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Suny Optometry’s University Eye Center Announces New Chief of Pediatrics

She will lead the implementation of new state-of-the-art center for pediatric eye care.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — SUNY College of Optometry’s University Eye Center recently announced that Dr. Deborah Amster has officially joined as the chief of pediatric service and will head the implementation of the new Center for Pediatric Eye Care set to open in early 2020. The center will offer expanded services to children and their families.

“With her impressive clinical and teaching experiences, SUNY Optometry is proud to have Dr. Amster lead our new Center for Pediatric Eye Care,” said SUNY Optometry President Dr. David Heath. “The unparalleled services we provide to children and their families will certainly be enhanced by her leadership, as well as her deep passion for emphasizing the importance of pediatric vision services and access to care for underserved communities.”

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Dr. Amster joins SUNY Optometry after 16 years of teaching and conducting research, including participation in national multi-center studies such as PDIG (Pediatric Eye Disease Group) and CITT (Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial), at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) ’s College of Optometry. She is both a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Amster completed her residency in pediatrics and binocular vision at NSU after graduating from the New England College of Optometry in 2001.

“It is a true privilege to lead the pediatrics division at SUNY Optometry, one of the most renowned patient care and academic institutions in the nation,” said Dr. Amster. “Through pediatric eye care, optometrists help to improve and enhance children’s vision so they may function and thrive academically, recreationally and socially. I look forward to working with patients and families to set them up for a lifetime of healthy vision – while also carrying on the College’s mission of delivering quality and innovative care, empowering our students, and impacting the local community as well as the field of optometry.”

The University Eye Center’s new Center for Pediatric Eye Care will be a 5,000 sq. ft. center designed from the ground up to accommodate all pediatric patients, including eight exam rooms which are fully-equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, an interactive child-friendly waiting area, a separate quiet waiting room designed with soothing sensory stimulation, and an optical shop designed just for children. The new Center was funded through the Our Vision for Children Campaign which included significant donations from Barbara Saltzman, chair of the Optometric Center of New York – the college’s affiliated foundation; the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations; and other generous donors.

Before her appointment as chief of pediatric service, Dr. Amster authored chapters in optometric textbooks, co-authored peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, and delivered many presentations and public lectures. She also chaired NSU’s Quality Assurance Committee, lectured at national meetings, and actively mentored students and residents during her NSU tenure.

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All SUNY Optometry students will rotate through Dr. Amster’s pediatric service division during their time at the college.

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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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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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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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