MOA 2004 Convention

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					MOA 2004 Convention                   State Board
Come and Enjoy First-Class Education, Rules on Doctor
Great Comraderie, and Celebrate       Responsibility in
MOA’s 2004 Award Winners              Blue Cross Suit
                                                                                               In a letter dated August 6, the Maryland
It is that time of year again when                                                             State Board of Examiners in Optometry
the MOA family gathers in                                                                      ruled that optometrists within the state are
Baltimore for the Annual Conven-                                                               “ultimately responsible for all of the prod-
tion. This year’s convention, a                                                                ucts and services that the optometrist
who’s who of optometry in                                                                      provides and authorizes.”
Maryland, will be held November
20-21 at the Hyatt Regency                                                                     This ruling comes after the Maryland
Baltimore.                                                                                     Optometric Association (MOA), who is
                                                                                               currently in a legal battle with Blue
We have an exciting program                                                                    Cross/Blue Shield, inquired if state
planned for you with 12 hours of                                                               optometrists were legally responsible for the
COPE approved continuing                                                                       accuracy, quality and speed of delivery of
education (ten TPA qualified and                                                               any lenses they prescribe. This ruling
two contact lens).                                                                             strengthens the case brought against Blue
                                                                                               Cross/Blue Shield by the MOA regarding
This year’s speakers bring you up to date on the latest information regarding diagnos-         their new vision plan provider, Davis Vision.
ing and treating dry eye syndrome, the management of glaucoma and ocular infec-
tion, dealing with corneal dystrophies, and contact lens topics including soft and rigid       “One of our biggest issues with the new plan
options for your patients.                                                                     Blue Cross has with Davis Vision is that
                                                                                               individual private practice optometrists
You will also receive an update on the legislative efforts on your behalf in the state of      would no longer have any control over the
Maryland. This is a convention designed with your entire staff in mind.                        quality of the product they are giving to their
                                                                                               patients,” said MOA President, Dr. Michael
Once again we will be holding the Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday night at                    Sless. “We now have a direct ruling from the
the Center Club on the 16th floor of the Legg Mason building in downtown                       board stating that doctors are ultimately
Baltimore. Join us for an elegant evening of fellowship while we honor the best                responsible for the product, so therefore we
optometry has to offer.                                                                        need to make sure that Blue Cross gives us
                                                                                               the oversight that we require to ensure
                              (Further information on page 5)                                  quality prescriptions.”

  Inside                MOA Healthy Eyes
                        Program Needs YOU!     3      OptoEast Offers
                                                      Dynamic Education.    3       Protect Our Future -
                                                                                    Sign Up for InfantSEE!   5   Dr. Richard Piel
                                                                                                                 Retires After 52 Years   7
               Maryland Optometric Association • 720 Light Street • Baltimore, MD 21230 • 410-727-7800 •
                                                                           President’s Focus
 MOA Eyewitness
   A Bi-monthly Publication of                   MOA Completing
     Maryland Optometric
         Association                                 Busy 2004
                                                  With Eyes on 2005
           720 Light Street
        Baltimore, MD 21230
          Fax: 410-752-8295                                                 Michael Sless, O.D.

                                                           e begin the 4th quarter of the year with quite a lot on our plate. October 1 is                             the beginning of the “new” Blue Cross-Davis plan which most of us are not
                                                           in. What impact will this have on your practice? I do know that our Associa-
    Executive Committee                       tion is actively working to ensure that we will be able to have access to our patients, and
                                                                      to continue rendering care at the highest levels. I feel confident
           Michael Sless, O.D.                                        that we have a great team of legal counsel, professional executive
                 President                                            leadership, and public relations. These are well spent MOA funds
         Elizabeth McGinn, O.D.                                       to preserve independent private practice Optometry. We are also
              President-Elect                                         hopeful that we have started the ball rolling for other state
           Thomas Wong, O.D.                                          associations to stop unfair competition and preferred “class”
            1st Vice President                                        status.
        Robert Schwartz, Jr., O.D.
                                                                     This fall, our legislators will be hearing from us. This means you!
            2nd Vice President
                                                                     The word is getting out; we are a faction to be dealt with in
          Robert Stutman, O.D.                Annapolis! Under the direction of Dr. Rob Stutman and our lobbying team, we are
                 Secretary                    gearing up for our 2004-05 campaign. Using the same method as previous years doesn’t
          Christine King, O.D.                work. Only a “full court press” grass roots approach will win. We still need money, but
                 Treasurer                    the personal contacts are worth as much or more. Either you have the time or the money,
           Jeffrey Poland, O.D.               or fortunately for some, both! Either way, we need a group effort. We need to be able to
              Past President                  prescribe STEROIDS!!!

