News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

Elections and Awards From 2013 AOA Annual Meeting

At its June annual meeting, the American Optometric Association (AOA) bestowed national awards and elected officers and trustees.

The 2013 award recipients are:

The Distinguished Service Award: Thomas L. Lewis, OD, PhD, for his contributions to optometric science and education during his career.

Optometrist of the Year Award: Neil Draisin, OD, for his commitment to mentoring and children’s vision health.

Young OD of the Year Award: Sandra Fortenberry, OD, FAAO, for her deep involvement with student education and her contributions to the Rosenberg School of Optometry.

Optometric Educator Award: Michael Earley, OD, PhD, for his work as teacher, lecturer, clinician, advisor, and researcher at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

Apollo Award: Senator Tom Harkin (retiring) for his long advocacy for vision health in public policy and legislation.

Paraoptometric of the Year: Amy Godeaux, CPOT, for her work reviving the Louisiana Paraoptometric Association and her involvement in numerous public service programs devoted to vision health.

The AOA officers for 2013 are as follows:

President: Mitchell Munson, OD

President-Elect: David Cockrell, OD

Vice President: Steven Loomis

Secretary Treasurer: Andrea Thau, OD

Immediate Past President: Ronald Hopping, OD, MPH

Board of Trustees (elected 2013): Robert Layman, OD; Greg Caldwell, OD

Trustees (ongoing): Barb Horn, OD; Christopher Quinn, OD; Sam Pierce, OD; Bill Reynolds, OD.

SynergEyes Names Kirchner President

SynergEyes, Inc. has promoted James Kirchner, OD, to the position of president.

SynergEyes says that Dr. Kirchner’s selection demonstrates the company’s renewed focus on the practice of optometry. SynergEyes anticipates that his experience and perspectives will promote optometric influence within the company as SynergEyes transforms itself into a partner of independent eyecare professionals (ECPs).

Dr. Kirchner previously served as senior vice president of clinical and professional relations at SynergEyes, providing professional leadership of product development and management. He also represented the company within the ECP community.

Prior to joining SynergEyes, Dr. Kirchner was chief professional officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate. With more than 35 years in the private practice of optometry, he has been president and CEO of more than a dozen start-up companies within and outside the ophthalmic industry.

CooperVision Names Executives

CooperVision has appointed Andrew Sedgwick to the new role of executive vice president of Commercial Strategy and Business Development.

In this role, Mr. Sedgwick will be responsible for CooperVision’s long-range strategic plan, product life cycle management, business development, and professional services. He has experience as an executive working in a variety of different positions within the company, most recently as the president of the Americas for CooperVision. Mr. Sedgwick began his new role in mid-June.

CooperVision also recently appointed Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon to the newly established role of senior vice president, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs, effective immediately.

Dr. Aragon is now responsible for creating, implementing, and managing the company’s professional and clinical affairs strategy worldwide, reflecting CooperVision’s continued growth in developed and emerging markets.

Dr. Aragon is an optometrist with nearly three decades of experience in professional services, sales, marketing, general management, and business development within the global ophthalmic industry. Since 2000, he has worked in various international roles within CooperVision, most recently leading the company’s Latin American commercial operations and Americas regional business development initiatives. He previously held leadership roles with Ocular Sciences, Ciba Vision, and Bausch + Lomb. Dr. Aragon also chairs the Global Development Board for Optometry Giving Sight.


■ Allergan recently announced that David E.I. Pyott, chairman of the Board and chief executive officer, Allergan, and the Allergan Board of Directors have named Douglas S. Ingram as president of Allergan. In this newly established role, Mr. Ingram will report directly to Mr. Pyott and will lead the company’s global commercial operations, with responsibility for the company’s portfolio of pharmaceutical, consumer, and medical device products including Restasis, Lumigan, Alphagan, Combigan, Ganfort, Optive, and Ozurdex as well as some products not related to eye care.

Mr. Ingram has been with Allergan for 17 years. For the past three years, he has served as executive vice president and president, Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME). In this role, he was responsible for Allergan’s regional pharmaceutical and medical device operations, with a focus on strategic planning, sales and marketing, development, and general management. Mr. Ingram previously served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer, among other roles in the company.

Educational Resource for Lens Wearers Available

To assist practitioners in helping both new and current contact lens wearers better understand how to safely wear and care for their contact lenses, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. has developed Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses, an educational resource for in-office, website, and social media use.

Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses provides helpful “Do’s and Don’ts” for handling and wearing contact lenses and offers easy-to-follow steps on how to reduce the risk of contact lens-related infection through proper use and care of contact lenses and lens care products such as contact lens cases. It also contains a section for eyecare professionals and/or staff to fill out with patients to reinforce replacement schedules, proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques, and a reminder on when to change their contact lens case. Information detailing other helpful consumer resources concerning proper wear and care is also included.

The educational material is not brand specific. Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses is available in both PDF and print versions.

The PDF copies, which practitioners can customize to include their contact information, can be downloaded at

The print versions include 50 tear-sheets on a pad. To request a pad, send your name and address to

For the Record

In the June News Spectrum, we issued a correction for the May article “Troubleshooting Scleral Lenses,” by Jeffrey Sonsino, OD, FAAO, and Muriel Schornack, OD, FAAO, for the Dk and wetting angle of Contamac’s Optimum Comfort material. However, it is Contamac’s Optimum Extra material that is available for scleral lenses. Optimum Extra has a Dk of 100 and wetting angle of 3 degrees, which appear in Table 1 of the article as attributes of Optimum Comfort.

AMO Announces Acquisitions

Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) announced two significant acquisitions in July: the Brazilian surgical distributor Vistatek and OptiMedica Corporation, a privately held Silicon Valley-based ophthalmic device company.

The acquisition of Vistatek will allow AMO to expand its vision care presence in Latin America. Vistatek is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, and has served as a distributor of AMO’s cataract and laser vision correction technologies.

The agreement with OptiMedica enables AMO to expand its business into femtosecond laser technology for cataract surgery. OptiMedica’s Catalys Precision Laser System is designed to allow surgeons to replace some of the technically demanding manual steps with a precise, computer-guided, femtosecond laser technology. The laser system has received both the CE Mark in Europe and clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Alden Optical has unveiled a new mapping tool to help keratoconus patients interested in locating practices fitting the company’s NovaKone custom soft lens for keratoconus. The mapping tool is featured on the company’s redesigned patient page at More than 500 NovaKone fitting practices are listed on a “Google Maps”-like map interface. Patients can zoom into their geographic region to see practices that are fitting the NovaKone lens.

Bausch + Lomb (B+L) and Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that B+L has acquired an option to license an investigational compound currently in Phase 2 development for treating dry eye syndrome. Mimetogen’s new compound, called MIM-D3, has the potential to be the first in a new class of agents called TrkA agonists. MIM-D3 stimulates the production of mucin and may have additional benefits beyond those currently available in dry eye therapies, including the potential to improve neural function. A Phase 3 study is expected to begin before the end of 2013.

■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) has launched a new website at to better serve its members and the profession. The new site features responsive design, an enhanced Doctor Locator, and a single sign-on for many AOA features. In the coming months, sections of the site will continue to be developed including ongoing enhancements to AOAMarketplace as well as the area dedicated to providing the public and patients with information about common eye conditions.

Google Glass was used during an eye examination in Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) to determine how the wearable computer can improve vision care. Elyse Kleifgen, a second-year intern in the university’s professional program, is among 8,000 people chosen by Google to be a Google Glass Explorer. On Tuesday, July 2, she and MCO professor Dr. Bruce Morgan conducted what may be the first eye exam using the much-anticipated device. A statement from MCO said that it appears that Google Glass has far reaching potential in optometry from the perspective of hands-off video and photographic documentation, ocular image and data comparisons, plus remote live interactions with professors and instructors.

Oasis Medical Inc. and Shape Ophthalmics, LLC, have announced a joint venture to introduce a proprietary shape memory plug technology triggered by natural body heat. This unique punctal plug for the treatment of dry eye will be manufactured exclusively by Oasis Medical Inc. for worldwide distribution. Shape Ophthalmics, LLC is a company founded by faculty members from the University of Colorado’s Ophthalmology and Bioengineering departments. Among its research endeavors, Shape Ophthalmics is currently exploring several innovations in medical devices for use in ophthalmic practice. Oasis expects to begin distribution of the plug in 2014.

Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) is urging all members of the optical community and anyone who values good vision to take part in the World Sight Day Challenge from Sept. 1 through to World Sight Day on Oct. 10, 2013. To participate, simply make a monthly or annual donation on or before World Sight Day. To make or pledge your donation or register your intention to fundraise, visit or call (800) OGS GIVE.