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New England College of Optometry Names President Emeritus

He’s spent 50 years in service to the college.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BOSTON, MA – New England College of Optometry announces that former President Clifford Scott, OD, has been appointed with the title of president emeritus. The honor comes in recognition of his accomplishments during a decade of leadership and 50 years of service to the college.

Pano Yeracaris, MD, MPH, Board of Trustees chair for New England College of Optometry, noted, “Dr. Scott has been associated with the New England College of Optometry for his entire 50 year stellar career, serving as president from 2009 to 2018. During the last 10 years, Dr. Scott, with visionary leadership, has guided NECO to continued excellence in strengthening our unique clinical and academic programs. The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to bestow the emeritus title to Dr. Scott at the December 5th 2018 meeting to recognize the vital contributions he has made through the years.”

Scott served as the 12th president of the college from 2009-2018.

“His spirit of innovation helped shape a curriculum and clinical program for NECO’s graduates to be successful in the tumultuous world of health care reform,” the college stated.

Scott was instrumental in implementing the clinical campus concept where all of NECO’s clinical functions — patient care, learning and clinical research — are brought together under one roof, sharing space and incorporating high-tech instrumentation. The final phase of this clinical campus was completed earlier this year with the opening of NECO’s student clinical training center.

“Dr. Scott has been a positive presence at the College for over 50 years, serving as a member of the faculty, as dean, and as president,” said former President Alan Lewis. “As unpretentious as he is capable, he embraced the long tradition of valuing NECO as a family and community rather than just as a workplace. Above all, he was dedicated to the welfare and the professional success of the students. This signal honor recognizes his many contributions to the College and to the profession as well as the deep respect with which he is held by his colleagues.”

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Former president Larry Clausen said, “President Scott stands as one of NECO’s greatest champions of the College and leaves a legacy of exceptional service to both the college and the optometric profession. Throughout his fifty-year career, he was an ever-present, positive influence on the college’s advancement. It was fitting that he was named president in 2009; it is fitting that he is to be honored as president Emeritus in 2018.”

During his tenure as president, Scott worked as a community leader, building partnerships locally, nationally and internationally. James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council notes, “Dr. Scott’s contributions over five decades of service to the New England College of Optometry have left behind an incredible legacy, and I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor this remarkable leader than by naming him President Emeritus.”

Throughout his 50 years in the profession, Scott also worked tirelessly to advocate for optometry. Executive Director Jay Gardiner, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, said, “Dr. Clifford Scott’s inclusive leadership style and forward thinking vision of optometry has profoundly advanced the profession. Dr. Scott has played an influential role shaping the future impact of optometry at both a state and national level.”

“Dr. Scott’s entrepreneurial spirit has helped mold and change the profession for the better during his time as professor, department chair, academic dean and president,” said Professor Bina Patel, faculty chair and director of international programs at NECO. “Throughout his career, he strengthened our relationships with community partners, pushed for optometric legislation on a state and national level, helped establish optometry within the VAMC (Veteran’s Administration Medical Center) system, and supported the wider scope of optometry internationally. While helping to advance the profession, he also remained a huge advocate for students at the College.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to help lead the College in becoming a such a dynamic institution that produces knowledgeable, caring optometrists fully prepared for success in the rapidly changing world of health care,” said President Emeritus Clifford Scott. “It is personally very gratifying that Dr. Howard Purcell was selected to accelerate that momentum with the support of the NECO community. I’m truly honored by the Board of Trustees’ recognition and will continue to be a resource for the College.”

Current President Howard Purcell said, “The impact Dr. Scott (Scotty) has had on NECO is far reaching and significant. His legacy is only surpassed by his passion for the profession and for every graduate that has been part of the NECO family. We are forever indebted to his unwavering support and countless contributions. We look forward to his continued contributions to the Board of Trustees, the College leadership, and the faculty in years to come.”

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Press Releases

Transitions Optical Unveils Updated ‘Healthy Sight Working for You’ Website

It provides resources on the value of vision benefits.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO – Transitions Optical has launched a website that aims to increase awareness of the importance of regular eye exams and premium eyewear options available through a comprehensive vision benefit.

Found at HealthySightWorkingForYou.org, the newly updated website provides a wide range of information, educational resources and quantitative tools to reinforce the value of offering — or enrolling in — a premium vision plan.

Updated Educational Resources

The site allows visitors to enter one of two portals — one for HR professionals and brokers, and the other for employees — to access a toolkit of customized resources.