                                              Drs. Lisa McGinn and Tom Wong, as well as others are leading the way with our
  Local Society Presidents                    Healthy Eyes activities. They have done a great service teaching school nurses about
                                              screening, an ongoing successful project. They attended the AOA meeting again as
 Anne Arundel      Jo Anne Brilliant, O.D.    representatives for us in Maryland. Also, we have a national leader in the AOA
 Greater Baltimore     Lori Sportelli, O.D.   Infantsee program in Dr. Paul Harris. Look for more in 2005.
 Central Maryland        John Burns, O.D.
                                              Most of all, we need to actively communicate with our peers. It’s great to see you all at
 Eastern Shore         James Nickol, O.D.
                                              CE classes, meetings, and of course our Fall Convention. I personally enjoy the oppor-
 Frederick County Gerald Frishman, O.D.       tunity to share ideas, and to be with others who spend as much time as I do practicing
 North East             Jerry Wassell, O.D.   our profession. I’m always able to come away with something new to use in the office.
 Western Maryland Jeffrey Poland, O.D.        Plan to attend local meetings. There will be several in your area in the coming year. Our
                                              vendors are happy to sponsor and support us. Please feel free to express your opinions
                                              and to ask questions of myself, or any board members when you see us at seminars and
                  Staff                       meetings.

           Thomas C. Shaner                            — Michael Sless, O.D.
           Executive Director
            Megan Holmes
           Associate Director                  UPCOMING EVENTS AT A GLANCE
            Monica Shaner                      Oct. 28-31         2004 OptoEast                                           Atlantic City
          Financial Manager
                                               Nov. 20-21         2004 MOA Convention and CE Forum                        Baltimore
             Eric Grammer
        Communications Manager                 Check for further details

2 | MOA Eye Witness
CMOS          School Nurses Receive
Continues     Training to Detect Vision
County Fair Disorders in Children
Participation                                              Recognizing recent studies that indicate vision problems affect the learning
Central Maryland Optometric Society              abilities of 25 percent of school age children, the Maryland State Department of
(CMOS) members and their colleagues              Education has joined with the Maryland Optometric Association (MOA) to help
participated for the 22nd year in the Mont-      train school nurses so they can more effectively detect childhood vision disorders.
gomery County Fair 4H vision screening.                    Doctors of Optometry belonging to the MOA are providing a series of free
Originally developed by Walter Kaplan,           vision screening training sessions for the nurses. The first session of nearly 40
O.D., this screening allowed optometrists to     school nurses was held in late August. Two more sessions are planned for Septem-
work with 4H youngsters who were learning        ber and October. They will take place at the Faulkner Ridge Staff Development
about the importance of vision and how           Center in Columbia.
uncorrected refractive errors and binocular                “While the most thorough method of detection would be a full examination
vision problems can impact vision and the        by an optometrist or ophthalmologist,” said Dr. Thomas Wong, an optometrist in
quality of life. This screening was designed     Rockville, “it is important that vision screeners know how to detect some of the more
to enrich their understanding of vision’s role   significant conditions. Traditional vision screenings often miss these conditions
in the health H of the 4H’s.                     because school nurses get very little training on the proper way to perform the tests.”
                                                           The MOA’s training sessions include both lecture and hands-on experi-
Drs. Chris and Kevin King co-chaired the         ences. The project is part of optometric profession’s “Healthy Eyes Healthy People”
event. They were assisted by Dr. Walter and      initiative to improve the vision health of the community.
Mrs. Benita Kaplan and by Drs. Bob                         MOA’s president-elect, Dr. Lisa McGinn of Towson, who was a nurse prior
Teunis, Mark Teunis, Lauren Rubin, Kim           to becoming an optometrist, developed the idea of training the school nurses. “With
and Dave Kepner, Barbara Johnson,                80 percent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years of life occurring through the
Andrew Berger, Gabriela Miller, Dewey            visual process, we wanted to assist the school nurses so that they could better detect
Teunis, Tom Wong, Hannah Yecheskel,              problems early so that proper treatment could be given.”
Susan Fong, Jackie Doerr, Valerie Seligson                 School nurses who participated in the MOA’s first training session re-
and Sheila Wood. The CMOS team                   marked that they had learned how to screen younger children, facts about common
provided 45 hours of screening during the        vision problems, eye anatomy and Maryland vision screening laws.
week of August 16-21. There were 228                       During the training session, the MOA provided the nurses with a toolkit to
encounters with 199 people agreeing to be        use at their respective schools. The Association is also planning to purchase equip-
screened, and 64 of those were referred for      ment for a number of school districts that need to update their screening supplies.
comprehensive eye examinations.

