NEWS spectrum


AOF Awards Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) announced the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care program recipients. This award recognizes outstanding fourth-year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellent overall knowledge of the contact lens field plus skillful, considerate, and professional care of contact lens patients during their optometric education.

Here are this year’s recipients: Stephanie Lynn LaLiberte, Illinois College of Optometry; Sandra M. Huenink, Indiana University at Bloomington School of Optometry; Samantha Halvorsen, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry; Michelle Sandler, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry; Trevor Fosso, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University; Sarah Huff, Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry; Maria Denietolis, New England College of Optometry; Sarah Cook, Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry; Jonathan Akle, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry; Kate Alexandra McClure, The Ohio State University College of Optometry; Kellen Robertson, Pacific University College of Optometry; Emily Rose Carr, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University; Justin Burgerson, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University; Chalise Maybee, Southern College of Optometry; Alison Emiko Noritake, State University of New York College of Optometry; Kacey C. Cilimberg, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry; Peter Tien, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry; Delaram Shirazian, University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry; Paul Lamothe, University of Montreal School of Optometry; Alexis Keeling, University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science; and Edward Hsieh, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry.

B+L Renews Platinum IKA Sponsorship

Bausch + Lomb’s Specialty Vision Products business has renewed its platinum sponsorship of the International Keratoconus Academy (IKA) for the second consecutive year. IKA promotes ongoing professional education and scientific development in the area of keratoconus and other forms of corneal ectasia.

B+L Specialty Vision Products’ platinum sponsorship will continue to support these efforts as part of its commitment to help meet the needs of patients who have these challenging visual conditions. Throughout the year, the business will sponsor webinars and training sessions on lens options for patients who have these conditions.

NovaBay Appoints President, CEO

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has appointed Mark M. Sieczkarek as president and CEO, effective immediately. Sieczkarek has been a NovaBay director since Jan. 2014, was named chairman in April 2015, and has served as interim president and CEO since Nov. 2015. He has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the go-to-market strategy for the company’s Avenova prescription lid and lash hygiene product.

Mr. Sieczkarek previously was CEO of Solta Medical, Inc. (acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals) and of Conceptus, Inc. (acquired by Bayer HealthCare), where he led the launch of the medical device Essure. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and president of The Americas and Europe for Bausch + Lomb (acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals), where he was responsible for overseeing multinational commercial launches of several leading products.

DAC Appoints New President

Peter Brierley, president of DAC International, announced Ken Payne as his successor starting when he stepped down from the position at the end of last month. Mr. Payne most recently was vice president of global sales at DAC and will be relocating from the United Kingdom to DAC’s headquarters in Carpinteria, CA over the next few months.

In related news, David Golden was promoted to director of sales, EMEAI and China. Mr. Golden will assume Mr. Payne’s sales responsibilities when he transitions to his new position.

Third ABB Cares Program Soon to Start

ABB Optical Group will begin accepting applications for its third annual ABB Cares program on Aug. 1. ABB Cares is open to 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.

Organizations do not need to focus on eye health to qualify. To be considered as a grant recipient, all candidates must be 501(c)(3) organizations and must be able to provide proof of this status; have a local office (must be within 30 miles of the nominating practice’s primary location); and must complete and submit applications online by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 31. For more information or to submit an application, visit

CLMA Recognizes GP Excellence

The CLMA Membership sponsored the 2016 GP Clinical Excellence Award at the North American optometric schools and colleges of optometry. Each fourth year student, selected by the contact lens faculty at the respective academic colleges and schools, received an engraved wooden plaque and a certificate for a GP fitting diagnostic set complimentary from the sponsoring CLMA member company.

Recipients included:

• Illinois College of Optometry, Kylie Castans, OD, sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Company

• Indiana University School of Optometry, Jeffrey L. Simons, OD, sponsored by Essilor Contact Lens USA

• Michigan College of Optometry, Jamie Kuzniar, OD, sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Company

• Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry, Ryan Terry, OD, sponsored by ABB Optical Group

• New England College of Optometry, Boris Severinsky, OD, sponsored by ABB Optical Group

• Nova Southeastern University - College of Optometry, Stephanie Drnek, OD, sponsored by Visionary Optics LLC

• NSU Oklahoma College of Optometry, Lana Hess, OD, sponsored by Essilor Contact Lenses USA

• Pacific University College of Optometry, Danni Griffith, OD, sponsored by Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.

• Southern California College of Optometry, Elaine Ramos, OD, sponsored by Custom Craft Lens Service of Nevada, Inc.

• Southern College of Optometry, Greg Stewart, OD, sponsored by Visionary Optics LLC

• SUNY College of Optometry, Irene Christine Frantzis, OD, sponsored by Conforma Contact Lenses

• The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Kate Alexandra McClure, OD, sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Company

• The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, Sean Patrick Dempsey, OD, sponsored by Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.

• UAB School of Optometry, Heather Cain, OD, sponsored by Essilor Contact Lenses USA

• UC Berkeley, School of Optometry, Britney Kitamata-Wong, OD, sponsored by ABB Optical Group

• UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry, Anthony Vanrachack, OD, sponsored by TruForm Optics, Inc.

•University of Houston College of Optometry, Nicole Cavazos, OD, sponsored by TruForm Optics, Inc.

•University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, Brett Keller, OD, sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Company

New CooperVision Plant Opens

CooperVision opened a new, 100,000-square-foot, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, high-volume manufacturing facility at Coyol Industrial Park in Alajuela, Costa Rica. This is the company’s second site for Clariti 1-Day silicone hydrogel lens manufacturing, joining an existing facility in Budapest, Hungary. The facility currently employs 250 local residents, with the potential to add up to 300 employees in the next three to five years. The company also has the option to expand the plant.

AOF Announces 2016 Ezell Fellows

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) recently announced the nine recipients for the 2016 William C. Ezell Fellowship program. The Ezell Fellowship program is named after the founding president of the AOF, William C. Ezell, OD. It was established to provide talented post-doctoral students who are pursuing an advanced degree in optometric research and education recognition and support.

The AOF congratulates the following students selected as 2016 - 2017 Ezell Fellows:

• The Alcon Foundation Ezell Fellow: Jessica Wei, BS, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

• American Academy of Optometry Ezell Fellow: Kristen Bowles, OD, MS, University of Houston College of Optometry

• AAO Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Ezell Fellow: Cameron K. Postnikoff, MASc, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

• Irvin M. Borish –Essilor Ezell Fellow: Aiswaryah Radhakrishnan, BS Optom, M.Phil. Optom, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

• Mike Daley – Essilor Ezell Fellow: Wenlin Zhang, MD, Indiana University School of Optometry

• Merton C. Flom Leadership Ezell Fellow: Anna F. Ablamowicz, OD, FAAO, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

• Michael G. Harris Ezell Fellow: Alexandra E. Boehm, BS, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

• Optometric Glaucoma Society Ezell Fellow: Jack Phu, B. Optom, MPH, FAAO, University of New South Wales School of Optometry

• Vision Impact Institute Ezell Fellow: Preeji S. Mandathara, BSc, MSc, University of New South Wales School of Optometry

This year’s Ezell Fellows will be honored at the AOF’s Annual Celebration Luncheon on Nov. 12, 2016 during the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting being held in Anaheim, CA.

Primary Eyecare Network to Hold Webinar Series on Practice Management

Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB Optical Group, is presenting a new webinar series focused on creating practice excellence. Presented by HOYA Vision Care Director of Professional Affairs Greg Hicks, OD, this course will highlight the daily challenges that optometric practices face and will offer solutions to address those challenges.

The series is free for PEN members and costs $15 per webinar for participants who are not members of the network. Each class is from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PDT. The series lineup includes:

    • July 19 – Building a Blue Light Practice

    • August 16 – The Importance of Position of Wear

To register for the webinar series or for more information, visit or e-mail


CooperVision’s Biofinity XR Toric is now available nationwide. The lens was originally announced in January, when it was introduced to only select practices as manufacturing ramped up. A broader rollout was initiated in April, and now the lens is available to all eyecare practitioners nationwide. Biofinity XR toric is a fully cast-molded, made-to-order lens that incorporates the same uniform horizontal ISO thickness and optimized ballast band design as Biofinity toric. The lens also feature CooperVision’s Aquaform Technology. The full parameter range of the Biofinity XR Toric appeared in the April Product Spectrum.

Visionary Optics recently announced special offers for graduating or recently graduated optometrists in the United States and Canada. Qualifying optometrists will have access to deeply discounted fitting sets and prescription lenses. To register for these special offers, visit

■ 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 topics, myopia control, orthokeratology, and lens care topics are welcome. The GSLS will be held Jan. 19 to 22, 2017 at The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. Visit for more information. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is Aug. 31, 2016.

Victor J. Connors, OD, a past president of the American Optometric Association (AOA), passed away on June 6, 2016, at the age of 68. Dr. Connors graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 1971 and opened a private practice that same year in Middleton, WI. Dr. Connors became an active civic and philanthropic leader, and he was elected president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association in 1987. He was instrumental in helping doctors of optometry gain prescribing privileges in Wisconsin and other states. He was elected the 82nd president of the AOA in 2003. Dr. Connors was influential in launching Optometry Giving Sight in the United States, serving as CEO between 2005 and 2010. In 2006, Dr. Connors was elected president of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), representing 78 member organizations and 250,000 doctors of optometry worldwide.

Allergan’s Combigan (brimonidine tartrate/timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) 0.2%/0.5% is now available in a new 15-mL bottle size—a full 90-day supply. Combigan is an alpha-adrenergic receptor agonist with a beta‐adrenergic receptor inhibitor indicated for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients who have glaucoma or ocular hypertension who require adjunctive or replacement therapy due to inadequately controlled IOP.

ABB Optical Group CEO and Founder Angel Alvarez received the Florida EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Award in the distribution and manufacturing category. The awards program, which is celebrating its 30th year, recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. As a leading distributor of optical products, ABB Optical Group supplies nearly two-thirds of eyecare professionals across the country with brand name contact lenses, custom specialty contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses, eyeglass fabrication, business-building tools, and more.

■ Ophthalmic diagnostic instrument maker Visiometrics ( has appointed Nick Levandowsky vice president, Global Marketing and North America Sales. In his new role, Mr. Levandowsky will be responsible for increasing worldwide adoption of Visiometrics’ HD Analyzer objective visual acuity system and the company’s Scatter technology. In the United States and Canada, Mr. Levandowsky will establish and develop the company’s sales channels for the HD Analyzer, providing product education and ongoing sales support. He will also be responsible for global marketing strategy and initiatives. Mr. Levandowsky brings more than 25 years of business development experience in the ophthalmology field.

Orbis unveiled its new Flying Eye Hospital at Los Angeles International Airport. More than six years in the making, the third-generation Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft. It features a modular design, 3D technology, and live broadcast capabilities. Visit