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    Ophthalmology’s New Editor-in-Chief: Dr. McLeod

    Dr. McLeod
    Dr. McLeod

    As of Jan. 1, 2017, Ophthalmology has a new Editor-in-Chief: Stephen D. McLeod, MD, who succeeds George A. Bartley, MD. Dr. McLeod is chair of the ophthalmology department at the Uni­versity of California in San Francisco, and recently served as the Academy’s secretary for Quality of Care. Dr. McLeod earned a medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. After finishing an ophthalmology residency at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he com­pleted fellowship training in cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery at the University of Southern Califor­nia’s Doheny Eye Institute.

    Dr. McLeod brings extensive publishing experience to Ophthalmology, having served for 20 years on the editorial board and as associate editor for the American Medical Association’s journal for ophthalmology research, Archives of Ophthalmology, and on the editorial board of its successor, JAMA Ophthalmology. He was also on the edi­torial board for the Journal of Refractive Surgery. Dr. McLeod has authored more than 100 articles in the peer-reviewed literature.

    “Stephen McLeod is a tremendous clinician-scientist, with a deep personal commitment to the critical role of our profession’s flagship journal in helping to frame and address the most import­ant issues of our time,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO. “Dr. Mc­Leod is a respected leader of one of our country’s most distinguished academic departments. I’m sure he will bring that same energy, integrity, and commit­ment to excellence to Ophthalmology.”


    PQRS—Jan. 15 Deadline for IRIS Registry Users

    If you have been using the IRIS Regis­try to take part in the 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Jan. 15 is an important deadline on 2 counts: The first applies to all IRIS Registry partic­ipants, and the second just to those who are manually entering PQRS data into the Web portal.

    • Submit a signed data-release consent form for each of your practice’s provid­ers. The IRIS Registry won’t submit a provider’s PQRS data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unless it has received the signed consent form by Jan. 15. This consent deadline applies whether you signed up for manual PQRS reporting or for automated data extraction from your electronic health records. You must submit a new con­sent each year. For instructions, visit
    • Enter all of your PQRS data. If you signed up for manual PQRS reporting, you must enter all your 2016 data into the Web portal by Jan. 15.

    Avoid the PQRS penalty. If you don’t report PQRS successfully, you will be subject to financial penalties under both the PQRS and the Value-Based Modifier programs.

    For more information, visit and

    Subscribe to the Brand-New Ophthalmology Retina

    The Academy’s Ophthalmology Retina is a new peer-reviewed journal focused exclusively on the latest advances in retina. During 2017, Ophthalmology Retina will be issued bimonthly, after which it will be issued monthly. Academy members: subscribe for $299/12 issues at Nonmembers: sub­scribe for $350/12 issues at

    Orbital Gala Raises More Than $190,000 for Academy Programs

    More than 400 guests donned their favorite animal print for a “Walk on the Wild Side” at the 13th annual Orbital Gala on Oct. 16 at the Field Museum. The Academy Foundation fundraiser honored former EyeNet Chief Medical Editor Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH, for more than 30 years of service to the Academy. The silent auction, open for the first time to all U.S. members, was the most successful to date, generating bidding wars on ophthalmic equip­ment, sports tickets, jewelry, wine, and spirits. Guests also enjoyed cocktails, a buffet dinner, the museum’s exhibits, photos with Sue the T. rex, and dancing.

    Special thanks to event chairs Drs. Williams and Gieser (pictured below) and their committee: Dr. Morse (pictured below), Chris Albanis, MD, Kathryn A. Colby, MD, PhD, Mary Lou Lunde, William F. Mieler, MD, Joseph T. Nezgoda, MD, MBA, Purnima S. Patel, MD, Ron Pelton, MD, PhD, Peter A. Quiros, MD, John R. Stechschulte, MD, Prem S. Subramanian, MD, PhD, and Dalel Tartak, MD.

    Orbital Gala Honoree
    ORBITAL GALA HONOREE. Dr. Mills was honored for having served the Academy for more than 30 years. From left to right: Tony McClellan, Foundation Advisory Board president; Christie L. Morse, MD, Foundation Advisory Board chair; David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO; Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH, the Foundation’s 2016 honoree; and Ruth D. Williams, MD, and Stephen C. Gieser, MD, MPH, Orbital Gala chairs.