This event was also coordinated with local
Lions Clubs, who were conducting pre-            Help MOA Win CareFirst/Davis Suit
school vision screenings on Monday, August
16, Children’s Day, so that children from the
                                                 With Contributions to Legal Fund
age of 1 on up were screened. Thanks to all      Homer Optical Company has become the first organization to contribute funds to
for another successful screening!                help the MOA with its anti-trust suit against CareFirst of Md. and Davis Vision.
                                                 Like the many optical laboratories that will be adversely affected by the new plan,
                                                 Homer fully understands the unfair trade practices attempting to be exercised by
                                                 CareFirst and Davis Vision. Homer’s $1,000 contribution is much appreciated.
                                                 Doctors of Optometry across Maryland are being asked to contribute to the MOA’s
                                                 Legal Fund, too.
The Find a Optometrist                           The MOA would like to thank Dr. Steven Kasinof for kicking off donations from
Directory is one of the most                     optometrists by contributing $1,000 to our fight against Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
visited areas of the MOA Web site. Visit         This battle is going to be costly and it is important that you support your profession to             by donating to the fund. Join Dr. Kasinof and the MOA in our efforts to protect
confirm your practice is listed correctly.       Maryland Optometry! Just make your checks payable to MOA and mark it as
Please send corrections or changes to Eric       designated towards the Legal Fund. If you have any questions please contact Megan
Grammer via fax, 410-752-8295 or email,
                                                 Holmes at 410-727-7800 or

                                                                                                                      MOA Eye Witness | 3
                                                                                                                            2004 C
                                                                                                                            Saturday, No
                                                                                                                            8 a.m.    MOA Member
                                                                                                                                      (MOA Membe

                                                                                                                            8:30 a.m. CE Registration
                                                                                                                                      CE Notebooks

                                                                                                                            9 a.m.    “Diagnosis and
                                                                                                                                      Deepak Gupta,
                                                                                                                            10:30 a.m. Mid Morning B
                                                                                                                                       sponsored in p

                                                                                                                            11 a.m.   “Clinical Upda
                                                                                                                                      Deepak Gupta,

                                                                                                                            Noon      Lunch
                                                                                                                                      sponsored in p

                                                                                                                            Sunday, Nov
 TURNING BACK THE CLOCK...WAY BACK                                                                                          8 a.m.    Continental Br
 A banquet of the Maryland Association of Optometrists (now known as the Maryland Optometric Associa-                       9 a.m.    “Glaucoma Gr
 tion) on the evening of April 30, 1914 at the Hotel Emerson in downtown Baltimore.                                                   Joseph Sowka,
                                                                                                                                      Vision Service
                                                                                                                                      Andrew Gurwo
                                                                                                                            by        Bausch & Lom

