News

July 17, 2019

Trivia Fact: Today, July 17, is World Emoji Day. Emojis related to optometry include an eye, glasses and sunglasses. Why not check out your smartphone to see what else may be available?
 
AOA Passes Eight Resolutions at Optometry’s Meeting

The 122ndAOA Congress adopted several resolutions focused on advancing optometric practice and public access to eye care before adjourning at Optometry’s Meeting, which took place June 19 to June 23, in St. Louis.

“ . . . This year’s session was exceptionally productive with the approval of eight policy-based resolutions, including one aimed at taking on the special interests lobbying Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to undermine the standard of care America’s veterans need and deserve,” says  Barbara L. Horn, O.D., AOA President. 

The resolutions:
  1. American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) support. The AOA resolved to recognize the AOSA’s renewed dedication and commitment to the success of its membership, the AOA itself and the optometric profession, and it requested that all AOA-affiliated groups recognize the student association’s achievements and reward the group’s efforts by enhancing outreach to recent optometry school and college graduates and current students.   
  2. MIPS activity credit. The organization resolved to have its membership engage with non-O.D.s in their communities to inform them of the need and value of comprehensive eye health care, as well as the MIPS activity credit available to these non-O.D.s.
  3. MIPS registry/participation. The AOA resolved to support utilization of AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) (https://bit.ly/2xK73nC), voluntary MIPS participation by doctors not required to do so and the reporting of MIPS data to the registry by current MIPS program participants vs. through the CMS site.
  4. Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR) program. The organization resolved to cheer the success of this program, along with the O.D.s, among others, who have supported it. Further, the AOA resolved to recognize OFDR as the primary charity that supports optometrists and optometry students who have endured hardships due to natural disasters and to encourage all AOA members and supporters to donate to OFDR. 
  5. State scope-of-practice issues. The AOA resolved to amend its 1996 resolution to support state scope-of-practice issues to not only continue to encourage AOA-affiliated organizations to use the resources created by the Advanced Procedure and Future Practice Education Task Force (https://bit.ly/2Jsbryq) and the Future Practice Initiative (https://bit.ly/30qWulU), but also embolden AOA-affiliated groups to promote the resources to their members, while the AOA Board of Trustees continues to look into methods of helping the state associations defend and expand their scope of practice to meet the skillset of optometrists.
  6. Think About Your Eyes campaign. The organization resolved that its members utilize the campaign’s resources to prompt patients to seek comprehensive eye health exams (https://bit.ly/2XDW12Z). 
  7. United in Possibilities Campaign support.The organization resolved to call upon AOA-affiliated groups to adopt and actively support this campaign, which was created to better educate potential AOA members of the organization’s benefits (https://bit.ly/2S5ICdT). 
  8. US Veteran’s standard of care safeguard. The AOA resolved that it applaud optometrists who provide comprehensive eye health care to US veterans, recognize AOA member and affiliated groups for their efforts in protecting the standard of care given to US veterans, and that the AOA and affiliated groups continue to work together on and prioritize protecting this standard of care.

Association news
  • American Academy of Optometry has recognized the following award recipients for 2019: Raymond A. Applegate, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Susan A. Cotter, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O., Uduak C. Udom, O.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.O., Thomas R. Stelmack, O.D., F.A.A.O., J. Daniel Twelker, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Andrew D. Pucker, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Rami Aboumourad, O.D., Thomas G. Quinn, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O., Thomas A. Aller, O.D., F.B.C.L.A., Maria Liu, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Christine Wedsoet, DipAppSci(Optom), Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Heather A. Anderson, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Donald O. Mutti, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Philip B. Morgan, Ph.D., M.C.Optom., F.A.A.O., S. Barry Eiden, O.D., F.A.A.O., and Robert N. Kleinstein, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O. 

Company news
  • CooperVision has appointed Joel Kamp as U.S. Commercial Director at Paragon Vision Sciences, a part of CooperVision’s Specialty EyeCare division. In the role, Mr. Kamp is responsible for sales and marketing strategy and execution, including enhanced support for ECP-centered initiatives. 
  • Costa’s Waterwoman frame won the title of Best of Category – Eyewear during the International Convention of Allied Sportsfishing Trades (ICAST) 2019 New Product Showcase Awards in Orlando. The honor marks Costa’s first female style that has won an ICAST award. 
  • MediXall Group Inc announced its plans to launch Vision Services throughout Florida through its online healthcare marketplace platform beginning Aug. 1. Visit www.medixall.com for more information.
  • National Vision Holdings Inc.hosted more than 1,000 optometrists from its affiliated practices during the company’s annual Continuing Education Symposium June 1 to 4 in Dallas. The event provided 22 hours of COPE-approved CE over a three-day period, as well as business updates and presentations. 
  • Transitions Optical has launched a refreshed PRO website with resources for eyecare professionals at TransitionsPro.com. Available are downloadable resources to educate teams, market practices and talk to patients. In related news, Transitions Academy 2020 will be held Feb. 2 to Feb. 5 at JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla., 
  • Trefoil Therapeutics raised $29 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing. The company is developing novel engineered fibroblast growth factor-1 proteins as a regenerative pharmacologic therapy to treat serious corneal endothelial diseases and epithelial disorders. Financing included new investors Bios Partners and Access Biotechnology. 
  • X-Cel Specialty Contacts announced that it has divested Hydrogel Vision Corporation, the manufacturer of the Extreme H20 brand of disposable contact lenses, to Clerio Vision, a developer of laser-branded vision correction solutions. The move allows X-Cel to focus on the expansion of specialty lens designs. For Clerio, the acquisition brings together Hydrogel Vision Corporation’s manufacturing and distribution of contact lenses with Clerio’s product pipeline. 
  • Zeiss completed the “steel topping out” phase of its high-tech site in the San Francisco Bay Area. The new site in Dublin is an element in a string of international projects aimed at expanding, modernizing and realigning sites that Zeiss has been implementing in various locations. The new center is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Myopia
  • The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) has enlisted Golin, a public relations agency, to establish GMAC’s communications strategy for raising awareness of myopia. Through research, education and promotion, Golin and GMAC will share information through various consumer, government, NGO and healthcare professional channels. Engaging with Golin shows GMAC’s “commitment to educate the public about pediatric myopia,” says Matt Oerding, chairman of GMAC and co-founder of Treehouse Eyes. “Golin’s proven experience in implementing cause-related campaigns will accelerate our efforts to have parents bring their children to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam, and be more receptive to considering myopia treatment,” Mr. Oerding says.
 
New products
  • Silk, from Signet Armorlite, is a premium Kodak AR Lens Coating. The ultra-slick topcoat enhances AR lenses and features a lens surface that repels oil, water and particles and minimal deterioration, among others. For more visit KodakLens.com/pro or www.signetarmorlite.com.  
  • Xelpros Xpress, from Sun Ophthalmics, is an access program for patients prescribed Xelpros (latanoprost ophthalmic emulsion 0.005%), recently FDA approved for the reduction of elevated IOP in those with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Through Xpress, patients who have a prescription can obtain Xelpros for a fixed price of $55 for a single month or $37 per month for a three-month supply. Eye care professionals and patients can obtain more information at www.xelpros.com.
  • Clarus 700, from Zeiss, is a high-definition, ultra-widefield imaging device with true color and a range of fundus imaging modalities, including fluorescein angiography. It has received FDA clearance. 

Research
  • Genentech and Roche have completed patient enrollment in the Phase 3 Archway clinical trial investigating the port delivery system with ranibizumab in people who have wet AMD. The port delivery system is a refillable eye implant designed to continuously release a customized formulation of ranibizumab over a period of months.