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GRANTS, LOANS AND JOB PLACEMENT FOR
OPTOMETRISTS AFFECTED BY HURRICANES
Optometry Rallies for Hurricane Relief
the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina, major optometric organizations swung
into action to provide relief to those affected in the Gulf states. The American
Optometric Association (AOA) estimates that more than 400 optometrists are in need
of immediate financial assistance, having lost practices and thus the means of generating
income. To help them as quickly as possible, the AOA's American Optometric Institute
(AOI), a non-profit corporation, has created an Optometric Disaster Relief Fund.
It offers immediate financial assistance for all optometrists who have suffered
the loss of, or severe damage to, their practice and/or home. Upon completion of
a brief grant application, the AOI will provide each O.D. with a $2,000 grant for
urgent needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
Additionally, the AOA's Optometry's Career Center (OCC) has launched
an effort to help displaced optometrists find practice opportunities. It will waive
all non-member usage fees through Dec. 9 and staff will work one-on-one with displaced
O.D.s to assess individual placement needs. Displaced eyecare professionals should
register online and contact OCC staff at (800) 365-2291 x107 or e-mail
Eyecare benefit provider Vision Service Plan (VSP) pledged
$15 million in monetary support and sight-related services for hurricane victims.
Its donations will help both optometrists and the sight-impaired, VSP says. Assistance
includes eyecare vouchers VSP is distributing with the Red Cross that entitle recipients
to a free eye exam and glasses and financial assistance to VSP-affiliated doctors
in those areas for a damaged or closed practice. There's also a mobile services
program to meet the needs of individuals unable to travel in the affected areas.
The Vision Council of American (VCA) established the Vision Alliance
and Relief Fund, which will collect funds through the vision community and match
donations up to $150,000. VCA also plans to serve as a clearing house for those
who wish to donate optical products or services once the rebuilding process begins.
Other optical companies, such as ABB Optical, are also helping.
ABB announced that it is sponsoring an employee drive to collect cash and dry goods
for victims of the hurricanes, and will contribute $5 for every $1 donated by its
employees to the relief effort.
CARE INSTITUTE EXPANDS IN FLORIDA AND OPENS DOORS
Vistakon Institutes Go Global
unveiled its expanded The Vision Care Institute (TVCI) in Jacksonville, Fla. in
August. The centerpiece of the expansion is the Sullins Training Theatre, a 105-seat
facility that features a 7'-by-12' projection screen that's linked to six examination
rooms. The theater enables more than 100 students to observe TVCI faculty guiding
them through real-life scenarios, instead of just two or three students in the exam
rooms. The theatre also allows for long-distance learning by satellite transmission.
It was named in honor of the late Navy Rear Admiral W. David Sullins, Jr., O.D.
The expansion created four new conference rooms as well,
each named for a pioneer in optometry. These include Dr. Mollie Wright Armstrong,
one of the first female O.D.s in the United States, Dr. George Mertz, a 2003 inductee
in the Optometry Hall of Fame, and Dr. Terrance Ingraham, the first African-American
to graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Optometry.
This unveiling was followed by the launch of the first Vision
Care Institutes in Asia a few weeks later. Vistakon says that the new facilities
in Seoul, Korea and Taipei, Taiwan will focus on upgrading the skills of eyecare
professionals with innovative education techniques. In Taiwan, currently only about
40% of opticians receive formal professional contact lens education.
POP OFFERS GUIDANCE
the Independent O.D.
Proactive Optometric Physicians
(POP) is a new group that supports the interests of indepen-dent, private practitioners
with consulting services and expert advice. The group's focus is on helping O.D.s
build their practices and provide quality care in a private practice setting. Members
gain access to nationally-recognized industry experts for advice on clinical, practice
management, legal and financial issues. Consultants include Charles Brownlow, O.D.,
John Classe, O.D., J.D., Richard Hom, O.D., Ian Lane, O.D., Tom Miller, O.D., Stuart
Richer, M.S., O.D., Ph.D., Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., Floyd Woods, O.D., Gil Weber,
M.B.A. and Kenneth Rudzinksi, C.F.P.
In addition, POP's partners offer members discounts on a wide
range of products and services. Three levels of membership are open to optometrists
and students. Visit www.proactod.org.
Hybrid Contact Lens Comes to U.S.
SynergEyes Inc. received FDA clearance
for its hybrid contact lens, the SynergEyes A. It corrects hyperopic, myopic and
astigmatic refractive errors, including presbyopia, and features a high Dk rigid
GP center with a hydrophilic, non-ionic soft skirt. The company says the Synerg-Eyes
A will also correct ametropia from -20.00D to +20.00D with up to 6.00D astigmatism.