                                              Web Notes
                                                                                                                            10:30 a.m. Mid Morning B
                                                                                                                                       sponsored in p

                                                                                                                            11 a.m.   “Grand Round
                                                                                                                                      Joseph Sowka,
How to Access the MOA Member Area                                                                                                     Andrew Gurwo

                                                                                                                            Noon      Maryland Opto
       As previously mentioned in the April issue of Eye   etrists. The directory has averaged well over 1,000
Witness, the MOA has simplified the process of             individual page views per month since November.
allowing MOA Members access to the Member area of                    The MOA encourages all members to verify that
its award-winning Web site,          their listing is correct. Please visit the directory at          THANKS TO O
       To access any of the MOA Member Area content to make sure
you will need a User Name and Password. This               your listing is accurate. Please e-mail or fax any               Omni Eye Specia
information is based upon your membership informa-         changes or additions to Eric Grammer at
tion. Your User Name is your 8-digit account number or 410-752-8295.
and your Password is your last name. Below is an
                                                                                                                            B&W Optical Comp
example of what the information should look like:          Did you know you can click on the main menu item                 Bausch & Lomb
       EXAMPLE                                             even when a submenu pops up. The image to the right              Enhanced Vision
       User Name: 00123456                                 illustrates this. In this case the user’s mouse is over the
                                                                                                                            Kameen Laser Eye Ce
       Password: Shaner                                                                  “Patient Info” button on the
       Members were sent mailings with their indi-                                       main menu. A submenu pops          New City Optical
vidual login information this past spring. If you do not                                 up giving users links to even      Optical Innovations,
have this information on record or you need further                                      more information about MOA.
information please contact Eric Grammer at 410-727-                                      However, even though the           CooperVision, Inc.
7800 or                                                       submenu appears the user can       Homer Optical Co.
        The MOA offers the “Find an Optometrist Online                                   still click on “Patient Info” to   Kronthal LaBorwit Eye C
Directory” to help patients locate MOA Member Optom-                                     learn about vision care.

