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    Dr. Chiang to Take the Helm at NEI

    The National Institutes of Health an­nounced the appointment of Michael F. Chiang, MD, as director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). He is expected to begin his new role in late 2020.

    Formerly on the Academy Board of Trustees (2016-2019), Dr. Chiang has been an active member of the Acad­emy. He currently serves on the IRIS Registry Executive Committee and is chair of the IRIS Registry Data Analytics Committee; he is a program director for 2020 Pediatric Ophthalmology Subspecialty Day; he also serves on the editorial boards for Ophthalmolo­gy and EyeNet. He previously chaired the Medical Information Technology Committee.

    At Oregon Health & Science Univer­sity (OHSU) in Portland, he is Knowles Professor of Ophthalmology & Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and associate director of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute. His clinical practice focuses on pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus.

    As NEI director, Dr. Chiang will manage an annual budget of nearly $824 million, including 1,600 research grants and training awards that will primarily support vision research.

    “The position of NEI director is one of the most important in ophthalmol­ogy,” Academy CEO David W. Parke II, MD, said. “It oversees and sets the agenda for the most substantive vision research portfolio in America. Mike Chiang brings a remarkable interest and expertise at a critical time in bio­medical informatics, artificial intelli­gence, telehealth, and big data popula­tion research. Equally important, he has rich experience as a practicing clinician with the interface between investigation and patient care. Our profession and our patients will benefit tremendously from his appointment.”

    Dr. Chiang’s own research involves telemedicine and arti­ficial intelligence for diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity and other ophthalmic diseas­es, as well as implementation and evaluation of electronic health record systems, modeling of clinical workflow, and data analytics. He has been a principal investigator on multiple NIH grants since 2003, and his research group has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers.

    Over the years, Dr. Chiang has mentored more than 50 postdoctoral fellows, medical students, and graduate students. He codirects both an OHSU-wide vision science training program for predoctoral and postdoctoral students and a mentored clinician-scientist program in ophthalmology, both of which receive funding from the NIH.

    Dr. Chiang earned his bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and biology from Stanford University; his master’s degree in biomedical infor­matics from Columbia University Col­lege of Physicians and Surgeons; and his MD and master’s degree in medical science from Harvard Medical School and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

    Dr. Blankenship, Past President of the Academy, Dies at 79

    George W. Blankenship, MD, died on Sunday, July 26, due to com­plications of COVID-19. An Academy member since 1973, Dr. Blankenship was a Life Fellow and served as Academy president in 2001. He was active on several Academy committees throughout his prestigious career, serving on the Diabetic Retinopathy Outcomes Task Force, the Membership Advisory Committee, and the EyeCare America Diabetes Eyecare Program Committee. During his career he was a member of the faculty of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami and then chair of the department of ophthalmol­ogy at Penn State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He was awarded the Academy’s Senior Achievement Award in 1994.

    EyeWiki Contest: Read the Eight Winning Articles

    EyeWiki is the Academy’s collaborative online encyclopedia where physicians, patients, and the public can view content written by ophthalmologists covering the spectrum of eye disease, diagnosis, and treatment. Each year EyeWiki hosts two writing contests. One is for U.S. residents and fellows, and the other is for ophthalmologists outside the United States.

    In August, winners of the 2020 In­ternational Ophthalmologists contest were announced.

    • Koushik Tripathy, MD, FRCS, FICO, Kolkata, India: Pupil Expansion Devices and Mechanical Stretching of the Pupil
    • Tiago Morais-Sarmento, MD, Évora, Portugal: Vitreous Wick Syndrome
    • Ana I.M. Miguel, MD, FEBO, PhD, Avranches, France: Deep Sclerectomy
    • Sahil Agrawal, MBBS, MD, FICO, New Delhi, India: Eyelid Reconstruction

    These authors won free access to selected Academy online products.

    Earlier this year, winners of the 2019 Residents and Fellows contest were announced.

    • Travis Peck, MD, Wills Eye Hospital: Refractive Error After Cataract Surgery 
    • Minh T. Nguyen, MD, University of Washington: Ocular Surface Disease in Patients With Glaucoma 
    • Ahmadreza Moradi, MD, California Pacific Medical Center: Frontalis Sus­pension Procedure 
    • Ivy Zhu, MD, University of Illinois: Ebola Virus  

    These authors won free trips to the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum in Wash­ington, D.C.