By Bob Levoy,
How do you determine if a newly-hired
team member is right for the job for which you hired him or her and equally
important, right for your practice? Many practice owners use a probationary period
(typically 30-90 days) during which a newly-hired employee's job performance is
The following are among the parameters typically used for such
completion: It helps to have mutually agreed-upon goals for measuring an employee's
success on the job during the first 30 to 90 days. These can involve quantity, quality
or a combination of the two. The clearer these are, the less chance there is for
Does the person come to work on time and appear motivated and energetic? Is he or
she eager to learn? Take on more responsibility?
skills: Almost every job requires some ability to analyze and solve problems. If
the employee continually asks basic questions, he or she may lack required problem-solving
with co-workers: Getting along with other team members, pitching in when needed
and meshing with the culture of the practice is critical to morale and efficiency.
A person may have the right skills and experience but if there's not a good fit
with the team, major problems can ensue.
compatibility: In a service-oriented practice, complaints from patients about new
employees are very significant. Don't be the last to know if a newly-hired team
member is undermining your practice.
Admittedly, such evaluations tend to be subjective. Consider asking
other team members to rate the newly-hired person. It will eliminate the bias that
you alone might have while giving your staff an important role in a decision that
affects their work.
Reality check: No matter how adept you are at interviewing
job applicants, there will always be a few who just don't make the grade. And the
longer you delay confronting the issue, the more impact it will have on your practice.
Highest in Member Satisfaction
J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Vision Service Plan (VSP) highest in overall
member satisfaction among national vision plans. This is the second year the marketing
firm has awarded a distinction to the eye care benefits industry and the second
year VSP has been recognized. J.D. Power measured member satisfaction in the areas
of overall satisfaction, coverage and benefits, customer service, doctor network
and clinical service, cost and eyewear purchase experience. VSP currently covers
more than 14 million members across the country, or one of every eight people.
Results from OM Quick Poll:
recently asked our Web site visitors what was their
greatest challenge in staffing. Here's how they answered
(Results as of September 30, 2005)
contact lens is here. Bausch & Lomb's Nike MAXSIGHT (polymacon) Sport-Tinted
contact lens is now commercially available in the United States and Europe. The
contact lens comes in two activity-dependent tints and are indicated for daily wear
for the correction of myopia and hyperopia; they're also available in plano prescriptions.
Optical, Eyefinity make a deal. The two companies announced an agreement to develop
a new interface to expedite the processing of prescription lab orders placed on Eyefinity. Eyefinity will also provide marketing services for Walman's network of
Two Visual Pathways Inc. instruments were missing
from the Retinal Cameras section of the Diagnostic Instrument Buying Guide, which
was distributed with the July issue of Ophthalmology Management/Optometric Management.
Here are the listings as they should have appeared.
Visual Pathways Inc.
334 White Spar Road
Prescott, AZ 86330-4238
(928) 778-5004 (fax)
Warranty: 2 years
Type: Digital; high-res; nonmyd (4mm); constant base stereo
Field of View: 30�; up to 11 targets covering > 70� on retina
Number/Type of Ports: 4 USB; ethernet; RS232: DIN; analog video
out; digital video out; sound; telemedicine ready
Flash stimulus: n/a
Video Capacity: no
Additional Features: Little operator training required; automation
of virtually all steps in imaging process including pupil alignment, tracking, fundus
alignment, focus, exposure, illumination; auto-wavelength selection for IR, red1,
red2, red-free; ConstantBaseStereo; Biochromatic Image Navigation; color adjustments;
image comparisons; internal computer; automatic paralleled image file backup system.
►Model: Aris 110
Warranty: 2 years
Type: Same as Aris 70
Field of view: 30�; up to 26 targets covering >110� on retina
Number/Type of Ports:
same as Aris 70
Flash Stimulus: n/a
Video Capacity: no
Additional Features: Same as Aris 70.
RECEIVES POSITIVE MARKS
Lens Rolls out in Southern Cal.
The iZon wavefront-guided spectacle
lens was successfully launched in southern California, reports Ophthonix, the developer
of the lens. Nearly 1,000 patients are wearing the lens, which was introduced in
the second quarter of 2005, according to Ophthonix President and Chief Executive
Officer Andreas Dreher, Ph.D., in mid-September.
correcting higher-order aberrations, the lens demonstrated an improvement in visual
acuity, low contrast visual acuity and mid-frequency contrast sensitivity, according
to clinical testing that included both myopic and emmetropic patients. Research
indicates that 70% of emmetropes and 90% of myopes have higher-order aberrations,
which may affect clarity of vision, said Dr. Dreher.
The company will continue its regional roll out of the lens and
plans to launch it across the country in 2006. Ophthonix will introduce a progressive
version of the lens later that year. The wavefront-guided lens is produced with
a wavefront prescription provided by the Z-View aberrometer and the company's iZonik
lens material (a 1.6 high-index super hydrophobic material with anti-reflective
coating). For more information, go to
Optometric Management, Issue: October 2005