4 | MOA Eye Witness
Convention Schedule of Events
ovember 20, 2004                                                                                    Featured Speakers
r Breakfast                            1 p.m.     “Diagnosis & Management of Corneal Dystrophies”   Susan Gromacki, O.D., F.A.A.O.
ers Only)                                         Susan J. Gromacki, O.D., F.A.A.O.                 Upon graduation from the Ohio State
 n/Continental Breakfast               2 p.m.     “Satisfying Baby Boomers with Soft Bifocal        University College of Optometry in
 courtesy of Omni Eye Specialists                 Contact Lenses”                                   1993, Dr. Gromacki completed a
                                                  Susan J. Gromacki, O.D., F.A.A.O.                 residency with the Columbus V.A.
 d Management of Keratoconus”                                                                       Outpatient Clinic. She then went on
  O.D. - sponsored by Walman           3 p.m.     Afternoon Break                                   to practice optometry in the Boston
                                                  sponsored in part by R.K. Tongue Co., Inc.        area for four years while at the same
                                                                                                    time teaching classes at the New
Break                                  3:10 p.m. “Interactive Contact Lens Grand Rounds: You        England College of Optometry. In
part by B&W Optical Co.                          Make the Call”                                     1998 she was asked to join the
                                                 Susan J. Gromacki, O.D., F.A.A.O.                  faculty at the University of Michigan
 ate on Dry Eyes”
 , O.D.                                4 p.m.     “Reception and Awards/Installation Dinner”        Medical School as the director of the
                                                  Held at the exclusive Center Club in the Legg     Contact Lens and Low Vision Clinics
                                                  Mason Building                                    where she served until 2001.
part by Optical Innovations                       Featuring Professional Comedian Kelly Terranova
                                                  Reception sponsored by New City Optical           Deepak Gupta, O.D., F.A.A.O.
                                                                                                    is a 1999 graduate of the New
                                                                                                    England College of Optometry and
vember 21, 2004                                                                                     has practiced in a variety of settings
                                                                                                    including private practice, hospitals,
                                                                                                    military bases and community health
 reakfast/Registration                                                                              centers. Dr. Gupta is the clinical
                                                                                                    director of The Center for Keratoco-
 rand Rounds”                                                                                       nus and the Glaucoma Referral
 , O.D., F.A.A.O. - sponsored by       12:15 p.m. Lunch                                             Center. Dr. Gupta is involved in
e Plan                                            sponsored in part by Kameen Eye Associates        editing six different health publica-
 ood, O.D., F.A.A.O. - sponsored                                                                    tions such as Optometric Manage-
mb                                     1:15 p.m. “Grand Rounds in Ocular Infection (cont’d)”
                                                 Joseph Sowka, O.D., F.A.A.O. &                     ment Magazine and Review of
Break                                            Andrew Gurwood, O.D., F.A.A.O.                     Optometry and has had 50 of his
part by Optos North America                                                                         own articles published.
                                       2 p.m.     “Our Greatest Hits”
ds in Ocular Infection”                           Joseph Sowka, O.D., F.A.A.O. &                    Andrew Gurwood, O.D., F.A.A.O.
  O.D., F.A.A.O. &                                Andrew Gurwood, O.D., F.A.A.O.                    A prolific writer and lecturer, Dr.
 ood, O.D., F.A.A.O.                                                                                Gurwood has been practicing
                                       2:45 p.m. Mid-Afternoon Break
                                                                                                    optometry since 1988. He is a
ometric Legislative and Legal Update             sponsored in part by Enhanced Vision
                                                                                                    graduate of the Pennsylvania College
                                                                                                    of Optometry, where he is currently
                                                                                                    the Associate Professor of Clinical
OUR SPONSORS                                HOTEL INFORMATION                                       Sciences for the PCO Eye Institute.
                                                                                                    Dr. Gurwood has also served as the
alists                                      Hyatt Regency Baltimore                                 director of Low Vision Rehabilitation
                                                                                                    Services for the Albert Einstein
                                            300 Light Street                                        Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa.
pany   Optos North America                  Baltimore, MD 21202
       R.K. Tongue Co., Inc.                410-528-1234                                            Joseph Sowka, OD, FAAO is a
        Vision Service Plan                                                                         graduate of the Pennsylvania College
enters          VISTAKON                    A special daily room rate has been arranged             of Optometry and a Professor at
           Walman Optical                   for MOA Convention registrants: $159 single,            Nova Southeastern University
                                            $169 double $179 triple, $189 quadruple                 College of Optometry. He is also
 Inc.                                                                                               Chief of Nova Southeastern’s
                                            occupancy. Mention the MOA Convention
                                            when booking room to get the discounted                 Advanced Care Clinic at Davie and
            The Retina Care Center                                                                  the Director of the Glaucoma
                                            room rates. The cut off date for special room
                     Safilo Group                                                                   Service.
                                            rates is October 29, 2004.
 onsultants                Tura LP

                                                                                                                         MOA Eye Witness | 5
2005 Legislative Season Starts Now!
By Rob Stutman, O.D.
    I hope everyone is settling in and               meetings with some key legislators -
gearing up for the next legislative                  including Speaker of the House
session.                                             Michael Busch - and the general
Although legislative activity appears to             consensus always seems to be the same:
halt after the session ends in April, the            Maryland optometrists prevailed in
wheels of politics keep spinning all                 Annapolis last year on merit and
year round. The legislative committee                presented compelling testimony
has taken the summer to evaluate                     at both the House and Senate
events of the last session and outline               hearings. Our only limitation
our strategy for the upcoming 2005                   seems to be our political savvy.
                                                                                                    the Governor’s desk for a signature, the
General Assembly. We have had                                                                       MOA needs 100% of our membership to
                                                     In order to effectively move a bill on to

