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2019 American Academy of Optometry Student Travel Fellowship Recipients Announced

The fellowships will allow students to attend Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO, FL – The American Academy of Optometry congratulates the recipients of the 2019 Student Travel Fellowship Awards. These travel fellowships will allow students to attend Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry, Oct. 23-27, 2019. Resident Travel Fellowship recipients will be announced at a later time.

The 2019 Student Travel Fellowship recipients are:

  • Frank W. Weymouth Student Travel Fellowship
    Rebecca Deffler, OD, MS, The Ohio State University
    Augustine Nti, OD, University of Houston
  • Irvin M. Borish Student Travel Fellowship
    Nahida Akter, University of New South Wales
    Abdulla Alamri, State University of New York
  • Brazelton Low Vision Student Travel Fellowship
    Wai Fung, University of California Berkeley
  • Edward I. Goodlaw Student Travel Fellowship
    Joanna Toner, University of California Berkeley
  • Robert D. Newcomb Student Travel Fellowship Award for Leadership
    Alison Jensen, University of California Berkeley
  • Michael G. Harris Student Travel Fellowship Award for Leadership
    Bibin Cherian, Northeastern State University of Oklahoma
  • American Academy of Optometry Student Travel Fellowships
    Deborah Awisi-Gyua, Indiana University
    Lacey Haines, University of Waterloo
    Neeraj Singh, Indiana University
    Sandra Wagner, Eberhard Karls University
    Tiong Peng Yap, OD, University of New South Wales

Funded by an educational grant from Johnson and Johnson Vision

  • Nicole Adam, New England College of Optometry
  • Michelle Antonucci, University of California Berkeley
  • Akosua Asare, OD, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Khob Bhandari, University of Houston
  • Jaime Etterling, The Ohio State University
  • Raymond Farmer, State University of New York
  • Hannah Gregory, University of Houston
  • Brian Helmetag, Midwestern University Chicago College of Optometry
  • Chuan Hu, OD, University of Houston
  • Parthasarathi Kalaiselvan, University of New South Wales
  • WeiHau Law, University of Houston
  • Taylor Norris, The Ohio State University
  • Sudan Puri, University of Houston
  • Casey Ramirez Cortes, The Ohio State University
  • Noor Haziq Saliman, The University of Manchester
  • Divya Senthilkumar, SRM Institute of Science and Technology
  • Jennyffer Smith, OD, University of Houston
  • Emma Stewart-Bates, The Ohio State University
  • Kelsey Trast, University of Houston
  • Kent Uehara, State University of New York
  • Yen-Chiao Wang, MD, Indiana University

Recipients will be honored at the Student and Resident Awards Lunch on Thursday, Oct. 24, from noon to 1 p.m. in Valencia W415 CD in the Orange County Convention Center.

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Zeiss and IDOC Forge Partnership

This is to bring high-quality medical and vision care products to independent optometrists nationwide.

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(PRESS RELEASE) IDOC, ZEISS Vision Care US and ZEISS Medical Technology announced a five-year agreement to bring ZEISS’ industry-leading lab services, lens products and medical equipment to all 3,000+ IDOC independent optometrists across the US. The latest innovations from ZEISS, including ZEISS UVProtect Technology, ZEISS DriveSafe lenses, ZEISS CLARUS 700, ZEISS CIRRUS HD-OCT and more, are now available to all IDOC practices via new partnership programs.

“This new partnership with a recognized technology leader in optics is exactly what our members need to strengthen independent practices,” said Dave Brown, president and CEO of IDOC. “We’ve heard from our members that they want a lens and equipment partner as independent as they are, and with an unmatched track record of innovation. ZEISS is unique in the industry with its 170+ years legacy of industry firsts.”

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IDOC offers a suite of programs and services that empower its members to grow and succeed. The partnership with ZEISS aligns very well with IDOC’s long-term strategy of bringing high-quality offerings to its independent optometrist members. It further helps the member differentiate their practice with ZEISS’ internationally renowned consumer brand and commitment to a sustainably high level of re-investment into optical science.

