Article

NEWS SPECTRUM

JOHNSON & JOHNSON VISION LAUNCHES ADVOCACY ACADEMY

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. announced Advocacy Academy, an on-demand virtual learning tool to educate, empower, and mobilize a new community of eye health advocates to engage with lawmakers, agencies, and patient associations on key issues impacting eye health. Advocacy Academy is the latest addition to the company’s Vision to Action advocacy efforts.

The self-paced modules are designed with generational learning styles in mind and provide guidance to eye health professionals who have an interest in sharing their expertise and insights with lawmakers, agencies, and associations to effectively advocate for policies that put patients first.

Coinciding with the launch of Advocacy Academy, Johnson & Johnson Vision has also revamped its online home for eye health advocacy information, Vision to Action—formatting the site for easier search and quicker access to the most relevant resources. Vision to Action is a one-stop shop for resources that eyecare professionals, policymakers, and the public can use to stay updated on policy initiatives and proposals at the state and federal levels impacting eye health. Visit www.jnjvisioncareinfo.com .

BAUSCH + LOMB LAUNCHES HORIZON REWARDS PROGRAM

Bausch + Lomb (B+L) has launched a new patient savings and rewards program, Bausch + Lomb Horizon Rewards. To enroll in the program, patients can visit www.BauschRewards.com .

Patients can earn points by purchasing eligible B+L contact lenses, including B+L Ultra and Biotrue Oneday contact lenses, as well as B+L lens care products. Tokens also can be earned by participating in engagement activities within the website, such as reading educational content, taking surveys, or watching videos.

Accumulated tokens can be redeemed to play instant win games or to enter a sweepstakes, providing patients with the chance to win a gift card or to receive a coupon for B+L products. Additionally, points can be redeemed for gift cards or the option to donate to Optometry Giving Sight.

In addition, the online portal provides patients the ability to communicate with B+L customer service representatives. Bausch + Lomb Horizon Reward members can also choose to receive emails about new program elements, eyecare health information, and the latest updates on products. B+L says that the program is designed to keep patients more engaged with their vision and eye health care by providing educational information and patient exam reminders.

TFOS DEWS II REPORT IS NOW AVAILABLE

After almost two-and-a-half years of effort, the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) II report has been published in The Ocular Surface and made available to all for free at www.TearFilm.org and at www.theocularsurfacejournal.com . This massive undertaking involved 150 clinical and basic research experts from around the world who utilized an evidence-based approach and a process of open communication, dialogue, and transparency to achieve a global consensus concerning multiple aspects of dry eye disease. This TFOS DEWS II report is the sequel to the original TFOS DEWS publication of 2007.

The report redefines dry eye, updates its classification and diagnosis, critically evaluates the epidemiology, etiology, mechanism, and impact of this disorder, addresses its management and therapy, and proposes recommendations for future clinical trial design. It will be translated into numerous languages, including but not limited to French, Italian, German, Spanish (sponsored by Allergan), Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Vietnamese (sponsored by Novartis), Romanian, and Turkish (sponsored by SIFI).

TFOS reports that Elsevier initially posted most of the report on The Ocular Surface website as restricted access. This has since been corrected. If you paid for access, please send your receipt to TFOS, and the organization will seek a refund.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY ANNOUNCES 2017 AWARD RECIPIENTS

Each year, the American Academy of Optometry recognizes distinguished individuals who have made countless contributions to advancing the profession of optometry.

The 2017 award winners are:

Eli Peli, MSc, OD – Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

Mitchell Scheiman, OD, PhD – Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture (American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

Ava K. Bittner, OD, PhD – Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award

Luigi Bilotto, MS, OD – AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry

C. Ellis Potter, OD – Brien Holden Humanitarian Award

Joseph Fontenot, MD, CLVT – Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal Award

Laura Goldberg, OD, MS; Celia R. Gong – Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics (American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

Richard Madonna, MA, OD – Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award

Harue J. Marsden, OD, MS – (posthumously) Eminent Service Award

Bert C. Corwin, OD; Avrum Richler, OD, PhD – Life Fellow Award

Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD; Katie L. Greiner, OD, MS; Mary Elizabeth McVey, OD, MS; and Lisa A. Jones-Jordan, PhD – Garland W. Clay Award

Lorraine Lombardi, PhD – Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education (American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

The awards of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies include:

Suzanne M.J. Fleiszig, OD, PhD – Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award

Lynette Johns, OD, FSLS – Founders’ Award

Award winners will be recognized at the Academy 2017 Chicago Awards Ceremony on Oct. 13. Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies award recipients will be honored on Oct. 11.

AAOF ANNOUNCES 2017 JOSEPH T. BARR EARLY CORNEA AND CONTACT LENS INAUGURAL RESEARCH AWARD RECIPIENT

Yuno Iwabuchi, a fourth-year OD/MS student and teaching assistant at Pacific University College of Optometry, was chosen by a committee of members in the Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies section of the American Academy of Optometry as this year’s inaugural recipient for the Joseph T. Barr Early Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award.

The award is intended to provide MS, PhD, vision science, or physiological optics students attending a school or college of optometry in North America with research seed funding for a project in cornea/ocular surface or contact lenses.

Ms. Iwabuchi will receive a $2,000 education award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend the Academy 2017 Chicago annual meeting in October.

GPLI AND ODWIRE.ORG PARTNER ON GPLIWIRE2017

ODwire.org , a social network for eyecare practitioners with more than 20,000 OD members, and the GP Lens Institute (GPLI) have collaborated to create GPLIwire2017, an online continuing education (CE) event focused exclusively on specialty contact lens education.

Participants can earn up to 32 COPE CE credits focused on specialty contact lenses from leading global eyecare experts with all-new lectures and live wet labs from the comfort of their own homes. The event will be hosted live online on Sept. 23 and 24, 2017. Topics will include scleral lens fitting, evaluation, troubleshooting, and applications in dry eye patients; overnight orthokeratology; myopia control; specialty contact lens billing and coding; keratoconus management, including corneal cross-linking; multifocal contact lenses; developing a specialty lens practice; custom soft lenses; hybrid lenses; and using technology in practice.

There will also be a virtual exhibit hall where participants can interact with leading experts from the most advanced specialty lens laboratories in the country.

For those who cannot attend live, the courses will also be offered on-demand following the live event until Dec. 1, 2017. Participants can log in from any broadband-connected computer or mobile device to take courses and receive credit. Visit www.gpliwire2017.com for more information.

NEW BCLA EDUCATION PROGRAM FOCUSES ON DRY EYE

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) launched a new CET-accredited program that will focus on clinical skills for Ocular Surface Health (OSH) and Dry Eye, allowing BCLA members to gain CET points while working toward a Dry Eye certificate or a higher level to lead to a BCLA Fellowship. According to the BCLA, the program is in response to what is seen as the “changing face of the profession.”

A BCLA Dry Eye Certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course. The certificate can be achieved by any optometrist or CLO who attains six credits and a final OSCE-style examination. The six credits are available from five online modules and one relevant Dry Eye or OSH workshop, peer review, or lecture (GOC approved validated with CE number). This certificate will need to be renewed every four years.

In unrelated news, Dr. Michael Read, new technologies manager at Eurolens Research in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester, has been appointed as BCLA Fellowship Consultant and will be tasked with overseeing the current scheme and developing it in the years to come.

Since the scheme was launched in 2006, a total of 222 professionals from the international contact lens community have become BCLA Fellows following viva voce assessment at the BCLA Clinical Conference and BCLA Asia. For more information about BCLA Fellowships, visit www.bcla.org.uk .

ABB OPTICAL GROUP LAUNCHES FOURTH ANNUAL ABB CARES PROGRAM

ABB Optical Group began accepting applications for its fourth annual ABB Cares program on Monday, Aug. 1, 2017. ABB Cares highlights and celebrates organizations throughout the country that have improved the quality of life in local communities.

The program is open to all eyecare professionals who want to nominate an outstanding nonprofit organization in their community. ABB Optical Group will award an ABB Cares Platinum grant of $5,000, two Gold grants of $2,500 each, and four Silver grants of $1,000 each. Since the inception of the program three years ago, ABB Optical Group has awarded grants totaling $38,000 to 24 organizations throughout the country that improved the quality of life in their communities.

Organizations do not need to focus on eye health to qualify for the program. To be considered, all candidates must comply with the following:

  • The organization must be a 501(c)(3) organization and must be able to provide a valid tax ID number.
  • The organization’s local office must be within 30 miles of the nominating practice’s primary location.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted online.
  • Applications opened Aug 1. The deadline to submit an application is 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 31, 2017.

For more information or to submit an application, visit ABBOptical.com/ABBCares .

AOA LAUNCHES HEALTH POLICY INSTITUTE

The American Optometric Association (AOA) launched the AOA Health Policy Institute (HPI), which will develop evidence-based research, analysis, and solutions in healthcare policy.