                      2004 MOA PAC Contributors
  Governor $1,000+                                 Senator $500-$999                                Delegate $365-$499
  Irwin Azman                           John Timothy Barr                             Erick Gray    Ray M. Atcherson     Elizabeth McGinn
                                        Paul D. Bran                                David Heath     Michael Berenhaus       Gabriela Miller
  Thomas Azman                                                                                      David R. Bittings     Mary Ellen Padusi
                                        C. Ross Bregel                            Helen Hooper      Allan Brull             Steven L. Pinson
  Tracie Farone-King                    Francisco Burgos                  Christine & Kevin King    Emanuel Glasser       Robert Schwartz
  Alan Glazier                          John L. Burns                             Perry Lucente     Aland Gold              Robert Stutman
  James Loskot                          Lee Caplan                           Brian Manspeaker
  Timothy F. Madgar                     Eugene Channing                           Charles Mund
                                                                                                    Centurion $100-$364
                                                                                                    Dawn Agostini            William Kranzer
  Beverly B. Miller                     Jeffrey Cohen                        John H. Reynolds       Suleiman Alibhai          Michele Kupfer
  Jason & Ted Sober                     Sanford Cohen                              Harold Rowe      Alan Bishop                    Crystal Lee
                                                                                                    Lamont Bunyon               Johanna Letts
                                        James A. Eickhoff                            David Sclar
  Howard I. Woolf                       Norman Fine                                  Barry Tilles
                                                                                                    Christine Burris             David Miller
                                                                                                    Lester Caplan           Dimple Nanchahal
   *This list includes all donations since October 2003. All donations since this date, have been   Steve Chado                   Paul Nenner
   added together for an aggregate sum.                                                             Jillian Chapman                Albert Paul
                                                                                                    Howard Cohen             Stephen Polakoff
                                                                                                    Donald Cohen                Sandra Rozar
               Contribution Category (Check One)                                                    Eric Cohen
                                                                                                    Kristen Cresswell
                                                                                                                             Carmoly Sanders
                                                                                                                              Valerie Seligson
      ‘ Governor ($1000+) ‘ Senator ($500-$999) ‘ Delegate ($365 - $499)                            David Davidson          Thomas C. Shaner
                                                                                                    Patty Daylor              Janice Simmons
          ‘ Centurion ($100 - $364)      ‘ Member ($25 - $99)                                       Michael Diffendall          Lori Sportelli
  Name: ________________________________Phone:________________                                      David Eads                  Daniel Stoltze
  Address:________________________________Fax:___________________                                   Julie Fitzgerald             Dana Taylori
  City/Zip_________________________________E-mail:________________                                  Irwin Fuss            Chonda Washington
                                                                                                    Paul Harris                  Scott Wassel
  Method of Payment:                                                                                Harry L. Hart               Carl Waxman
   ‘ Check Enclosed       ‘ Bill Me (‘ Annually ‘ Quarterly)                                        Stanley Huber          James J. Whitelock
   ‘ Charge My Credit Card (charges will be made in $100 increments)                                Marvin Kasik                  Alan Wilder
         ‘ VISA ‘ MC ‘ AmEX                                                                         M Assif Kasmani        Kimberly Williams
             Acct #: ______________________________                                                 Jiyon Kim              Hannah Yecheskel
             Exp: ____________                                                                      Arthur Kovens
                                     Return to:                                                         Member $25-$99
         MOA PAC / 720 Light St. / Baltimore, MD 21230 / Fax: 410-752-8295                          Douglass Kiessling

6 | MOA Eye Witness
be politically active.

