Dr. Goldberg Is the 2022 Academy Laureate
The Laureate Recognition Award is the Academy’s highest honor, celebrating an individual who has made an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the profession of ophthalmology leading to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight worldwide. This year’s recipient is Morton F. Goldberg, MD, Joseph Green Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore.
Dr. Goldberg is one of the most influential ophthalmologists of the 20th century by virtue of his intellectual contributions, his mentorship of hundreds of residents and fellows, his role in a number of ophthalmic organizations, and his visionary leadership of two leading departments.
Education. Inspired by his father’s general medical practice, Dr. Goldberg knew he wanted to have a career in medicine from a young age. He was always a precocious student, skipping right from kindergarten to the second grade and later becoming the valedictorian of his public high school class. Although accepted at Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Brandeis, Dr. Goldberg received a scholarship at Harvard, where he studied biology and then continued on to Harvard Medical School. There, Dr. Goldberg chose to emulate his mentor, David G. Cogan, MD, and pursued ophthalmology. Dr. Goldberg completed his fellowship at Wilmer Eye Institute, where later—after 19 years as department chair at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago—he returned as director.
Professional achievements. Dr. Goldberg’s professional achievements span myriad leadership positions as well as multiple accolades and contributions to ophthalmic knowledge.
As the director and William Holland Wilmer Professor of the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1989 to 2003), he also found time to be president of several organizations—the Macula Society, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology—and editor of Archives of Ophthalmology (now known as JAMA Ophthalmology).
His numerous awards and honors include membership in the Institute of Medicine, the Howe Medal of the American Ophthalmological Society, the Ida Mann Medal of Oxford University, the Isaac Michaelson Medal of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Weisenfeld Prize of ARVO, and the Arnall Patz Medal of the Macula Society.
Moreover, Dr. Goldberg has contributed more than 600 papers to the literature and published 10 books on subjects from eye trauma to genetic and metabolic eye disease. And he continues to publish.
To learn more about Dr. Goldberg, read his Scope profile at aao.org/senior-ophthalmologists/scope/article/morton-f-goldberg-md.
FOR THE RECORD
Announcing the 2022 Academy Awards
Each year, the Board of Trustees and the Awards Committee take great pleasure in announcing the latest award recipients, all of whom will be honored during the Opening Session at AAO 2022. In addition to Morton F. Goldberg, MD, as this year’s Laureate (see above), this year’s honorees include the following:
Guests of Honor: Edward G. Buckley, MD, Edward K. Isbey Jr., MD, and Paul G. Steinkuller, MD. This award recognizes individuals chosen by the president for their contributions to ophthalmology and the Academy, and for the significant role they have played in the president’s life and career.
Distinguished Service Award 1: The COVID Dream Team: James Chodosh MD, MPH; Gary N. Holland, MD; Steven Yeh, MD; Sonal S. Tuli, MD; and Thomas L. Steinemann, MD. This award recognizes individuals or organizations for ongoing notable service to ophthalmology and the Academy.
Distinguished Service Award 2: Catherine Grealy Cohen, Academy vice president of Governmental Affairs. This award recognizes individuals or organizations for ongoing notable service to ophthalmology and the Academy.
Special Recognition Award: The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program leadership and supporters. This award recognizes individuals or organizations for outstanding service in a specific effort or cause that improves the quality of eye care.
Outstanding Advocate Award: Craig Kliger, MD. This award was created in 2008 to recognize Academy members who participate in advocacy-related efforts at either the state or federal level.
Outstanding Humanitarian Award: Morris E. Hartstein, MD, and Nataliya Danylkova, MD. First awarded in 1992, this award recognizes Academy members for contributions in charitable activities, care of the indigent, and community service performed above and beyond the typical duties of an ophthalmologist.
Straatsma Award: Laura K. Green, MD. The Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education was established through the Academy, the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and private funds. The award is given to a program director dedicated to the principles and significance of residency education. Dr. Green will be honored during AAO 2022 and receive her award at the AUPO meeting in 2023.
In accordance with Academy bylaws, notice is hereby given of the following nominations for elected board positions on the 2023 board. These nominations were made by the Academy Board of Trustees in June. If elected, the following individuals will begin their terms on Jan. 1, 2023.
Jane C. Edmond, MD
Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice
Ravi D. Goel, MD
Secretary for Annual Meeting
Bennie H. Jeng, MD
Lisa Diane Kelly, MD
Board appointments. During the June Board of Trustees meeting, the following individuals were reappointed to the 2023 Board of Trustees and will begin their terms on Jan. 1, 2023.
David C. Herman, MD
James A. Lawrence
Election and nomination procedures for the Academy Board. Elections to fill the four open elected positions on the 2023 Board of Trustees will take place by ballot after the September Annual Business Meeting.
To suggest a nominee for the 2024 board, watch for the call for nominations, which will be published in the January 2023 EyeNet.
To read the rules in full, visit aao.org/about/governance/bylaws.
Annual Business Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Business Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will be held during the AAO 2022 Opening Session, which is on Friday, Sept. 30, in Room E354 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. CT.
Notice of Resignation During an Ethics Investigation
At its June 2022 meeting, the Academy Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to publish the following information about an Academy Fellow’s resignation. Monte I. Stavis, MD, of Houston, Texas, resigned effective Feb. 28, 2022. A challenge pursuant to the Code of Ethics was pending at the time of the resignation.
