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O.D. Notebook: Trivia Facts and the Latest Industry News

Trivia Fact: As April 24 is International Guide Dogs Day, we recognize Guide Dogs of America, which was created more than 70 years ago. To read more about the history of the organization, visit https://bit.ly/2XGk4tC.
 
Associations
  • The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry announced recipients of the 2019 Special Recognition Awards. They include: Dr. Arol Augsburger, President Emeritus of Illinois College of Optometry, who receives the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Diane Russo, O.D., M.P.H., who receives the Rising Star Award; Richard E. Weisbarth, vice president, professional affairs U.S. Vision Care of Alcon, who receives the Ophthalmic Industry Leadership Award; Drs. Mark Dunne and Bhavna Pancholi of Aston University, who receive the Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence; and Negar Sohbati, who receives the Student Award in Clinical Ethics. 
Companies
  • Avellino Labs announced the addition of James (Jim) V. Mazzo to its board of directors. He brings more than 38 years of experience in ophthalmic organizations. In related news, the company announced that Eric Bernabei has joined Avellino as chief sales and marketing officer. He brings more than 20 years of clinical and commercial ophthalmic experience to the role. 
  • Yolande Barnard has been appointed vice president and general manager U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Bausch + Lomb. She most recently served as vice president, marketing and sales, U.S. neurology for Bausch Health. Chris Marschall has been promoted to vice president and general manager of U.S. Consumer Health Care. He most recently served as vice president, marketing for Bausch + Lomb’s U.S. Consumer Health Care. In other news, the company’s recycling program ONE by ONE has recycled more than 9.2 million units of used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils in three years. 
  • CooperVision employees were set to celebrate Earth Day 2019 with several programs and projects. In Puerto Rico, the company hosted more than 300 public high school students in a program called Science and Technology Exhibition: A Look at the Planet. At the event, employees and science educators from EcoExploratorio museum came together to provide on-site chemistry, biology and environmental science laboratories to the students. Also, in Rochester, N.Y., the company’s sites are participating in the E-Scrap for Camp project. Each facility will collect a range of electronics from employees, friends and family, which are then safely and responsibly recycled. Every pound gathered results in a donation to Camp Good Days, which helps to improve quality of life for those touched by cancer. 
  • Essilor has been recognized by Global Equality Organization (GEO) for its digital solutions to promote employee shareholding. It’s the second year in a row the company has received this honor. The solutions were recognized for enhancing the effectiveness of the Boost 2018 international employee shareholding plan by facilitating employees' participation in the plan with simple and intuitive digital subscription tools. Additionally, EssilorLuxottica Nomination and Compensation Committee has retained two recruitment agencies to assist in finding candidates to serve as CEO. The committee expects to have this person appointed by the end of 2020. 
  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals highlights two presentations scheduled for the 2019 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting. 1. Uveitis Clinical Epidemiology and Therapeutics session on Tuesday, April 30 at 4 p.m. by  Glenn J. Jaffe, M.D. and 2. Uveitis and Scleritis – Clinical Therapeutics and Checkpoint Inhibitors on Tuesday, April 30, at 11:45 a.m. 
  • Visioneering Technologies Inc. has created a new educational series for eye care practitioners featuring some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians. The first installment of the video series highlights the following speakers and topics: Prof. Earl Smith – Impact of Eye Growth, Disease States; Dr. Nicola Anstice – Contact Lenses and Safety with Children; Prof. Padmaja Sankaridurg – Future Prevalence and Implications of Myopia; Dr. Kate Gifford – Helping Parents Manage Childhood Myopia; and Dr. Sally Dillehay – Disease States and Impact of Genetics. The educational series is free and can be accessed at https://vtivision.uk/practitioners/educational-video-series/. Future video installments will include more on managing children and presbyopic adults in practice and will feature Prof. Lyndon Jones, Dr. Tom Arnold, Dr. Jeff Cooper, Dr. Brett O’Connor and Dr. Tom Aller, among others. 
New products
  • New Vario Digital FHD, from Eschenbach Optik of America, is a foldable desktop video magnifier that features a 15.6” HD monitor with optical zoom from 1.3x to 45x magnification and an FHD camera that provides a true color image with a large field of view. 
  • Spring/Summer 2019 eyewear collection, from Timberland, are made of at least 35% bio-based plastic material from renewable resources. The collection is divided into two families: 1. modern casual, which includes frames with a contemporary, smart attitude; and 2. heritage, which includes frames that ensure comfort, functionality and maximum active performance, the company says.  
School
  • SUNY College of Optometry hosted a groundbreaking for its new Center for Pediatric Eye Care. The 5,000 square foot facility on the 10thfloor of the college’s midtown Manhattan campus will consolidate pediatric-related services to accommodate a growing number of children and families requiring care at the University Eye Center. The new center is expected to open in early 2020. 
State news
California Optometric Associationannounced Ronald G. Seger, O.D., F.A.A.O., as the organization’s new president. Dr. Seger’s father, Charles E. Seger, O.D., F.A.A.O., served as president of COA in 1960.
 