    Nominations for the Academy Board

    By William L. Rich III, MD, FACS

    As past president of the Academy, I am privileged to serve as chairman of the Academy’s Nominating Committee in 2017. This committee represents a vari­ety of interests within the Academy and is charged with identifying appropriate candidates for the open positions on the 2018 Board of Trustees.

    We are interested in identifying leaders in our profession with experi­ence in confronting the critical issues facing organized medicine and who reflect the strength and diversity of our members. The Academy’s leaders should be knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared to devote the time and energy required by a large organization in these challenging times. This work is both demanding and rewarding for those interested in helping to assure the Academy’s success and responsiveness to members. With these character­istics in mind, I ask you to assist the committee by suggesting appropriate candidates for the following positions in 2018.

    President-Elect (to serve as presi­dent in 2019). Nominees should have leadership experience within the Acad­emy as well as demonstrated leadership qualities in clinical practice, in their own ophthalmic communities, and in other medical or ophthalmological organizations.

    Senior Secretary for Advocacy (3-year term). This senior secretary coordinates the programs and activ­ities that are developed through the Secretariat for Federal Affairs and the Secretariat for State Affairs. Daniel J. Briceland, MD, is serving the final year of his first term in this position and is eligible for a second term.

    Trustee-at-Large (4-year term). This individual should be an Acade­my fellow who demonstrates strong leadership potential and would be able to represent and articulate the needs and concerns of the membership to the Academy board.

    International Trustee-at-Large (3-year appointment). This individual should be an Academy international fellow or member who practices exclu­sively outside of the United States. He or she should have a strong affinity for the Academy and broad experience and understanding of his or her region. This individual should be able to rep­resent and articulate to the Academy board the perspective of international members.

    Public Trustee (a renewable 3-year appointment). The bylaws allow the board to appoint up to 3 public trust­ees. We currently are served by Hum­phrey J.F. Taylor and Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD. Mr. Taylor will complete his 8th term in 2017. Public trustees provide insight on how ophthalmology can bet­ter work with the rest of medicine, the public, government, and industry. The nominating committee will be pleased to receive suggestions for individuals, who may include physicians from other medical specialties or leaders in industry, government, public policy, or advocacy.

    Thank you for your interest and participation in this process. Member­ship participation is vital, not only for the Academy but also for our collective goals of being able to provide appropri­ate, accessible, and affordable eye care to the public. On behalf of the Nom­inating Committee, I look forward to receiving your suggestions as we seek to identify our profession’s future leaders.

    Send your confidential suggestions by Jan. 31 to William L. Rich III, MD, FACS; Nominating Committee Chair, American Academy of Ophthalmolo­gy, P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424. Suggestions can also be emailed to or faxed to 415-561-8526.

    For more information, visit

    About the Nominating Committee

    The Academy nominating process has been carefully crafted to be inclu­sive, fair, and efficient. This process encourages a broad base of nomina­tions from the entire Academy membership. The Nominating Committee composition is delineated by the bylaws, and it considers a number of factors when screening potential candidates. These include integrity, ophthalmology leadership ability, special expertise, past committee and leadership experience and performance, and knowledge and interest in the multitude of issues currently facing ophthalmology. In addition to nominations from the current year, the committee reviews prior year nominations to ensure a wide range of potential candidates for each position. Following months of confidential deliberations, the committee presents final recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval. This single-candidate method avoids the loss of valuable future leaders as there are no public “losers” in the election. Often, those considered but not selected for an open position one year become the nominee of choice in a future year.


    Michigan Society’s Focus on the Future

    On Oct. 27 in Detroit, the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons’ (MiSEPS) Young Ophthalmologist Sec­tion (YOS) sponsored an event in which experts discussed topics that are espe­cially important for physicians as they start their career. These topics included how to deal with their first employment contract after residency, pearls for first-time home buyers, tips on consolidating debt, and key factors for success for wealth management. “This was a great opportunity for YOs to hear a fast-paced program on important topics followed by networking with speakers and peers,” said Michael J. Siegel, MD, MiSEPS YOS Chair.

    Dr. Siegel, in collaboration with Gregory J. Chancey, MBA, MiSEPS executive vice president and chief oper­ating officer, has continued a tradition of offering a number of events in which YOs gather and share ideas. Activities have includ­ed residency alumni days; educational conferences; Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings games; Grand Prix racing; and Riverfront concert cruises. Brad H. Feldman, MD, Academy secretary for Member Services, said, “We applaud MiSEPS and other state ophthalmolo­gy societies—such as those in Florida, Georgia, and New York—that have mir­rored the Academy’s emphasis on the YO and have made concerted efforts to provide value to them.” 

