• Saving Sight Through Education

    R.V. Paul Chan, MD, FACS, examines an infant with retinopathy of prematurity in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. “We’re preventing blindness in children who, without that care, would have otherwise gone blind,” said Dr. Chan. “The Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center provides access to education for everyone. And that’s an incredibly powerful thing.”

    THROUGH FOUNDATION SUPPORT, Academy educational programs like the ONE Network give ophthalmologists in every country the clinical knowledge needed to protect sight and empower lives. From a seasoned U.S. ophthalmologist preparing for retinal vasculitis surgery to residents in Mumbai learning the finer points of OCT diagnosis, physicians rely on the ONE Network to hone their skills and help millions see the vibrancy of the world around us. Quality patient care comes first. For this reason, education remains one of the Foundation’s top fundraising priorities.

    THE LATEST TECHNIQUES FOR COMPLEX CASES

    Kids want to fit in. They don’t want to look different in any way. A child who has strabismus might be bullied or called names that make fun of his misaligned eyes. This can greatly deteriorate a child’s confidence in his or her most important formative years. Sonal R. Farzavandi, FRCS, of the Singapore National Eye Centre, had a young patient like this with a complex case of strabismus that required reoperation. In search of the best surgical options, Dr. Farzavandi turned to the Academy’s ONE Network. There, in the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center, she found a tutorial that walked her through an ideal procedure for the boy. “There is a video which is a reoperation on the media rectus muscle,” said Dr. Farzavandi. “This was particularly useful for my patient, who is now doing very well and is now not being teased and ridiculed in school.”

    A VAST LIBRARY OF OPHTHALMIC KNOWLEDGE 

    Dr. Farzavandi’s story is one example that shows the importance of having a vast library of ophthalmic knowledge at the ready soophthalmologists everywhere can provide expedient diagnoses and meticulous care to their patients.

    The ONE Network is that library. Thanks to Foundation funding, the ONE Network has evolved into the world’s leading online resource for ophthalmic education, comprising thousands of clinical videos, podcasts, images, interactive cases and courses. It also includes access to 10 leading journals, the latest news, practice guidelines, and maintenance-of-certification resources. With a few clicks, ophthalmologists worldwide can fill knowledge gaps and stay abreast of the latest research and techniques for strabismus and hundreds of other conditions.

    In 2015, we launched several innovative resources on the ONE Network:

    The Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center is a central hub where physicians can access high-quality clinical resources. This surgical media library includes pediatric disease reviews, lectures, videos and interactive training exercises for retinopathy of prematurity. Learn how pediatric ophthalmologists have used the center to treat patients at aao.org/foundation.

    A state-of-the-art strabismus simulator in the Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center lets physicians acquire handson skills, no equipment necessary. With a virtual patient, they can explore eye deviations and use a virtual motility exam and cover test to differentiate and diagnose strabismus.

    The Oculofacial Plastic Surgery Education Center houses the most complete collection of oculoplastics reference materials available online. Practitioners and students can access coverage of more than 70 topics, with procedures for conditions like periocular burns, myasthenia gravis and thyroid eye disease.

    The Pathology Atlas helps meet the need of residents who do not have access to actual pathology slides. With this collection, they can examine more than 100 high-quality virtual microscopy images from the field, covering normal eye anatomy and ophthalmic diseases and conditions from Acanthamoeba keratitis to xanthelasma.

    Whether a resident, fellow or mid-career practitioner, U.S.- or international-based, all ophthalmologists benefit from this compendium of ophthalmic knowledge. In turn, better care raises confidence in the child with pediatric strabismus, saves the sight of a baby with ROP and gives hope to the patient with ocular burns.