It is imperative that all legislators know
that you and your patients are very
concerned constituents who will be
taking a very active role in the 2005
TPA legislation. Our grassroots must be
                                             Aviation Vision Course Offered in Fall
firmly established in Annapolis in order     The AOA’s six-hour Aviation Vision course will be offered twice this fall. On Sunday,
to make sure that we are successful this     October 24, the AOA, California Optometric Association and Southern California
year.                                        College of Optometry will co-sponsor the course at SCCO. Then on Tuesday,
                                             November 16, the AOA, Colorado Optometric Association, and the Association of
In the summer newsletter of the Maryland     Military Surgeons of the United States will present the course in Denver, Colo.
Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
(The Eye Society), the Annapolis update is   The course has been developed by the AOA Aviation Vision Committee to prepare
titled ”Get Ready - They’re Coming           optometrists to meet the basic needs of their pilot patients, whether they are involved in
Again,” and outlines the Eye Society’s       general, commercial, or military aviation. Topics include the FAA Aviation Medical
strategy for defeating our upcoming          Examination and certification process; vision standards; prescription options for aviation;
legislation.                                 vision problems, night vision, and color vision in Aviation; spatial disorientation; and
                                             refractive surgery in aviation. Optometrists interested in taking this course should contact
Dr. John Thompson, the president of the      Jeffrey L. Weaver, O.D., at (800) 365-2219, ext. 244 or
Eye Society, explains that if Maryland
optometrists are not kept in check then      AOA Files Formal Complaint with FDA
pretty soon all optometrists nationwide
will be performing intraocular surgery.      Regarding Decorative Lens Web Site
Although Dr. Thompson and the rest of
the Eye Society continue to demonstrate      The AOA has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a Web-
a fundamental lack of understanding of       based magazine marketing plano tinted contact lenses as cosmetics. The Web site,
what he calls “the national optometric       operated by a Canadian firm, boasts that lenses will be dispensed to consumers
agenda,” their political lobby manages to    without requiring any evidence of proper fitting or eye care professional involvement.
convince legislators that this is the        Ads about the Web site have been appearing in a number of leading fashion magazines.
gospel truth.
                                             In a letter to the acting FDA commissioner, AOA President Wes Pittman, O.D., cited
In order to clarify the reality we need      possible violations of federal law in dispensing lenses without safeguards and
our membership on the front lines            stressed the risk to public health, saying, “The AOA believes that without appropriate
educating the Maryland lawmakers and         supervision by a qualified eye care practitioner, these so-called cosmetics pose
demonstrating how this legislation           substantial risks to ocular health. Ill-fitting contact lenses can increase the risk of
affects our patients on a daily basis.       inflammation, infection, allergic reaction, corneal trauma, and reduced acuity.”
                                             “We understand that the FDA does not regulate decorative contact lenses in the same
Each Maryland optometrist can do
                                             manner as corrective contact lens, although the risks are identical. Legislation is
their part by helping in the following
                                             pending in Congress that will provide your agency with the statutory authority to
                                             regulate the distribution of plano lenses. However, until that legislation becomes law,
   1. Know your delegates and senators in    we encourage the FDA to enforce vigorously provisions of federal law as they relate
   the districts where you work and live.    to the sale of these lenses,” said Dr. Pittman.
   If you don’t know who they are, access    The House of Representatives passed legislation last year that would require the FDA to
   the MOA website and follow the link       regulate all contact lenses as medical devices. The legislation, H.R. 2218, was introduced
   under the legislative section.            by Representative John Boozman (R-AR) and has been endorsed by the AOA. Unfortu-
                                             nately, passage of the legislation by the Senate has been delayed; and it is uncertain
   2. If you have not been contacted by      whether final approval will be forthcoming before Congress adjourns next month.
   a legislative committee member in
   your area, email me at                    The impetus for the legislation stems from a policy shift made last year by the FDA in so that I can        the classification of plano tinted contact lenses. Historically, the agency had viewed
   put you in contact with your regional     plano lenses as medical devices because of the need for an eye care professional to
   coordinator. Everyone needs to be a       evaluate the ocular health of the patient and the fit of the lens to the eye, just as they
   member of our grassroots initiative.      would for lenses with power. However, in an April 2003 staff directive, the agency
                                             explained that, by law, it could no longer regulate decorative contact lenses “for
   3. Contribute to the MOA PAC.             medical purposes” as it does prosthetic or vision correction contact lenses.

The 2005 General Assembly is only weeks      While the agency conceded that patient risks cannot be sufficiently controlled unless
away. Your participation now will insure a   decorative lenses are fitted by an eye care professional, the directive concluded that it
successful outcome.                          did not have statutory authority to do so.