    Next contest deadlines. For a chance to win a trip to the Mid-Year Forum, U.S. residents and fellows must submit an article by Dec. 1. Interna­tional ophthalmologists must submit an article by June 1, 2021, for a chance to win online Academy products.

    To read the winning articles and submit to either contest, visit aao.org/eyewiki.


    Life Achievement Honor Award Recipients

    Individuals who have cumulatively earned 60 points and have made signif­icant contributions to ophthalmology, as determined by the Academy’s Awards Committee, were nominated to receive this award.

    George B. Bartley, MD

    Peter A. Campochiaro, MD

    Peter C. Donshik, MD

    Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS

    David C. Musch, PhD

    Dan Z. Reinstein, MD

    Richard B. Rosen, MD

    Kazuo Tsubota, MD

    Matthew W. Wilson, MD

    Senior Achievement Award

    Individuals who have cumulatively earned 30 points were nominated to receive this award.

    Tushar Agarwal, MD

    Richard C. Allen, MD, PhD

    Ehud I. Assia, MD

    Christophe Baudouin, MD, PhD

    M. Tariq Bhatti, MD

    Hilda Capo, MD

    August Colenbrander, MD

    Martin H. Devoto, MD

    Anna Luisa Di Lorenzo, MD

    Klaus N. Ditzen, MD

    Jean-Luc Febbraro, MD

    Brad H. Feldman, MD

    Robert M. Feldman, MD

    Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS

    Thomas A. Graul, MD

    Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, FACS

    Seyed Javad Hashemian, MD

    David W. Johnson, MD

    Paul D. Langer, MD

    Susan M. MacDonald, MD

    Marcus M. Marcet, MD

    Tatyana Milman, MD

    Alejandro Navas, MD

    Lisa Nijm, MD, JD

    David S. Pao, MD

    Pradeep Y. Ramulu, MD, PhD

    David I. Silbert, MD

    Mitchell B. Strominger, MD

    Eric B. Suhler, MD, MPH

    Thasarat S. Vajaranant, MD

    George O. Waring IV, MD

    Linda L. Wedemeyer, MD

    Darrell WuDunn, MD, PhD

    Achievement Award

    Individuals who have cumulatively earned 10 points were nominated to receive this award.