Surgery 
  • Bausch + Lomb announced it will initiate a series of clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Technolas Teneo excimer laser for vision correction surgery for myopia and myopic astigmatism. The company expects these trials to begin by July. 
 
Updates from April 24
 
Trivia Fact: As April is Jazz Appreciation Month, we recognize Elliot J. Cane, O.D., a jazz trumpet player, who, in addition to practicing optometry, has played with an array of Latin bands, toured Japan with the "ska" band, Jump With Joey, and worked with the Beastie Boys, Beck, Bobby Matos and the Solsonics, among others. For additional information, visit www.drecaine.com/jazz-optometrist.html.

Last week's trivia question and answer! 
What 1980’s hit song’s lyrics discussed sunglass wear, and who sang it? 
Answer:“Sunglasses at Night” and Corey Hart

Associations
  • The American Academy of Optometry announced that Academy 2019 Orlando and World Council of Optometry will take place Oct. 23 to Oct. 27 with a compiled 450 hours of lectures and workshops, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, an exhibit hall and social events. More information and registration at aaopt.org/2019 or worldcongressofoptometry.org. In other news, the AAO announced the recipients of its 2019 Student Travel Fellowship Awards. The travel fellowships, supported by Johnson and Johnson Vision Care Inc., will allow five students to present their research at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2019 annual meeting. The 2019 recipients and their respective schools are Suman Adhikari, BOptom, University of Houston; Moonjung Choi, MS, Indiana University; Justin Courson, University of Houston; Nicole Karson, University of Houston; and Natalie Stepien-Bernabe, University of California, Berkeley. 
  • The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition provided an update to eye care industry at Vision Expo East. Updates, presented by Matt Oerding, the organization’s chairperson, included advances in message development, partnerships with creative partners and discussions with prominent industry bodies, to align, complement and coordinate ongoing efforts. More information about GMAC can be obtained by emailing managingdirector@worldoptometry.org. 
  • The Vision Council has planned National Sunglasses Day 2019 for June 27. The organization is offering resources on National SunglassesDay.com to help promote the event.  
Companies
  • Alcon is participating and promoting Presbyopia Awareness Month with Project Presbyopia, an ongoing effort to educate consumers about how to recognize signs and symptoms of vision changes, uncover more intuitive language for the condition and drive existing and emerging presbyopes into eye care practices. Among the assets available: this man-on-the-street video surveying presbyopes and 40thbirthday cards, which can be used to send to patients who are turning 40 this year to encourage them to give multifocal contact lenses a try. (The card also includes a free trial). Visit SeeNearandFar.com, or talk to your Alcon representatives for more information. 
  • Asepticys LLC announced the submission of its 510k application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a contact lens care solution containing TriFlect technology, a patent-protected biocidal compound. 
  • Clearside Biomedical, Inc. has appointed George Lasezkay, PharmD, JD, to the position of interim CEO, effective immediately. 
  • Euclid Systems will be hosting a webinar titled "Proactively Managing Myopia with Orthokeratology: Taking Your Practice from Good to Great" on April 23 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). This is the first program in a four-part series. During the webinar, David L. Kading, O.D., will discusses why implementing a proactive myopia management program into your practice is important, co-morbidities associated with the disease and simplified methods to get started with a myopia management program today. To register, visit https://euclidsys.zoom.us/webinar/register/183082299/
  • Guardion Health Sciences has closed its IPO of 1.25 million shares of its common stock at public offering price of $4 per share, with total gross proceeds of $5 million. Shares began trading on Nasdaq Capital Market on April 5 under the symbol GHSI.
  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticalsannounced a new pharmacy partnering program to further improve access to Avenova. It added six new pharmacy channel partners. Eyecare professionals can call (800) 890-0329 or email sales@avenova.com to learn more about local pharmacy partners. 
  • Topcon Medical Systems expanded its sales distribution network with new partnerships: Eastern Ophthalmic Supply & Repair, Knoxville, Tenn., and Gold Coast Ophthalmic, Boynton Beach, Fla. 
New products
  • PRO-B 300, from Essilor Instruments, is a blocker for high-volume labs. It offers an accurate, ergonomic design with fast operation to enhance efficiency, the company says. It is compatible with Essilor and Weco posiblock designs and is available with or without an embedded heavy-duty tracer. 
    EyeScreen Human + AI Diagnostic Service, from Eyenuk Inc., is a detection service for diabetic retinopathy that connects primary care/diabetes care clinics with eye care specialists and is designed to increase access to DR screenings.
  • Avaclyr, from Fera Pharmaceuticals, is acyclovir ophthalmic ointment 3%, a treatment for herpetic keratitis. The FDA recently approved the company’s NDA and granted it orphan drug exclusivity for seven years of exclusive marketing. 
  • Signet Armorelite Inc. has expanded the Kodak Lens portfolio with Kodak PowerUp Lens, a single vision lens offering two levels of power boost in the reading area, 0.40 D and 0.66 D. They are available in clear, photochromic, polarized and blue-light filtering lens options.  
Nonprofit
  • National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness is celebrating its 10thanniversary with its “Better Vision Together – Community Practice” program. The goal of the three-year project is to improve vision and eye health in at-risk minority and vulnerable populations of young children. The group is working with select groups to implement actions and solutions. More information can be found here: http://bit.ly/2UKnKO5
Research 
  • Researchers identified associations between glaucoma and abnormal sleep duration, sleep latency and daytime dysfunction; sleep parameters may be a risk factor for or a consequence of glaucoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Glaucoma
  • A study analyzing accuracy of popular online symptom checkers for ophthalmic diagnoses reveals that WebMD symptom checker may arrive at the correct clinical diagnosis for conditions, but a substantial proportion of diagnoses may not be captured. Findings suggest further research into internet diagnostic resources is required, according to JAMA Ophthalmology
Schools
  • New England College of Optometry inaugurated Howard B. Purcell, O.D., as the school’s 13thpresident.Dr. Purcell is a graduate of the program, continuing the legacy of his father, Saul Purcell, a graduate of the class of 1954. Dr. Purcell outlined his strategic priorities for the college to help “prepare today’s optometrists for tomorrow’s optometry.”
  • SUNY College of Optometry is honoring two men with honorary degrees at its 2019 commencement ceremony: Hubert Sagnieres, chairman of Essilor Group and executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, and Dr. Donald Hood, professor of psychology and professor of ophthalmic science at Columbia University.  
Updates from April 10

O.D. Notebook
 
Trivia: What 1980’s hit song’s lyrics discussed sunglass wear, and who sang it? 
See answer next week.

Last week's trivia question and answer!
The Major League Baseball player who recently turned in his glasses for photochromic contact lenses is Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper.

