Dr. Carla Mack Joins Alcon
Alcon has appointed Carla Mack, OD, MBA, FAAO, as director of professional and clinical support for US Vision Care. In this role, Dr. Mack will provide the organization with clinical and technical expertise, as well as set the group’s professional communications strategy.
Dr. Mack has nearly 20 years of experience in a wide range of disciplines in the eyecare field, from clinical practice, to academia, to research, to commercial. Alcon says that this background gives her the ability to help link the professional, technical, and commercial strategies for the company.
Prior to joining Alcon, Dr. Mack was the Global Director of Medical Affairs and the Global Director of Professional Marketing at Bausch + Lomb.
She’s been on the faculty at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry, where she ran the eyecare practice as the director of clinics. While at OSU, she examined thousands of patients and taught courses in glaucoma management, specialty contact lenses, and practice management.
Dr. Mack has served as the editor of Contact Lens Spectrum and the Contact Lenses Today e-newsletter, and she sat on the Optometric Management editorial advisory board. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies. Dr. Mack completed a hospital-based disease residency and earned both her Doctor of Optometry and her Master of Business Administration from OSU.
SynergEyes Names Dr. Jeffrey Sonsino Director of Clinical Studies
SynergEyes, Inc. has named Jeffrey Sonsino, OD, FAAO, its new director of clinical studies. In a consultative role, Dr. Sonsino will lead SynergEyes’ clinical studies by engaging patients within his practice and by networking with other colleagues around the country when a large number of patients are enrolled in clinical studies.
A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Sonsino completed his residency in cornea and contact lenses at the Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago. For 11 years, he was an assistant professor at Vanderbilt Eye Institute. While at Vanderbilt, he founded the Center for Sight Enhancement, was director of the Scleral Lens Clinic, and authored nine patents on vision-related medical devices.
A council member of the American Optometric Association’s Contact Lens Section and a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Section of the American Academy of Optometry, Dr. Sonsino is in private practice with his wife, Michele Sonsino, OD, in Nashville, Tenn.
Experts Discuss Ocular Surface Wellness
Eyecare thought leaders from across the United States and Canada participated in an advisory meeting held by Alcon to discuss ocular surface wellness through prevention rather than treatment. This meeting was moderated by Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, the Foundation for Education and Research in Vision (FERV) Professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry.
Discussions covered current knowledge of the ocular surface in health and disease; best practices for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ocular surface conditions and symptom relief; and, especially, ways to address ocular surface wellness.
Participants discussed approaches to promote ocular surface wellness; how these apply to special populations (such as lens wearers and candidates for ocular surgery); and how to generate a higher level of public awareness around the importance of eye health.
Bringing in experts from outside of eye care, the group explored wellness from the perspectives of dentistry, dermatology, and psychology—sparking conversation and new ideas about how eyecare professionals can make positive eyecare behaviors a priority for patients.
Alcon plans to disseminate the advisory board’s insights in a variety of ways over the course of the next year.
Alden Acquires Fluoresoft, Launches Practice Locator
Alden Optical has acquired Fluoresoft-0.35% fluorescent solution from Holles Laboratories Inc. Fluoresoft-0.35% is a high-molecular-weight fluorescent solution used in evaluating cornea-to-lens fitting relationships. Its high-molecular-weight compound prevents absorption by soft lens materials, thereby preventing lens staining. Fluoresoft-0.35% is also used to assess epithelial abnormalities due to lens wear and during applanation tonometry. The product is now available in the United States directly from Alden or through current distributors and wholesalers who have traditionally supplied the product.
Alden Optical also has launched the Astera Multifocal Toric Practice Locator Tool. This dynamic map-based tool allows patients to easily locate practices fitting Alden’s Astera Multifocal Toric. Alden believes that the prominent placement on the company’s website and Alden Optical’s sponsorship of AllAboutVision.com’s “bifocal contacts for patients with astigmatism” page will result in significant patient traffic to the map tool, which is available at www.aldenoptical.com/patient-information/patient_information/#patientinfo.
Global Contact Lens Forum Program Announced
The Global Contact Lens Forum (GCLF) is the result of a joint partnership agreement between the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and the International Vision Expo & Conference. Taking place on March 26 to 27 at the Javits Center in New York, immediately prior to International Vision Expo East 2014, the two-day event will offer world-class continuing education and business lectures jointly devised by the International Vision Expo Conference Advisory Board and the BCLA.