  • Vision Plan Savings Calculator (for Employers): Employers can enter the specific demographics of their workforce to calculate the savings possible by offering a premium vision benefits plan.
  • Sight on Savings Calculator (for Employees): Employees can enter their age, gender and ethnicity for a personalized report about the eye diseases and vision-related problems they are most at risk for developing. They can also learn more about how a comprehensive vision plan can save them time (in terms of productivity), money (health care-related dollars) and sight.
  • Healthy InSights Newsletter: Employers can sign up for this quarterly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest vision benefits trends, research and resources available from Transitions Healthy Sight Working for You.
  • Eye Care Tips: Employers and employees can read more about the unique eye health issues more prevalent in different demographic groups.
  • Research Presentations: Employers and Brokers can learn more about their workforce by reviewing key findings from the annual Transitions Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey.
  • White Papers: Gain insights into the latest research and perspectives from industry leaders on essential eye health and vision benefits topics.

To access these resources and more, visit HealthySightWorkingForYou.org

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Press Releases

Avedro Names VP of Sales

He brings more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WALTHAM, MA — Avedro Inc., a commercial-stage ophthalmic medical technology company focused on treating corneal ecstatic disorders and improving vision to reduce dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses, announced the appointment of Patrick B. Jacques as vice president of sales, effective immediately.

Reporting to James Schuermann, Avedro’s chief business officer, Jacques will be responsible for directing Avedro’s U.S. sales strategy, building relationships with clinicians and other key partners, and contributing to Avedro’s marketing programs.

Jacques brings more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience across various segments in ophthalmology and optometry to Avedro. Jacques began his career with SPS Medical Supply and held roles of increasing responsibility with Briot/Buchman and Advanced Medical Optics. At Abbott Medical Optics, he managed the sales organization for their refractive laser business in the Western United States. Most recently at AcuFocus, which transacted the KAMRA inlay business to CorneaGen in 2018, he was responsible for the domestic launch of the corneal inlay product for presbyopia and for building the company’s field commercial organization.

“We are pleased to welcome Patrick to Avedro to lead our sales efforts in the United States,” said Reza Zadno, PhD, president and CEO of Avedro. “Patrick is a seasoned sales leader with a track record of successfully driving adoption of new ophthalmic technologies. We are confident that our Avedro Corneal Remodeling Platform coupled with our talented and experienced team will grow our leadership position in the treatment of progressive keratoconus and expand treatment capabilities to address additional conditions, such as refractive disorders.”

“I am very excited to be joining Avedro at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. Avedro has made significant progress with reimbursement, earning a unique J code from CMS and securing positive coverage from America’s largest national commercial payers, facilitating access to approximately 95 percent of our estimated total U.S. addressable market. I am looking forward to working with my network of refractive ophthalmic customers to accelerate adoption of FDA approved cross-linking in the United States and help more patients with this sight-threatening disease,” said Jacques.

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Press Releases

Prevent Blindness Announces Winner of 2019 Jenny Pomeroy Award

It will be presented to Dr. Cynthia Owsley.

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Cynthia Owsley

(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has announced the recipient of the 2019 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health as Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, Nathan E. Miles chair of ophthalmology and director of the clinical research unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) school of medicine, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences. The award will be presented at the 8th Annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit in Washington, DC, on July 17. Owsley will highlight her work as the closing plenary speaker of the summit.

The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health recognizes an individual, team or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national and/or international level. The award is named for Jenny Pomeroy, who served as CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia from 1996 until 2013 and was an advocate for championing the role of public health in vision and eyecare services and programs.

Owsley was selected by an all-volunteer committee for her decades of work dedicated to vision and public health services. Owsley has over 30 years of experience conducting research on vision impairment, eye disease and aging funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-profit foundations and various industries. Her areas of focus include:

  • Vision impairment and driving
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and diabetes
  • Quality of and access to eye care for under-served, older populations
  • Vision impairment and its impact on quality of life

At UAB, Owsley’s research program focuses on aging-related eye disease and vision impairment, using a variety of research techniques from epidemiology, clinical trials, psychophysics, health behavior, and health services research.

In addition to work in research and public health, Owsley has also been a longtime volunteer at Prevent Blindness, serving on various committees, including chairing its Scientific Committee for seven years. She served on the national Board of Directors from 2011 to 2018.

“For more than 30 years, my passion has been to use the power of research and data to improve patient outcomes, and expand programs that help to address the various vision issues that impact all of us,” said Owsley. “I thank Prevent Blindness for this acknowledgement and will continue to work to advance these important issues.”

The 2018 recipient of the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health was the Johns Hopkins University School-Based Eye Care Team.

“All of us at Prevent Blindness enthusiastically congratulate Dr. Owsley on her award, and also offer our tremendous gratitude for all of her contributions to improve vision health,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

For more information on the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health, call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org.

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