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Optometry Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

They are optometrists who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the profession.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The AOA and Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation congratulated four optometrists who have been selected for the National Optometry Hall of Fame.

Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame has honored doctors of optometry who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession.

The 2019 inductees are:

Murray Fingeret, OD

Murray Fingeret, OD, earned his optometry degree in 1976 from The New England College of Optometry. Fingeret then completed a primary care residency program at the Genesee Valley Group Health Association, Joseph C. Wilson Health Center in Rochester, NY. He served two years as staff optometrist there and became chief of the optometry section at the Birmingham Veterans Administration Medical Center in 1980, and three years later chief of the optometry section at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York Harbor Health Care System, Brooklyn and St. Albans Campus, in Queens, NY, where he has served veterans for more than 30 years. His efforts in education, professional collaboration and clinical research in the area of glaucoma have benefited all optometrists and the patients under their care. He founded and served as the first president of the Optometric Glaucoma Society. He is an active member of the AOA and the New York State Optometric Association and has served on the AOA’s New Technologies Committee.

Donald Jarnagin, O.D.

The late Donald Jarnagin, OD, earned his optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry in 1970. Jarnagin was drafted into the U.S. Army as a captain and optometry officer in the Medical Service Corps from 1971-73, where he received an Army Commendation Medal. He then entered private practice in Arizona with his own personal doctor of optometry who had provided his vision care as a youth. Less than a decade later, he would ascend Arizona Optometric Association’s leadership as president and later as AOA president. He served more than 30 years in private practice, caring for the community of Glendale and the West Valley, before starting a new chapter as optometric educator and leader. Involved in numerous community service organizations, Jarnagin was passionate about volunteering with multidisciplinary medical missions to Guatemala that provide eye care and glasses to underserved populations. It was on one of these trips that he passed away.

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Michael Mittelman, OD

Michael Mittelman, OD, earned his optometry degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Commissioned in the Navy Medical Service Corps in 1980, Mittelman immediately impacted the needs of U.S. Marine Corps personnel and dependents through optometric patient care. He became the first optometrist designated as an Aerospace physiologist in 1989 and used the training to develop the foundation from which he created the U.S. Navy Aerospace Optometry program. He became the first optometrist to be assigned Deputy Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy. In 2013 he became president of Salus University. He is an active member of the AOA, having chaired the AOA State Government Relations Center’s Licensure and Regulation Committee, the AOA Multidisciplinary Practice Section and a special AOA project team on licensure by endorsement, and he is a past president of the Armed Forces Optometric Society.

Glen Steele, OD

Glen Steele, OD, earned his optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry. Steele then joined the institution as a faculty member as well as opened a private practice, which he ran for more than 40 years. He co-founded InfantSEE, a public health program managed by Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation, designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Since its launch in 2005, nearly 4,000 participating doctors of optometry have provided exams to 140,000 infants. He has served in leadership roles for numerous boards and task committees for optometric and health organizations, such as the AOA, West Tennessee Optometric Society, and the American Public Health Association, among others.

The inductees will be honored at a ceremony during Optometry’s Meeting in St. Louis on Thursday, June 20, from 7-8 p.m. Click here to register and learn more.

Read more at AOA

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Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry Education Program Announced

This joint meeting will bring global optometry together to offer a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences.

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(PRESS RELEASE)ORLANDO and ST. LOUIS – The World Council of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry have partnered to present an impressive education program taking place at Academy 2019 Orlando and the 3rd World Congress of Optometry, October 23-27, 2019. This joint meeting will bring global optometry together to offer a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences. Attendees from around the globe can choose from over 450 hours of lectures and workshops, Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) symposia, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, an expansive exhibit hall, and several memorable social events featuring international optometry.

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This year’s Plenary Session from 10 AM – 12 Noon on Wednesday, October 23 is titled, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice: WHO World Report on Vision, Opportunities for Optometry to Make an Impact,” and will discuss the World Report on Vision on the distribution of eye disease and blindness across the globe and the disease burden these eye conditions pose on nations and regions. Additionally, the human resource requirements of eyecare providers needed to address this public health crisis will be covered. Optometric representatives, specifically the session speakers, played an instrumental role in developing the report. They will discuss the findings and their implications for optometry internationally and for North America respectively. The keynote speaker from WHO will give attendees an overview of the organization’s efforts to tackle the extensive disease and blindness burdens on society throughout the world and where optometry fits into this effort. Speakers include Kovin Naidoo, OD, PhD, FAAO, Sandra Block, OD, MPH, FAAO, and a speaker from the World Health Organization.

The Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium is titled, “Gene Therapy for Ocular and Neurologic Disorders.” Contemporary issues in gene therapy will be discussed including Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, animal models of glaucoma, and Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Speakers will include Stephen Russell, MD, Abbott Clark, PhD, and Byron Lam, MD.

Ezell Fellows Present is a symposium where three investigators at different stages of their careers, who were supported early on through the Foundation’s Ezell Fellowships, present their research. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the symposium and is titled, “Public Health / Epidemiology Potpourri.” Included in this session will be discussions on anterior segment infectious eye disease and US national health datasets used to assess vision impairment. Speakers will be Nicole Carnt, BOptom, PhD, FAAO, Charlotte Joslin, OD, PhD, FAAO, and Dean VanNasdale, OD, PhD, FAAO.

The World Council of Optometry President’s Forum is titled, “Optometry’s Role in Addressing the Changing Face of Technology, Public Health and Clinical care.” This invitation-only event provides a platform wherein the highest level of decision makers and key partners of our profession come together to discuss the current development of optometry and the desired impact that it envisages in the broader health agenda across the world.

The Global Summit on Optometric Education, co-sponsored by the World Council of Optometry, American Academy of Optometry, and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, will provide educators from optometric educational programs from around the globe the opportunity to share education philosophies/teaching methods and to discuss challenges facing institutions.

The meeting will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Registration and housing open on May 6, 2019. For more information, visit www.aaopt.org/2019 or www.worldcongressofoptometry.org.

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APS Members Brief Congressional Offices on Concerns Regarding Robocalls & Substitution of Contact Lenses

They visited nearly a dozen congressional offices.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON – Members of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) visited nearly a dozen congressional offices. During these meetings, APS advocates briefed Members of Congress and their staffs on problems that vision care patients face including online sellers’ problematic use of robocalls and the medical dangers and safety threats posed by the substitution of lenses that have not been prescribed to a patient.

The 2004 Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act requires that all third-party sellers must verify prescriptions with an eye doctor and fill the prescription as written. However, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Contact Lens Rule allows verification to be done via robocalls. Oftentimes, information relayed in these robocalls is garbled or do not align with a patient’s chart—making it difficult, or even impossible, to correctly identify the patient and proper prescription.

More than 45 million Americans rely on contact lenses – U.S. Food and Drug Administration Class II and Class III regulated medical devices – for safe and effective vision correction. Contact lenses are more complex than they appear, having differing shapes, strengths, and water contents. There are no generics. Substitution of lenses not as prescribed by the patient’s doctor can lead to serious health complications, including infections and other sight-threatening conditions, such as corneal edema, ulcers, and neovascularization.

Dr. Deanna Alexander, chairwoman of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, said, “Access to contact lenses should be fair and safe for patients while preserving the doctor-patient relationship, just as Congress intended. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety is committed to working with lawmakers and regulators to address the FTC Contact Lens Rule verification loophole that puts patients’ eye health and safety at risk.”

The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has made it a priority to close loopholes within the existing verification process and prevent the dangerous sale of counterfeit lenses and the substitution of lenses to reduce the risk of preventable vision loss.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

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Marchon and ABG Announce License Renewals for Nautica and Nine West Eyewear

They ‘provide fashion eyewear to both men and women with a recognizable and modern approach.’

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Marchon Eyewear Inc. and Authentic Brands Group, owner of a global portfolio of lifestyle entertainment brands, announced the long-term renewals of the existing global eyewear licensing agreements for the Nautica and Nine West brands, respectively.

The alliance between the two companies is for the exclusive worldwide design, development, production and distribution of optical eyewear and sunglasses for Nautica, and optical eyewear and prescription sunglasses for Nine West.

“Given their leadership in the eyewear space, we are pleased to continue our partnership with Marchon on the expansion of Nautica and Nine West eyewear. Both of these brands coupled with Marchon’s expertise provide fashion eyewear to both men and women with a recognizable and modern approach,” said Jarrod Weber, group president of Lifestyle at ABG.

“Nautica and Nine West are both iconic American brands that hold an important place in consumers’ hearts and minds. Both have been long term brands for Marchon and will continue to represent a core portion of our Lifestyle portfolio,” said Nicola Zotta, CEO and president of Marchon Eyewear. “We appreciate that ABG has provided a clear vision and thoughtful direction for each brand and we are honored to renew our partnership so as to strategically grow these brands within the eyewear category.”

Retail distribution for both brands is strong, with Nautica eyewear collections sold worldwide in optical retailers, department and specialty stores, as well as through travel retail, nautica.com and other key online accounts. Nine West eyewear is sold around the world in upscale optical chains and specialty retailers, and is also available via individual eyecare professionals.

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