Exploring all aspects of contact lens practice business, the COPE-approved program features internationally renowned speakers such as Professor Lyndon Jones (Canada), who will deliver the keynote address, Nick Rumney (BCLA/UK), Dr. Joe Barr (USA), Dr. Kirk Smick (USA), Dr. Jack Shaeffer (USA), and Shelly Bansal (BCLA/UK).
Topics will include: contact lenses yesterday, today, and tomorrow; contact lenses are good business; using the tools of the trade; contact lens wearing schedules: an ongoing debate; the response of the ocular system to contact lenses; how patients will get their contact lenses tomorrow; and a Q&A titled “Here we are today and what we can do now.”
The GCLF is part of a multi-year, content exchange agreement between Vision Expo and the BCLA designed to improve continuing education offerings at their respective conferences. A second forum will take place during the 38th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, from June 6 to 9 at the ICC Birmingham, UK.
BCLA members who would like to attend the GCLF in New York are being offered free exhibition hall admission, representing a saving of $75, and 10% off the entire continuing education program by visiting www.visionexpoeast.com/BCLA.
BCLA OPENS REGISTRATION, LAUNCHES APP
■ The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has opened online registration for its “Take-Away” themed 2014 Clinical Conference and Exhibition, June 6 to 9 at ICC Birmingham, UK. All delegates will be able to build their own schedule prior to the four-day event. The initial programme, which will be regularly updated, can now be viewed at www.bcla.org.uk.
The BCLA has also launched its first-ever mobile app with information about the conference. The app is iPhone and Android compatible. It offers access to the conference programme, speaker information, exhibition and sponsor details, and information on the venue, maps, and floor plans. Users can also link to the BCLA website for travel, accommodation, social events, and contacts; access social networks; receive updates; and view exhibitor listings including product details and the opportunity to contact suppliers prior to the event, among other features. The app is now available to download for free on the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple iTunes Store for iOS devices.
■ Optical Polymer Research, Inc. (OPRI) recently announced that the company is joining the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) as an Associate Member. According to a company statement, the company is joining the CLMA to demonstrate its total commitment to specialty and custom contact lens manufacturers, many of which are members of the CLMA. The recently rejuvenated company’s mission is to develop and deliver high-quality and innovative contact lens polymers to custom finishing laboratories, eyecare providers, and their patients.
■ TearLab Corporation has signed a non-binding term sheet to purchase the assets of the OcuHub business unit from AOAExcel Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the American Optometric Association (AOA). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in March. OcuHub, powered by AT&T and Covisint, is an established compliant technology platform designed to securely connect eyecare practitioners, patients, healthcare organizations, and payers. Visit www.tearlab.com.
■ Vision Source has launched a redesigned and responsive website, designed by the Internet marketing company, Avelient. The site includes an improved practitioner locator, information about various programs and managed care initiatives, access to Vision Source gear, job listings, an exclusive member marketplace, and new educational content through blogs and articles. Additionally, there are numerous patient, member, and vendor testimonials throughout the site so that everyone can share experiences and best practices that they have enjoyed at Vision Source practices. Visit www.visionsource.com.
■ A motion approved in 2013 allows eyecare professionals working for American Optometric Association (AOA)-member ODs to become AOA associate members. This new prospect ensures access to all Paraoptometric Resource Center member benefits and services at no membership cost to paraoptometrics and no added membership cost to AOA-member optometrists. It also opens the door to expanded education and training for new optometric staff members. To enroll staff, 1) log in to www.aoa.org, 2) under the “Optometrist” tab, click on “My Profile/My AOA,” 3) Click on the “Manage Staff” tab, and 4) Enter information for each staff person (non-OD).
■ Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is once again offering a complimentary educational brochure titled “Eye Health and Allergies” to provide patients with useful information on eye allergies and helpful information about eye allergies and contact lenses. Digital copies can be downloaded from the Patient Education section of www.acuvueprofessional.com. To receive bulk copies at your office, please e-mail your request, including your name and mailing address, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Eyecare professionals can support the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) annual March observance, Save Your Vision Month, and help educate the public on how to best protect their vision by purchasing a promotional kit, or by donating a portion of their exam fees or sales to further promote the goal of eye health and quality vision care. The kits cost $25, proceeds of which will help support Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation, and includes wristbands, balloons, posters, fact sheets for patients, and more. Visit www.aoafoundation.org.