    Michigan Event
    MICHIGAN EVENT. Michael J. Siegel, MD, MiSEPS YOS chair, joins young ophthalmologists at the Oct. 27 event. Left to right: CC Lin, MD, Di Zhou, MD, Melanie L. Mihlstin, MD, Dr. Siegel, Aliza E. Epstein, MD, and Jonathan Hu, MD.

    State Societies Honored During AAO 2016

    On Oct. 17 during AAO 2016, the Academy’s Secretariat for State Affairs honored 3 societies with its 2016 Star Award. This award recognizes state ophthalmology societies for outstand­ing efforts on programs or projects they have implemented in the previous year. The winning programs are the following:

    • Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology for its See to Read program, which of­fered free vision screenings for children at public libraries.
    • Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthal­mology for its Patient Testimonial Video, an educational resource for oph­thalmologists, legislators, and members of the public.
    • Washington Academy of Eye Physi­cians and Surgeons for delivering con­tinuing education to ophthalmologists in Washington via in-person meetings and webinars through its popular Monthly Scientific Meeting Series.

    Since the inception of the Star Award program, the Secretariat for State Affairs has recognized 62 state ophthalmology society pro­grams. State ophthalmology societies may apply for the award by responding to the Secretariat for State Affairs’ annual organizational survey of state societies.

    2016 Star Award
    2016 STAR AWARD. From left to right: Steven C. Thornquist, MD, Academy associate secretary for State Affairs, Jennifer Keeler, executive director, Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology (PAO); David M. Armesto, MD, PAO councilor; Kenneth P. Cheng, MD, PAO secretary of legislation and representation; and Kurt F. Heitman, MD, Academy secretary for State Affairs.

    Congratulations to Life Fellows/Members

    The Academy is pleased to congratulate members who have achieved the status of Life Fellow/Member in 2017. We com­mend them for their dedication to life­long learning and advancing standards of care over their 35 years of member­ship. We deeply appreciate their loyalty and long-standing support. 

    View the list of Life Fellows/Members.


    Archived Virtual Meeting Sessions From AAO 2016

    The AAO Virtual Meeting, a free online component of AAO 2016, contains approximately 20 hours of educational content from 12 sessions that were streamed live from Chicago. It is avail­able for viewing through Jan. 19, 2017. The 2016 AAO Virtual Meeting is not eligible for CME credit.

    Meeting ProgramFor more information, visit

    Enjoy AAO 2016 Meeting Content

    Be sure to check out AAO Meetings on Demand to view cutting-edge informa­tion presented during AAO 2016 sym­posia, Subspecialty Day sessions, and AAOE programs. Watch the videos on your own schedule on your PC, Mac, or mobile device. Choose from the fol­lowing options: highlights from 8 sub­specialty meetings, the AAOE Program, or AAO 2016. Or purchase the package that includes all 3 options. AAO 2016 Meetings on Demand is not eligible for CME credit.

    For more information and to order, visit

    AAO 2016 Meeting Archives

    Visit the Meeting Archives to download course handouts, find scientific posters, read course abstracts, watch Videos on Demand, view syllabi from Subspecialty Day, check out AAO TV, and more. You can also find listings of Best Orig­inal Papers and Fan Favorite Video winners.

    For more information, visit

    2017 Abstract Deadlines

    To present at AAO 2017, you must submit abstracts online. The abstract submitter for instruction courses and new Skills Transfer labs closes Jan. 10. The abstract submitter for papers/posters and videos is open March 9 to April 11.

    To submit, visit


    Physicians Begin New Medicare Payment Program With Flexibility

    This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) begins the transition to a new payment system that emphasizes quality of care over volume of services: the Quality Payment Program. For months, the Academy has been pushing to ensure that ophthalmologists avoid being penalized as they move to the new system. As a result, CMS has decided to give physicians extra flexibility in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) during 2017.

    A softer landing. The increased flexibility lets clinicians avoid penal­ties by reporting on a single quality measure or improvement activity. Clinicians who want to earn a bonus can qualify by reporting on multiple measures for any 90-day period in 2017. The Academy pressed for this flexibility in order to enable all ophthalmologists, including those in small practices, to avoid the 4% financial penalty.

    To learn more, see “Guide to MIPS 2017, Part 1: Know the Basics” as well as