HPI will be under the direction of past president Steven A. Loomis, OD, and AOA staff member Rodney Peele, JD, as director. According to the organization, HPI will build on and supplement the work begun by the National Commission on Vision and Health (NCVH), which works to improve the nations’ visual health by helping assure access to vision care as an integrated part of public health programs at the national, state, and local levels.

GPLI LAUNCHES STUDENT SCLERAL LENS PROGRAM

The GP Lens Institute’s (GPLI) GP Lens Committee announced a new Student Scleral Lens Program, which will be scaled based on the number of students at each North American school or college of optometry. There will be a basic or an advanced program, which will include an introduction lecture from a local GPLI Advisory board member followed by a hands-on workshop. These will run continuously throughout the year based on the requested time frame by each school or college of optometry.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

  • The Educational Program Committee of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium invites the submission of abstracts for the Free Paper Section and the Scientific Poster Competition. Papers and posters related to presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post-penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, orthokeratology, and lens care topics are welcome. The GSLS will be held Jan. 25 to 28, 2018 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Visit http://www.gslsymposium.com/papers-posters for more information. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is Aug. 31, 2017.
  • Valley Contax has developed Custom Stable Fridays, one-day workshops that utilize the company’s Custom Stable scleral lens. The events take place every two months at Valley Contax’s location in Springfield, Oregon. Attendance is limited to 10 practitioners per session. Attendees begin the day with a tour of the manufacturing facilities. Practitioners learn about the design and fitting of the lens during lunch, and after lunch they use Custom Stable Elite fitting kits to fit each other and then send their lens orders to the lab. Once the lenses have been made, attendees troubleshoot and finalize their fits. The workshop wraps up with a Q&A session. Practitioners can learn more about Custom Stable Friday workshops by visiting the Valley Contax website at valleycontax.com .
  • Novaliq GmbH appointed Gabriela Burian, MD, MPH, as its chief medical officer (CMO). Dr. Burian brings more than 25 years of international clinical experience to the company. She is responsible for leading the company’s global clinical development and regulatory efforts as well as expanding the company’s proprietary ocular therapeutics pipeline. Previously, Dr. Burian held various leadership positions at Novartis Pharma and F. Hoffmann-La Roche. She founded and directs GB Biomed Advisors GmbH and serves as CMO for Iconic Therapeutics, Inc. She is a faculty member of the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology. Dr. Burian will join Novaliq’s executive management team, reporting to the company’s managing director and CEO Christian Roesky, PhD. Sonja Krösser, PhD, vice president of preclinical and clinical development, will continue to lead Novaliq’s dry eye developments and remains responsible for the preclinical and clinical team.
  • A Memorandum of Agreement was signed to establish the first ever School of Optometry in Haiti. The School is a collaboration between l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (UEH), Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Giving Sight, VOSH International, and Charity Vision, with support from University of Montreal. The signatories hope that the first students will commence their studies in October. Other organizations supporting the project include the National Council for the Prevention of Blindness (CNPC), the Port au Prince Chapter of Lions, and Digicel. There are currently only three optometrists and 58 ophthalmologists (six in the public sector) to serve Haiti’s population of 10 million people. These are predominantly located in the capital, making it difficult for the majority (70%) of people to access primary eyecare services. The partners note that funding is still needed for the school. For further information, contact Optometry Giving Sight at usa@givingsight.org or (303) 526-0430.
  • As children in most parts of the country prepare to head back to school, Prevent Blindness has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month to inspire parents to make their child’s vision health a priority. Prevent Blindness recommends a continuum of eye care for children to include both vision screening and comprehensive eye examinations. All children, even those who have no signs of trouble, should have their eyes checked at regular intervals. Any child who experiences vision problems or shows symptoms of eye trouble should receive a comprehensive eye examination by an eyecare practitioner. To support children’s vision programs, OcuSoft Inc., a privately held eye and skin care company, has agreed to donate 10% of all online sales to Prevent Blindness during August’s Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month.
  • EyeCare Prime has unveiled Prime Nexus, a next-generation, cloud-based patient relationship management system. The Prime Nexus platform offers a simple, intuitive user interface, enhanced functionality, and a host of new features to better meet the needs of today’s eyecare practices and their digitally connected patients, according to the company. EyeCare Prime says that Prime Nexus was developed exclusively for optometry, based on years of collaboration with eyecare providers. The system enables practices to maximize appointment booking, improve patient retention, and streamline office efficiencies to propel practice success, according to the company. Visit eyecareprime.com .