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is! has sold out for each of its four previous meetings.


    Take Notice

    December 2014 Academy Notebook

    Updated EyeWiki—Share Your Expertise 

    EyeWiki is the Academy’s collaborative online encyclopedia where ophthalmologists can read, write, and edit articles about eye disease and treatment. The site has recently been updated with a cleaner, more colorful look and a mobile-friendly design that adjusts to any screen size. Behind-the-scenes improvements to the wiki technology also make it easier to write and edit articles. Contributing to EyeWiki is an opportunity to publish content that will be seen by physicians and patients worldwide, as the site has more than 100,000 visitors every month.

    To view and contribute, visit the EyeWiki website. 


    Meeting Matters

    AAO Meetings on Demand

    Be sure to check out AAO Meetings on Demand for Subspecialty Day sessions and AAO 2014 symposia and courses that you weren’t able to attend. More than 200 hours of content are available for purchase. Files contain slides and synchronized audio.

    Some courses may not be available or may be available only in audio form due to copyright restrictions. AAO Meetings on Demand does not provide CME credit.

    To order, visit the Academy Store.


    Meeting Archives

    Visit the Meeting Archives to download course handout PDFs, find scientific posters, watch Videos on Demand, view syllabi from Subspecialty Day meetings, and more.

    For more information, visit


    Discover What’s in Store: AAO 2015

    Join us in Las Vegas for AAO 2015. The meeting will take place Nov. 14-17 at Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian. It will be preceded by Subspecialty Day, Nov. 13-14.


    2015 Abstract Deadlines

    To present at AAO 2015, you must submit abstracts online. The abstract submitter for instruction courses and new Skills Transfer labs opens Dec. 11 and closes Jan. 13.

    To submit, visit Presenter Central.


    Academy Store

    Important PQRS and Coding Updates for 2015 

    Avoid penalties and maximize your reimbursements by attending the Academy’s compliance and coding webinars.

    Dec. 16, 2014—PQRS Reporting Changes for 2015 (also covers value-based modifier and ASC quality reporting)

    Jan. 13, 2015—Ophthalmology Coding Update (topics include updates on modifier –59, four new modifiers, CPT Category I and Category III codes, Medicare fee schedule, and more)

    For more information, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives website.


    Members at Large


    December 2014 Academy Notebook

    The Cornea Society awarded Fei-fei Huang, MM, the 2014 Cornea Society/Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the Cornea Society/Eye Bank Association of America Fall Educational Symposium on Oct. 17. The award is bestowed annually by the society for the paper published in Cornea during the previous year that was judged to be most outstanding and innovative and was authored by an investigator 40 years of age or younger. The paper was titled “Tear HSV-Specific Secretory IgA as a Potential Indicator for Recurrent Stromal Herpes Simplex Keratitis: A Preliminary Study.” Dr. Huang said, “It’s an honor to be selected among so many outstanding studies. Thank you, Professor Richard Troutman and the Cornea Society, for this award. I would like to thank Dr. Wang Zhujian, Dr. Xu Jianjiang, and especially my supervisor Dr. Zhang Chaoran.”

    December 2014 Academy Notebook

    Bonnie A. Henderson, MD, was selected to receive the 2014 Women in Ophthalmology/Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman Award. The award was presented to Dr. Henderson during AAO 2014 in Chicago, and it recognizes the ophthalmologist who has done the most in the preceding year to promote the role of women in ophthalmology. Dr. Henderson said, “I am extremely grateful to Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) and Dr. Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman for this honor. There are many men and women who strive to support women in their careers, so I feel honored to receive this award. While gender equality continues to improve in ophthalmology, I look forward to the time when the need to discuss inequality no longer exists.”

    December 2014 Academy Notebook

    The International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS) awarded Brian K. Armstrong, MD, the 23rd Annual Richard C. Troutman, MD, DSc (HON) Prize during the ISRS Awards ceremony on Oct. 17. This prize recognizes the scientific merit of a young author publishing in the Journal of Refractive Surgery and includes a $5,000 honorarium from the Troutman Endowment. Dr. Armstrong said, “It is humbling to be the recipient of this award, given all that Dr. Trout-man himself accomplished. I also look at past recipients and all that they have achieved and the contributions they are making— there is a great legacy there. This recognition gives me renewed focus and drive for my work in corneal biomechanics, as I hope to further innovate in this field and others within ophthalmology.”


    State Societies Honored During AAO 2014

    On Oct. 20, during AAO 2014, the Academy Secretariat for State Affairs honored two societies with its State Affairs Star Award. The State Affairs Star Award program provides special recognition to state ophthalmology societies for outstanding efforts on programs or projects they have implemented in the previous year. The winning programs are as follows:

    • Delaware Academy of Ophthalmology for its DAO Eye Screening project, in which it provided an eye health screening to serve uninsured and underinsured community members.
    • Florida Society of Ophthalmology for its FSO Regional Societies project, an effort to improve collaboration and unity among Florida ophthalmologists.


    State Society Executive Directors Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

    Each year, the Academy Secretariat for State Affairs publicly acknowledges state ophthalmology society executive directors. During AAO 2014 in Chicago, the Secretariat recognized two state ophthalmology society executive directors for their outstanding work.

    • 2014 Outstanding Executive Director: Organizational DevelopmentRachael Reed, CAE, Executive Director, Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology (OAO) and Texas Ophthalmological Association (TOA)
    • 2014 Outstanding Executive Director: Political ActionGordon H. Smith, JD, Executive Director, Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MSEPS)


    D.C. Report

    Surgery by Surgeons 2014: Overview

    The Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs and state ophthalmic societies had a challenging year battling optometry’s push to expand its scope of practice. Through advocacy efforts in partnership with the Academy, ophthalmologists preserved patient surgical safety in Arizona, California (see D.C. Report, November), Delaware, Massachusetts, and Nebraska, with an active fight under way in Puerto Rico. Despite these major victories, 2014 had some setbacks. 

    Louisiana. HB 1065 was enacted authorizing optometrists to perform certain types of scalpel to expand its scope of practice. and laser surgery. Its chief proponent, the Chairman of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, is also a practicing optometrist. The bill was signed into law despite aggressive advocacy efforts by the Louisiana Ophthalmology Association, the Louisiana State Medical Society, and the Academy.

    Tennessee. SB 220/HB 555 was enacted, authorizing optometrists to use injectable anesthesia for scalpel eyelid procedures. Because of advocacy efforts on the part of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology, the final version of the bill was amended to limit its value to optometry by restricting scalpel use to excise a single epidermal lesion that doesn’t appear to be malignant, is less than 5 mm, and is no deeper than the dermal layer.

    Take action. In preparing for another intense year of patient advocacy, ophthalmologists are urged to intervene in the following ways: