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Longtime CEO of Vision Charity to Step Down

He’s leaving after a 52-year career in vision and health.

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Alan R. Morse

NEW YORK — Alan R. Morse will step down later this year as president and CEO of the Lighthouse Guild, an organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss, after a career of almost 52 years in the field of vision and health.

James M. Dubin, chairman of the Lighthouse Guild board, said, “Dr. Morse is an innovator with a deep commitment to providing quality programs and services for people with vision loss. His leadership has changed how we as a society think about blindness and low vision. During his distinguished 52-year career at Lighthouse Guild, his extraordinary work and dedication have led to the creation of the largest and most comprehensive vision and related healthcare organization in the United States.

“He has made an indelible impact on the history of our organization and the direction of low vision care. We salute him and thank him for his tremendous contributions that enable us to lead the way in vision loss prevention and care.”

Morse began his career at what was then known as The Jewish Guild for the Blind in 1968 as a rehabilitation counselor. He became COO in 1977 and was named president and CEO in 1998.

In 2013, Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International merged to form Lighthouse Guild. Morse spearheaded the merger, which created the largest vision and healthcare organization in the country.

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Morse is credited with transforming Lighthouse Guild from an organization focused on providing services to people living in the New York City area to a nationally renowned organization.

“It has been an honor to work with the dedicated Board and Staff of Lighthouse Guild,” Morse said. “I have been privileged to be part of an organization committed to addressing and preventing vision loss.”

Morse’s leadership in the field of vision and health includes an extensive academic portfolio. His research interests include the influence of vision loss on healthcare use, functional implication of vision loss, patient communication issues in care delivery and patient engagement and adherence. He has published numerous articles, editorials and book chapters on these and related topics. Morse is an adjunct professor in the Department of Ophthalmology of Columbia University. He has served on the editorial board of Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and has been a consultant to the Academy’s Vision Rehabilitation Committee. He also has served on the editorial board of JAMA Ophthalmology of the American Medical Association and was a member of the Advisory Panel of Addressing Disparities of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) among many other professional activities over his career.

Lighthouse Guild has been conducting a national search for Morse’s successor since he advised the board of his plans earlier this year.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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LASIK Should Be Banned, Says FDA Adviser

He regrets voting to approve the treatment.

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A retired U.S. Food and Drug Administration adviser says LASIK eye surgery should be removed from the market.

Morris Waxler voted to approve to treatment, but now wishes he hadn’t, CBS News reports. He has re-examined the data.

“Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years,” he told CBS.

His analysis suggests that 10 percent to 30 percent of patients experience complications. He asked the FDA in 2011 to issue a voluntary recall of the treatment, but the FDA declined to do so.

The FDA recently told CBS that it “has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices.”

CBS News quoted several patients saying they’d been harmed by LASIK.

Abraham Rutner, for example, said that he had double vision and that “around the lights [was] like having starbursts.” He notes, however, that his vision is improved by approximately 90 percent.

Experts say pre-surgical screening is crucial to avoiding LASIK complications.

The key lies in “knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure,” Dr. Jules Winokur told CBS News.

The FDA has issued an advisory on risks and how to find find the right doctor for LASIK.

Read more at CBS News

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Video: Adorable Cat Melts Hearts By Trying on Eyewear for Children

Kids see that ‘if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.’

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A rescue cat in Pennsylvania is getting attention for her role in making children feel comfortable with their eyeglasses.

Truffles happily wears brightly colored frames to set a good example for the young patients of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, the Daily Mail reports.

“If a child is feeling a bit nervous I ask Truffles if she wants to show them her glasses,” says Danielle Crull, owner of the business. “When they see Truffles wearing them it’s a really good thing and shows that if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.”

A video of the cat trying on eyewear has been viewed millions of times.

Watch the video:

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Several Eyecare Drugs in Short Supply, FDA Says

They include staple items.

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Thirteen ophthalmic drugs or products are currently in a state of shortage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They include solutions, ointments, emulsions, suspensions and injections, the American Optometric Association reports. Another four ophthalmic products were recently discontinued altogether.

The FDA claims in a new report that older, lower-cost drugs face supply troubles far more often than brand-name options, AOA reports. Among the ophthalmic drugs or products in shortage are staple items such as fluorescein strips and solutionsdilation dropsglaucoma medicationsantibiotics and antivirals.

According to AOA:

Published Oct. 29 by an FDA-convened inter-agency Drug Shortages Task Force, the report, “Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions,” analyzed 163 drugs that went into shortage from 2013 to 2017 and found the majority were “financially unattractive drugs” for manufacturers. Of the 163 drugs, 109 (67%) had generic versions on the market and had a median time since first approval of nearly 35 years. So many years off patent, these drugs sold for a median per unit price of only $8.73, the FDA notes.

AOA Chief Public Health Officer Michael Duenas, OD, said, “A doctor of optometry, in their public health role, should monitor services and needed supplies to determine that they are useful and accessible to all individuals within their community who may need that particular service or supply. Doctors of optometry are encouraged to report deficiencies to the AOA and agencies overseeing shortages, such as FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Drug Shortage Program at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov.”

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