Don’t Miss the Global Ophthalmology Summit on Aug. 12 and 13
In collaboration with the Aravind Eye Institute and several U.S. academic centers, the Academy is hosting a Global Ophthalmology Summit in Park City, Utah, on Aug. 12 and 13. Designed for those interested or involved in global eye care, this two-day summit will cover a broad spectrum of topics, including the World Health Organization’s global eye health targets for 2030 and the role of social determinants of health in vision impairment and health inequities.
Learn more at aao.info/gosummit22.
Attend Eyecelerator on Sept. 29
Eyecelerator is a meeting held by the Academy and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery to showcase and accelerate innovation in eye care. In Chicago, on Thursday, Sept. 29—right before AAO 2022—connect with more than 500 industry leaders, including clinicians, entrepreneurs, investors, and global strategic executives for an inside look at the emerging business opportunities and advanced innovations disrupting ophthalmology.
Learn more at www.eyecelerator.com.
Volunteer: Review Submissions to the Academy’s Four Journals
Want to help review Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, Ophthalmology Glaucoma, or Ophthalmology Science? At the invitation of the editorial board, reviewers registered in the journals’ database provide thorough and constructive critiques to guide authors on how they can improve their manuscripts. The journals look to volunteer reviewers to offer thoughtful reviews with the goal of helping improve papers, which in turn provide better information to readers, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes.
Learn how to register as a reviewer at aao.org/volunteering, then choose “Review.” (This is just one of many Academy volunteer opportunities.)
Ask the Ethicist: New Scrutiny of Industry Speaker Programs
Q: A colleague warned me about continuing to accept requests to serve on industry-sponsored speaker programs, which I’ve done for years. He mentioned ethical issues and conflicts of interest, and when he mentioned the Office of Inspector General (OIG), I became nervous. Can you explain?
A: A November 2020 special fraud alert from OIG highlighted the fraud and abuse risks associated with “the offer, payment, solicitation, or receipt of remuneration relating to speaker programs by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.” Apparently, there is increased criminal and civil scrutiny related to the antikickback statute of all parties involved in such programs.
The Open Payments website revealed nearly $2 billion paid to health care professionals from 2017 to 2019 for speaker program involvement. The OIG is well aware that this $2 billion expenditure is expected to bring a significant return on the investment. The agency recommends a reevaluation of current practices and urges practitioners to consider the risks of involvement.
With respect to the AAO Code of Ethics, two rules (Rule 11, Commercial Relationships and Rule 15, Conflict of Interest) may come into play if the commercial relationship with the speaker program(s) becomes a conflict that influences the ophthalmologist’s patient care. Rule 15 requires that “disclosure of a conflict of interest is required in communications to patient, the public, and colleagues.” If it makes you uncomfortable to disclose your speaker-bureau involvement, including your remuneration, to patients, it may be time to reevaluate your involvement.
Find all OIG special fraud alerts at https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/alerts.
To read the Code of Ethics, visit aao.org/ethics-detail/code-of-ethics.
To submit a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Externship Deadline Is Aug. 19
Are you an International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS) member in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East? If so, consider an externship opportunity with a leading refractive, cataract, cornea, or lens-based surgeon.
The ISRS Externship Program fall application deadline is Aug. 19. This opportunity offers a chance to bolster your clinical knowledge in imaging technology, diagnostic devices, and various surgical platforms by learning alongside colleagues in the field. Externships typically last between two weeks and three months. Stipends are available to help cover expenses such as airfare, transportation, lodging, and meals.
Learn more at isrs.org/externships or join ISRS at isrs.org/membership/apply-for-membership.
Academy Continues to Build Momentum for Prior Authorization Reform
While Aetna has dropped its controversial prior authorization requirements for cataract surgery in all states except Florida and Georgia, this issue remains a top legislative priority for the Academy.
MA prior authorization. The Academy continues to advocate for passage of the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021, which would streamline and increase transparency around Medicare Advantage (MA) prior authorization requirements and their usage.
Advocacy efforts. The Academy’s advocacy efforts related to prior authorization have been extensive. During Congressional Advocacy Day, Academy members told stories describing the harm that prior authorization inflicts on patients to congressional officials. The Academy has also led advocacy efforts as a part of the Regulatory Relief Coalition, building support for the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, which now has over 300 cosponsors in the House and 30 cosponsors in the Senate. The legislation was even endorsed by the Better Medicare Alliance, the nation’s leading research and advocacy group supporting MA plans.
Concerns with Aetna plans. On May 24, the Academy joined the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in a meeting urging CMS to apply more scrutiny to prior authorization policies in MA plans, citing examples of ongoing problems with Aetna’s requirements for cataract surgery. CMS representatives said they would follow up with Aetna, and they expressed particular concern over second eye duplicate denials and post-claim denials on authorized eye procedures. Aetna changed its policy on July 1, 2022.
Two reports bring about more urgency. A report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that patients enrolled in MA plans were denied necessary care that would have been covered under traditional Medicare and that the companies had denied payments to providers for approved services.
The AMA released new analysis of its annual survey on prior authorization, highlighting the lack of progress made by insurers on five key reforms recommended in a 2018 consensus document that was published by insurers and other health care stakeholders. (You can find both the analysis and consensus document at www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/sustainability/prior-authorization-reform-initiatives.)
Together, the OIG report and AMA survey results have brought more urgency to prior authorization reform.
You can join Academy efforts to reform prior authorization by reaching out to your representative and senators today. Learn more at aao.org/advocacy/action/vv.