                                                                                                                      MOA Eye Witness | 7
Welcome New Members                              CMOS Participates in County Fair
Mehrnaz Azimi-Green, O.D.
Silver Spring                                    Vision Screening for 22nd Year
Ana Sofia Domingues, O.D.
Baltimore                                        Central Maryland Optometric Society (CMOS) members and their colleagues
Nina Nghi Huynh, O.D.                            participated for the 22 nd year in the Montgomery County Fair 4H vision
Crofton                                          screening. Originally developed by
                                                 Walter Kaplan, O.D., this screening
Gabriel Kasovich, O.D.                           allowed optometrists to work with 4H
Gwynn Oak                                        youngsters who were learning about
                                                 the importance of vision and how
Chris Kollias                                    uncorrected refractive errors and
Columbus, Ohio
                                                 binocular vision problems can impact
Homa Julie Niazi, O.D.                           vision and the quality of life. This
Silver Spring                                    screening was designed to enrich
                                                 their understanding of vision’s role in
Gail S. Nunez-Robinson, O.D.                     the health “H” of the 4H’s.
Silver Spring
Dominic S. Onwukwe, O.D.                         Drs. Chris and Kevin King co-chaired the event. They were assisted by Dr.
Riverdale                                        Walter and Mrs. Benita Kaplan and by Drs. Bob Teunis, Mark Teunis,
                                                 Lauren Rubin, Kim and Dave Kepner, Barbara Johnson, Andrew Berger,
Gail Peterson, O.D.                              Gabriela Miller, Dewey Teunis, Tom Wong, Hannah Yecheskel, Susan
Fort Washington                                  Fong, Jackie Doerr, Valerie Seligson and Sheila Wood. The CMOS team
                                                 provided 45 hours of screening during the week of August 16-21. There
Robert H. Schwartz, O.D.                         were 228 encounters with 199 people agreeing to be screened, and 64 of
                                                 those were referred for comprehensive eye examinations.
Richard Solomon, O.D.
Gaithersburg                                     This event was also coordinated with local Lions Clubs, who were conduct-
                                                 ing pre-school vision screenings on Monday, August 16, Children’s Day, so
Mayer J. Teles, O.D.                             that children from the age of 1 on up were screened. Thanks to all for
Pasadena                                         another successful screening!

  To place a classified ad in the MOA Eyewitness, please send it in writing, along with appropriate payment, to MOA, 720
Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230. The cost for a 25-word ad is $15 for MOA members (2 issues for $25) or $25 per issue for
   non-members. The next issue is set for distribution on December 1, 2004. The deadline for classifieds is November 15.
     Unique International Opportunity – Maryland non-profit organization is looking for an optometrist for outreach projects
at home and around the world. Duties include providing care at a local OD/MD clinical practice as well as developing and
hosting local, national, and international outreach projects. Funding for student loan repayment available. For more informa-
tion browse our Web site at, or send CV/resume to: Rev. Michael Henningsen, Executive Director,
Mission Eye Center, 8600 Foundry Street #2005, Savage, MD 20763, TEL: (301) 498-2325, FAX: (301) 498-2325, EMAIL: (10/04)
     Optometrist Wanted – Busy optometric practice looking for full- or part-time help. Excellent location and excellent
reputation. Could possibly lead to associate/partnership. 410-398-7077. (10/04)
     Optometrist Wanted – Full-time O.D. in Sourthern Maryland to join busy, full-scope, optometric group practice. Dr.
Mark Lebar 301-863-7771. (10/04)
     Optometrist Wanted – Optometrist sought in Frederick for private, professional practice. 301-662-8866. (10/04)
     Equipment for Sale – AO ultramatic refractor, trial lens set & cabinet, Reichert NCT550, AO Projecto-Chart, slides and screen,
Welch Allyn Optho and retino. Plus more - frames, cases and contact lens diagnostic equipment, etc. 410-998-8560. (10/04)
     Equipment for Sale – EXAMINATION and VISUAL TRAINING/VISION THERAPY equipment. Dr. Walter J. Kaplan,
Retired. Phone (home) 301-977-6688. Leave a message with your wants; or you may request a partial listing of the available
equipment. (12/04)

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