    Adi Abulafia, MD

    Zaina N. Al-Mohtaseb, MD

    Filiberto Altomare, MD

    Matthew F. Appenzeller, MD

    Michelle K. Atchison, MD

    Steven T. Bailey, MD

    Adiel Barak, MD

    Kenneth A. Beckman, MD, FACS

    Hiroko Bissen-Miyajima, MD

    Michael J. Borne, MD

    Renee C. Bovelle, MD

    Cristina Bovone, MD

    Bryn M. Burkholder, MD

    Michelle R. Butler, MD

    John P. Campbell, MD, MPH

    Joseph M. Coney, MD

    Sam S. Dahr, MD

    Vasilios F. Diakonis, MD

    Paul Andrew Edwards, MD

    Ladan Espandar, MD

    Sonal R. Farzavandi, FRCS

    Jennifer A. Galvin, MD

    Edgar C. Gamponia, MD

    Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD

    Roger A. Goldberg, MD

    Dafna Goldenberg, MD

    Michaella Goldstein, MD

    Sunil Gupta, MD

    Robyn H. Guymer, MBBS, PhD

    Colleen P. Halfpenny, MD

    Andrew J. Hendershot, MD

    Taiichi Hikichi, MD

    Mohamed A. Hussein, MD

    Tsunehiko Ikeda, MD

    Anthony Pruett Johnson, MD, FACS

    Mona A. Kaleem, MD

    Adam H. Kaufman, MD

    Stephen J. Kelly, MD

    Muge R. Kesen, MD

    Sang In Khwarg, MD

    Wonsuck Kim, DO

    Yong-Woo Kim, MD

    Karanjit S. Kooner, MD

    Chandrasekharan Krishnan, MD

    John G. Ladas, MD

    Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD

    Bradford William Lee, MD, MSC

    Gareth M. Lema, MD, PhD

    Rachel A. Lieberman, MD

    Stephen N. Lipsky, MD

    Mats H. Lundstrom, MD

    Damien M. Luviano, MD

    Zhizhong Ma, MD

    William P. Madigan Jr., MD, FACS

    Zaiba Malik, MD

    Andrew Melson, MD

    Darby D. Miller, MD

    Anthony T. Moore, BMBCH

    Dorothy M. Moore, MD

    Venkateswara V. Mootha, MD

    Rajeev H. Muni, MD

    Wuqaas M. Munir, MD

    Lindsay Ong-Tone, MD

    Tammy H. Osaki, MD

    Sengul C. Ozdek, MD

    Claudia E. Perez-Straziota, MD

    Suzann Pershing, MD

    Brian Privett, MD

    Kim Ramasamy, MBBS

    Ronald Luke Rebenitsch, MD

    Rachel C.J. Reinhardt, MD

    Bibiana J. Reiser, MD

    Michelle K. Rhee, MD

    Jullia A. Rosdahl, MD, PhD

    Susannah G. Rowe, MD

    Taiji Sakamoto, MD, PhD

    Ricardo M. Santaella, MD

    Tim Schultz, MD

    Rufino Silva, MD, MSC

    Alison H. Skalet, MD PhD

    Malhar Soni, MD, MS, DNB, FRCS

    Jayanth S. Sridhar, MD

    Rhoads E. Stevens, MD

    Carl B. Tubbs, MD

    G. Atma Vemulakonda, MD

    Mark K. Walsh, MD

    Sara T. Wester, MD

    Zoe R. Williams, MD

    Kimberly M. Winges, MD

    Jeffrianne S. Young, MD

    Wadih M. Zein, MD

    Nominees for approval by the Board of Trustees to receive the Academy’s Annual Secretariat Award in 2020

    Each Secretary, with approval from their Senior Secretary, may nominate a maximum of five individuals to receive the Secretariat Award. The following nominations were submit­ted for the 2020 Annual Secretariat Award:

    Clinical Education

    Christopher J. Rapuano, MD, senior secretary for Clinical Education, Jeffrey D. Henderer, MD, secretary for Curriculum Development, Rahul Khurana, MD, Editor-in-Chief, the ONE Network, Robert F. Melendez, MD, secretary for Online Education, J. Timothy Stout, MD, PhD, MBA, sec­retary for Lifelong Learning and As­sessment, Ruth D. Williams, MD, Chief Medical Editor, EyeNet, nominate:

    Preston H. Blomquist, MD

    Alex W. Cohen, MD

    Kathryn A. Colby, MD, PhD

    Zélia M. Corrêa, MD, PhD

    Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS

    Jean Hausheer, MD

    Pavlina Kemp, MD

    Rahul Khurana, MD

    Patricia Lamell, BS, COMT

    Andreas K. Lauer, MD

    Marcus M. Marcet, MD

    Julian D. Perry, MD

    Stacy L. Pineles, MD

    Christina R. Prescott, MD

    Gaurav K. Shah, MD

    Jayanth S. Sridhar, MD

    Misha F. Syed, MD

    James C. Tsai, MD, MBA

    Sonal S. Tuli, MD

    Sarah Van Tassel, MD

    Quality of Care

    Timothy W. Olsen, MD, secretary for Quality of Care, nominates:

    Teresa C. Chen, MD

    Robert S. Feder, MD

    Scott R. Lambert, MD

    Randall J. Olson, MD

    Edward J. Wladis, MD

    Federal/State Affairs

    Daniel J. Briceland, MD, senior secre­tary for Advocacy, Kurt F. Heitman, MD, secretary for State Affairs, David B. Glasser, MD, secretary for Federal Affairs, Michael X. Repka, MD, AAO Medical Director for Governmental Affairs, nominate:

    Kenneth Paul Cheng, MD

    Glenn Cockerham, MD

    Kevin Thomas Flaherty, MD

    Laura K. Green, MD

    Sohail J. Hasan, MD, PhD

    Albert S. Khouri, MD

    William G. Myers, MD

    Chassidy D. Singleton, MD

    Michael T. Trese, MD

    Linda M. Tsai, MD

    Ophthalmic Practice

    Ravi D. Goel, MD, senior secretary for Ophthalmic Practice, nominates:

    Ann M. Hulett, CMPE

    Robert E. Wiggins, MD, MHA

    Annual Meeting

    Maria M. Aaron, MD, secretary for Annual Meeting, nominates:

    Natalie Afshari, MD

    Hilda Capo, MD

    Daniel S. Durrie, MD

    Jill Melicher Larson, MD


    Dianna L. Seldomridge, MD, MBA, secretary for Communications, nom­inates:

    Laurie Gray Barber, MD

    Natasha L. Herz, MD

    J. Kevin McKinney, MD

    Brenda Pagan-Duran, MD

    Rebecca J. Taylor, MD

    Member Services

    Aaron M. Miller, MD, secretary for Member Services, nominates:

    Anna Luisa Di Lorenzo, MD, FACS

    Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD

    R. Michael Siatkowski, MD

    Andrea A. Tooley, MD

    Camila V. Ventura, MD, PhD

    Global Alliances

    R.V. Paul Chan, MD, secretary for Global Alliances, nominates:

    Noel A. Alpins, MD, FACS

    Teodoro J. Evans, MD

    Mauricio Maia, MD

    Vanessa Pongo Valderas, MD

    Lihteh Wu, MD


    Stephen D. McLeod, MD, Ophthalmol­ogy Editor, nominates:

    Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD, FACS

    Creig S. Hoyt, MD

    Anthony P. Khawaja, MBBS

    Lucia Sobrin, MD

    Susan Vitale, PhD, MHS

    Ophthalmology Retina

    Andrew P. Schachat, MD, Ophthal­mology Retina Editor-in-Chief, nom­inates:

    Amitha Domalpally, MBBS

    Amani Fawzi, MD

    Jason Hsu, MD

    Martine J. Jager, MD, PhD

    Demetrios Vavvas, MD

    Ophthalmology Glaucoma

    Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS, Ophthal­mology Glaucoma Editor-In-Chief, nominates:

    Augusto Azuara-Blanco, MD

    David Fleischman, MD, MS

    Stuart Gardiner, PhD

    Yvonne Ou, MD

    Barbara Marie Wirostko, MD

    Urgent MIPS Notice—Get Started on Your 90-Day Performance Periods

    Under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), you will be evaluated on up to four performance categories. Two of these—promoting interoperability and improvement activities—have a performance period that must be at least 90 consecutive days and that must be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2020. (For the other two performance categories—quality and cost—the performance period is the full calendar year.)

    How to start. Visit aao.org/medicare for detailed descriptions of the promoting interoperability measures and the 62 improvement activities that are most relevant to ophthalmology. You can also visit aao.org/eyenet/mips-manual-2020 for at-a-glance lists that link to those detailed descriptions.

    Don’t delay. Do not wait until the last moment (Oct. 3) to start per­forming improvement activities and promoting interoperability measures. An earlier start will provide you with some leeway if you run into difficulty with your MIPS procedures. Once you have completed your performance period, you can use the IRIS Registry web portal to manually attest to your performance. Note: The performance period for promoting interoperability does not have to start on the same day as the performance period for improve­ment activities.

    What about COVID-19? For the latest information on the “extreme and uncontrollable” circumstances excep­tion, see aao.org/medicare/resources/MIPS-extreme-hardship-exceptions.

    Write EyeSmart Articles for the Public

    Are you passionate about educating the public about eye health? EyeSmart is a physician-reviewed resource for infor­mation about eye diseases, treatments, eye health news, and tips for a lifetime of good eyesight, and the Academy needs your help to bring this valuable content to the public.

    Volunteer to author EyeSmart articles for the public. You’ll work with Academy staff to choose a topic and write an article for the public, to be published in the EyeSmart section of the Academy’s website. Authors are credited on the article, with a link to their Academy biography.

    To get started, head to aao.org/write-eyesmart.

    Ask the Ethicist: Patient’s Gift to Ophthalmic Technician

    Q: A patient from out of town thanked one of my technicians for going above and beyond in helping him during his recent emergency by giving her a large cash tip. My tech­nician at first said no, but the patient pressed the issue and would not take no for an answer. Was it ethical to accept the gift? What have others done in this situation?

    A: The medical literature is sparse on the question of gifts from patients to staff. The best literature we found on this subject indicates that acceptance should be on a case-by-case basis and not related to: 

    • patient expectations of future pref­erential treatment
    • gifts of a personal nature
    • extravagant gifts
    • timing related to future care

    None of these issues seem relevant to the circumstances you described. Based on the description, the patient appeared to be truly grateful and it gave him pleasure to reward your techni­cian. It doesn’t appear that there is any reason to take any action about this gift except to thank the technician for being a good ambassador for your practice. 