Alliances
  • Professional Eye Care Associates of America announced in March that through its Growing Through Giving Program, it had raised $116,000 in 2018. The benefactor of the proceeds was Optometry Giving Sight. Funds raised through the program will provide vision care to more than 23,000 children in underserved countries. 
Associations
  • The AOA and Optometry Cares selected four doctors of optometry to induct into the National Optometry Hall of Fame: Murray Fingeret, O.D., Donald Jarnagin, O.D., Michael Mittelman, O.D., and Glen Steele, O.D. Inductees will be honored at a ceremony during Optometry’s Meeting on June 20. In related news, the Association is honoring six individuals and a public health program at its annual awards. Optometrist of the Year: Ben Casella, O.D.; Young Optometrist of the Year Award, Jennifer Kohn, O.D.; Optometric Educator Award, Zanna Kruouch, O.D.; Paraoptometric of the Year Award, Melanie Jenkins, C.P.O., Paraoptometric Community Service Award, Marietta Richman; Distinguished Service Award, Mark Hennen, O.D.; Apollo Award, The Real Eyes Program of Ohio. 
  • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International announced that its NORA Weekly Digest newsletter, a weekly email news briefing to NORA members, is now available free to optometrists and other eyecare and allied healthcare professionals. To subscribe: https://nora.bulletinhealthcare.com/subscribe.
Company news
  • ABB Optical Group has announced a new senior vice president of operations: Tom Calhoun. 
  • Alcon debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ALC on April 9, indicating the completion of its separation from Novartis. Alcon has a global presence in 74 countries and serves patients in more than 140. Last year, Alcon had sales of $7.1 billion, including $4 billion in surgical, up 7 % from the prior year, and $3.1 billion in vision care, up 3%. The company is headquartered in Geneva, and also debuted on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Its Fort Worth, Texas facility will remain a major operation center. Additionally, the company launched a new global website, alcon.com. In related news, the company announces Timothy Stonesifer as chief financial officer. 
  • Asepticys, a developer of anti-infective pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products, has submitted its FDA 510k application for its contact lens care solution containing TriFlect (anti-infective) technology. The submission comes at the end of successful clinical trials of more than 320 patients at 12 sites.  
  • Avedro announced four new providers that have issued positive coverage policies for the corneal cross-linking procedure: Providence Health Plan in the Pacific Northwest; Health New England; HealthPartners Minnesota and Public Employees Health Plan in Utah. 
  • Avellino Labs has added James V. Mazzo to its board of directors. Mr. Mazzo is currently global president of ophthalmic devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec. 
  • CooperVision has converted its three Rochester, N.Y.-area sites to 100% renewable electricity usage locations. These include the Scottsville contact lens manufacturing plant, the West Henrietta global packaging and distribution operation and the Victor commercial center. 
  • Safilo Group received expressions of interest to purchase the Group’s Solstice retail business in the United States. After evaluation, the board of directors decided to proceed with the option to sell the assets of Solstice to a third party. The company considers probable a sale to be concluded within 2019. 
  • Transitions Optical debuted a revamped Eyeglass Guide with a new tool customizable to each eyecare practice that allows patients to create their own pair of eyeglasses based on their vision needs, eyeglass style and lifestyle preferences. Eyecare practices interested in their own personalized Eyeglass Builder URL can sign up at https://builder.eyeglassguide.com/admin.
New products
  • Essilor Sun Solution and its partners Peclers Parais and Mazzucchelli 1849 present the new Spring Summer 2020 lens collection for fashion. New trends for the release include powerful colors, mix and unmatch aesthetics free from assigned roles. Visit https://www.essilor-sunsolution.com
  • OCTaVIA, a visual reference OCT app, is now available on the Apple App Store free to eye care professionals and optometry/ophthalmology students. The app was developed by Elena Z Biffi, O.D., MSc, F.A.A.O., assistant professor, New England College of Optometry (NECO) and attending optometrist at South Boston Community Health Center to assist in the diagnosis and management of retinal disorders. 
Research
  • Older patients who have vision loss and are hospitalized for common disorders are often not identified as requiring special attention, which can affect outcomes, resource use and costs, according to JAMA Ophthalmology

Updates from April 3

Trivia: As Women’s History Month winds down, here’s our quiz this week! Match the women below with their corresponding “first” achievement:

Famous female Achievement
1. Jennifer Smythe Coyle, O.D.  A. Becomes the first female president of an optometry school in 1920
2. Dori Carlson, O.D. B. Becomes the first female licensed optometrist, circa 1899
3. Dr. Mae Booth-Jones C. Becomes the first female president of the American Academy of Optometry in 1993
4. Joan Exford, O.D. D. Becomes the first female president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry in 2013
5. Gertrude Stanton E. Becomes the  first female president of the American Optometric Association in 2011

Answers:  1.D, 2.E, 3.A, 4.C, 5.B
 
Associations
  • International Association of Contact Lens Educators announces 2019 winners as follows. IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year, Ruben Velazquez; IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year, Craig Woods; IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year, Fabrizio Zeri. Additionally, five travel awards funded by industry sponsors were awarded to: Joseph Afonne to attend the BCLA Clnical Conference & Exhibition; Fakhruddin Barodawala to attend Asia Pacific Optometric Congress; Maheswari Srinivasan to attend the AOCLE Annual Workshop, Pacific University; Wan-Yun (Connie) Tsung to attend the Asia Pacific Optometric Conference; and MA Yuying to attend Asia Pacific Optometric Congress. 
  • Vision Expo East 2019 saw an increase in overall attendance and optical buyers with more than 14,800 eyecare professionals from across the world. 
Company news
  • ABB Optical Group’s Primary Eyecare Network is offering several events in May! The Center for Paraoptometric Education workshop May 8 to 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; a frame adjusting workshop on May 22, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a frame selection workshop, on May 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. All take place at PEN Education Center, 1750 N. Loop Road in Alameda, Calif. To register, visit PrimaryEye.net, or email education@primaryeye.net
  • Ocutrx Vision Technologies have been issued a patent for the company’s augmented reality (AR) glasses with the company’s eye tracking technology for patients who have AMD and other low vision conditions. 
  • OneSight announced successful charitable clinics in Chicago and Al Mafraq, Jordan. More than 2,800 patients were provided with vision care, and 2,000 glasses were prescribed and distributed over a 10-day period. The initiative is part of OneSight’s efforts to reach 1.1 billion people in need of eye exams and glasses. 
  • RightEye has built an extensive database of more than one billion eye-tracking data points from more than 100,000 patient tests conducted using the RightEye system. Major research and health institutions, such as U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, University of Florida and Duke University, are using the company’s data to examine the eye-brain connection. 
New products
  • Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric contact lenses, from Alcon, are now available in extended parameters, including -2.25D cylinder, around-the-clock axes in core parameters and expanded high-minus sphere powers. 
  • Lotemax SM, from Bausch + Lomb, is a loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic get 0.38% gel formulation for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery. It is now launched in the U.S. 
  • Glaucoma Module Premium Edition, from Heidelberg Engineering, is a report available via a software update within the Spectralis OCT. The report highlights essential diagnostic information, accentuating the importance of high-resolution OCT B-Scans and the unique anatomy of each eye. 
  • Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, from Transitions Optical, and Johnson & Johnson Vision, are available in the U.S. as of April 1. 
 
Non-profit
  • More than 154 vision rehabilitation, research professionals and exhibitors attendedEnvision Conference East 2019 on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham March 22 to March 23. The event drew attendees from 24 states to learn the causes, impact and rehabilitative and research opportunities tied to low vision. The next Envision Conference will take place Oct. 5 to Oct. 6 at the College of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences’ in Pomona, Calif. Learn more at https://university.envisionus.com/Conference.
Research notes
  • A study found that contact lens delivery of a therapeutic agent for ocular allergy delivers comparable results to direct topical drug delivery, suggesting that a combination lens/ketoifen antihistamine can provide a means of simultaneous vision correction and treatment for contact lens wearers who have ocular allergies, according to Cornea
State news
  • California legislature has introduced a bill, Assembly Bill 1467, which would amend Section 3041 of the Business and Professions Code, to “authorize an optometrist to provide services set forth in a delegation of services agreement, as defined, between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist.” The bill is currently in committee and scheduled for hearing April 23. Read the full text here: http://bit.ly/2FNjYc5. 
 
For more from industry and around eye care, see March’s O.D. Notebook