“We are excited to join the IDOC community by offering members the very best in patient care solutions as well as a true partnership spirit that will strengthen their ability to remain independent. In a rapidly consolidating industry with vertical integration accelerating, ZEISS achieves this by being a true partner to independent ECPs. This philosophy is deeply rooted in our history, our identity and our corporate values. Additionally, ZEISS empowers its independent partners with breakthrough innovations such as ZEISS UVProtect Technology, the ZEISS C-UVProtect tablet, and ZEISS PhotoFusion, which originate from our passion to raise the standard of optical care well beyond industry norms,” said Jens Boy, president of ZEISS Vision Care US.

“We are pleased to partner with IDOC and its members to ensure quality eye care is available to everyone,” said Jim Mazzo, global president of Ophthalmic Devices at ZEISS Medical Technology. “This partnership will enable doctors to maximize clinical efficiency and performance while advancing eye care, every step of the way.”

To learn more about IDOC, contact a member of the IDOC team at 203-853-3333 or visit the website at idoc.net.

For more information about ZEISS Vision Care US, visit here, and for more information about ZEISS Medical Technology, visit here.

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Press Releases

AOA Supports Smoking Education, Cessation Efforts Amid Vaping Ban

Hundreds of people have been sickened by mysterious lung illnesses and teenage vaping continues to rise.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Amid billowing health concerns around vaping, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is raising awareness of the importance of patient education on vision and eye health complications that are linked to or exacerbated by smoking.

This is following the administration’s announcement that it would ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, at a time when hundreds of people have been sickened by mysterious lung illnesses and teenage vaping continues to rise. Hundreds of serious respiratory cases compounded by six deaths prompted this strong federal response into electronic cigarettes as health authorities go after the “safe alternative” to cigarettes.

Although e-cigarettes don’t contain many of the cancer-causing byproducts of cigarette smoke, evidence now suggests there could be ocular health considerations.

Published in September’s Optometry and Vision Science, a small-scale study of 21 vapers and 21 healthy nonsmokers found moderate-to-severe symptomatic dry eye and poorer tear film quality among the former as opposed to the latter. Additionally, researchers noticed significant reductions of noninvasive tear breakup time, fluorescein breakup time and tear meniscus height among vapers while vaping at higher voltages.

Dan Bintz, O.D., AOA Health Promotions Committee member, says doctors of optometry and staff need to continue thinking beyond the eye when it comes to tobacco use. That includes reinforcing patient education of smoking’s negative health consequences, as well as directing smokers to tobacco cessation resources.

For more information, visit here.

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Press Releases

AOA Celebrates Paraoptometric Week

It runs Sept. 16-20.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The American Optometric Association (AOA) has designated Sept. 16-20, 2019 as Paraoptometric Week. Now in its 17th year, the week is the only formal observance in the nation specifically intended to honor optometric practice staff for their dedication to the patients they serve and to the profession of optometry.

Paraoptometrics are key members of the eyecare delivery team in optometric offices all across the country. Their role is even more critical to providing the best patient care possible in today’s healthcare environment.

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New Jersey paraoptometric Linda Rodgriguez, CPO, summarized the important role of staff for a successful practice by stating, “As demand for eyecare services continues to grow, paraoptometrics will continue to be a vital part of the eyecare team. A well-trained optometric staff is invaluable and play a role in every successful optometric practice. Doctors of optometry who are ‘pro para,’ and recognize their paraoptometric staff for their dedication, knowledge and professionalism are rewarded with not just practice growth, but most importantly, satisfied patients.”

Doctors can reinforce the value paraoptometric staff bring to their practice with these three suggestions:

  1. Enroll staff as AOA associate members. It’s included as part of AOA membership, and this step opens the door to AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center.
  2. Encourage paraoptometric certification. Doctors can foster their professional development and encourage staff to seek certification.
  3. Show them you care. Now’s the time to celebrate paraoptometric staff, so consider special recognition events or surprises, such as a “Wall of Fame,” a post on social media, team lunch or decorations-after all, it takes a team to run any practice.

Additional information is available at aoa.org/paraoptometrics/awards-and-recognition/para-week.

The Paraoptometric Resource Center is sponsored by Alcon.

To learn more about paraoptometry and the benefits of certification, visit aoa.org/paraoptometrics or call 800.365.2219, ext. 4108.

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