    To read the Code of Ethics, visit aao.org/ethics-detail/code-of-ethics.

    To submit a question, reach out to the Ethics Committee at ethics@aao.org.

    OMIC Tip: Dangers Posed by Systemic Medications

    Ophthalmologists examine many patients who are taking systemic med­ications that can cause ocular toxicity and a temporary decrease in visual acuity or, at worst, irreversible blind­ness. Ophthalmologists may be the first clinicians to note adverse effects, or they may be asked to monitor for them. An issue of the OMIC Digest reviews closed claims involving hydroxychlo­roquine, ethambutol, gentamicin, and amiodarone, and it suggests risk reduc­tion strategies for ophthalmic practices to implement: omic.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Digest-No-1-2019-FN.pdf.

    OMIC offers professional liability in­surance exclusively to Academy members, their employees, and their practices.


    International Retina Journal Club Webinar With APVRS

    The Academy is now hosting a virtual international journal club to discuss important retina papers.

    The next webinar, developed by the Academy working in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Vitreoretinal Society, will take place Oct. 13 at 8:00 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time. Moderators Christopher R. Henry, MD, and Andrew A. Chang, MBBS, MD, will discuss three papers with authors Dennis S. C. Lam, MD, Paisan Ruamviboonsuk, MD, and Tim­othy Y Lai, MD, FRCOphth, FRCS.

    Register at aao.org/clinical-webinars.

    Use IRIS Registry to Create MOC Improvement Project

    If you have an electronic health record (EHR) system and have integrated it with the IRIS Registry, you can use data from your IRIS Registry dashboard to implement an improvement project that can earn you credit for Mainte­nance of Certification (MOC).

    How to get MOC credit. Using the IRIS Registry dashboard, select one or two quality measures in which to improve your performance. Then, set goals for those measures, make a plan for achieving those goals, and submit that plan to the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO). If the ABO approves your plan, implement it for 90-120 days. Use the IRIS Registry dashboard to track your progress, and fine-tune your processes as needed. Once the project is complete, review its effectiveness and send a summary to the ABO.

    There was an Aug. 31 deadline for creating new MIPS projects. If you also wanted your new improvement project to get credit for the improve­ment activities performance category of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), you had to submit it for approval by Aug. 31. However, there are two preapproved improvement projects that you can use, one involving tobacco counseling and a glaucoma-based project that involves closing the referral loop.

    Learn more at https://abop.org/IRIS, where you can click “preapproved template” to learn about the two preapproved projects. You also can see the IRIS Registry’s guidance at aao.org/iris-registry/maintenance-of-certification.


    One Ophthalmologist on the Nov. 3 Ballot, Another Falls Just Short

    Academy member and Iowa State Senator Mariannette J. Miller-Meeks, MD, is the Republican nominee for Iowa’s 2nd congressional district, while the race of Academy Board Trustee-at-Large and Air Force veteran William S. Clifford, MD, ended at the primary.

    A win in Iowa. Earning 47.7% of the vote, Dr. Miller-Meeks won the June 2 Republican primary for Iowa’s open 2nd District seat in the House of Representatives. In 2008, 2010, and 2014, Dr. Miller-Meeks ran unsuccessfully against Rep. David Loebsack, the incumbent, who is retiring this year. She rebounded from those losses, winning a state senate seat in 2018 by running as an avowed advocate for patient-centered health care. She highlighted her background in eye care during discussions with voters in her district. She previously served as head of Iowa’s state health department.

    Dr. Miller-Meeks would provide an immediate, valuable medical perspective for health care issues facing Congress. As a leader in the Iowa state senate, she was instrumental in stopping legislation that would have expanded the optometric surgical scope. She will face Democratic nominee Rita Hart on the ballot in the general election Nov. 3. Learn more at her website (millermeeks2020.com).

    A loss in Kansas. She’s not the only Academy member who sought a congressional seat in 2020. In the Aug. 4 Republican primary for Kansas’ open 1st District seat, Dr. Clifford came second to the state’s former Lieutenant Governor, Tracey Mann.

    Get the latest news out of D.C. Each Thursday, check your email for Washington Report Express.