Leading Off

Optometry Student Selected as Google Glass Explorer; Glaucoma Screening Statement and more.

Leading Off


Optometry Student “Explores” the Future With Prototype Glasses

■ Like the majority of students in optometry school, Elyse Kleifgen recently needed assistance when she was testing a patient. Perhaps unlike any other student, Ms. Kleifgen got that assistance quickly without an instructor in sight… thanks to her glasses.

“Dr. (Bruce) Morgan let me perform a cover test on a patient, and during the process I had a question for him,” explains Ms. Kleifgen, a second-year student at State University - Michigan College of Optometry (MCO). “Rather than excusing myself from the patient to go to his office, I video conferenced him with Google Glass, and he could see the patient the exact way I was seeing the patient. He answered my question fast.”

Ms. Kleifgen is one of 8,000 selected by Google to test its Google Glass prototype (augmented reality eyewear) as a Google Glass “Explorer.” Ms. Kleifgen says she has been working with Dr. Morgan, and Craig Norman, FCLSA, of MCO’s Vision Research Institute (VRI) on the device’s optometric applications since June.

“I believe Glass’ capabilities fit nicely with optometry,” explains Mr. Norman. “First, it allows the practitioner to view pathology images while examining the patient, aiding in a definitive diagnosis and management. Second, it enables the practitioner to spend more face time with the patient because he/she doesn’t have to turn away to look at a computer to access such images.”

Ms. Kleifgen and other Explorers were selected from their applications of 50 words or less, sent through Google+ or Twitter, that explained how they would use the device. “I tweeted, ‘#ifihadglass optometry would evolve. I could capture exactly what I see for diagnosis, treatment and research #eyes.’”

Dr. Morgan and Mr. Norman e-mailed MCO students encouraging them to apply, adding that VRI would pay the $1,500 required to purchase the prototype.


“Explorer” Elyse Kleifgen uses Google Glass during an examination of a fellow student.

AOA Announces Officers and Awards

■ Mitchell T. Muson, O.D., Highlands Ranch, Col., was sworn in as president of the American Optometric Association at Optometry’s Meeting in San Diego. Other officers elected to the 2013-2014 term include: President-Elect David A. Cockrell, O.D., Vice President Steven A. Loomis, O.D., Secretary-Treasurer Andrea Thau, O.D. Drs. Robert Layman and Greg A. Caldwell were also appointed to the AOA Board. Ronald L. Hopping, O.D., assumes the office of immediate past president.

During the recent meeting, the AOA also announced its 2013 award winners. These include:

► Distinguished Service Award — Thomas L. Lewis, O.D., Ph.D. Under his leadership as president, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry grew to become Salus University.

► Optometrist of the Year Award — Neil Draisin, O.D. Dr. Draisin is not only a mentor, but an advocate for children’s vision.

► Young OD of the Year Award — Sandra Fortenberry, O.D., F.A.A.O. Dr. Fortenberry helped the new Rosenberg School of Optometry partner with organized optometry, industry and faculty.

► Optometric Educator Award — Michael Earley, O.D., Ph.D. Dr. Earley, assistant dean for Clinical Services at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, is a teacher, lecturer, advisor, clinician and researcher.

► Apollo Award — Sen. Tom Harkin. Sen. Harkin advocated for greater access to comprehensive eye and vision care by U.S. optometrists.

► Paraoptometric of the Year — Amy Godeaux, C.P.O.T. Ms. Godeaux more than doubled the membership of the Louisisa Paraoptometric Association in less than two years.


American Academy of Optometry Names 2013 Award Winners

■ The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) has announced its 2013 award recipients, all of whom are recognized for having made innumerous contributions to elevate the optometric profession, the AAO says.

The award recipients (listed below) will be recognized at the AAO’s annual meeting, Oct. 23 to Oct. 26 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Wash. Visit for additional information.

The award winners:

• Gordon E. Legge, Ph.D.: Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

• David B. Elliott, Ph.D., MCOptom, F.A.A.O.: Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture (American Optometric Foundation Award)

• Pete Kollbaum, O.D., Ph.D, F.A.A.O.: Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award

• George Woo, O.D., Ph.D, F.A.A.O.: AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry

• Sandra Block, O.D., MEd, F.A.A.O.: Carel C. Koch Memorial Award

• Krystal L. Schulle, O.D.: Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics (American Optometric Foundation Award)

• Murray Fingeret, O.D., F.A.A.O.: Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award

• Louis J. Catania, O.D., F.A.A.O.: Eminent Service Award

• Anthony P. Cullen, O.D., Ph.D, F.A.A.O., and Michael G. Harris, O.D., J.D., F.A.A.O.: Life Fellow Award

• Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, M.I.P., Ph.D; Leslie Donovan, BOptom; Saulius Varnas, Ph.D; Arthur Ho, Ph.D, F.A.A.O.; Xiang Chen, MS; Aldo Martinez, Ph.D, F.A.A.O.; Scott Fisher, BScPsych; Zhi Lin, MSc; Earl L. Smith, III, O.D., Ph.D, F.A.A.O.; Jian Ge, M.D.; and Brien A. Holden, Ph.D, DSc, F.A.A.O.: Garland W. Clay Award

• Barbara Junghans, BOptom, Ph.D, F.A.A.O.: Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education (American Optometric Foundation Award)

• Lyndon W. Jones, Ph.D, FCOptom, F.A.A.O.: Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award (Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies Award)

• Pat Caroline, F.A.A.O., Mark P. Andre, F.A.A.O., and Craig Norman: Founders’ Award (Section on cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies Award)


Telescopic CL In The Works

U.S. and Swiss researchers are developing a telescopic contact lens paired with modified 3D TV glasses, which may augment vision in ocular disease patients, says a University of California, San Diego (UCSD) press release.

“While there is a great deal of work still ahead, we see a clear path to a comfortable low-vision aid powered by a contact lens, which will help a significant number people who have impaired vision,” explains Joseph Ford, professor of electrical engineering at UCSD and principal investigator of the contact lens project.