ASCO Receives Focus Grant
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is pleased to announce that the Allergan Foundation has awarded a $20,000 Focus Grant to support ASCO’s Applicant Development Program. ASCO’s Applicant Development Program is the marketing portion of a well-defined campaign to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of applicants to the schools and colleges of optometry and to promote optometry as a career choice. The first phases of the project included comprehensive research and the creative development of materials. The Allergan Foundation had previously supported the creative phase of the campaign by providing a grant to develop a recruitment video titled “Be a Doctor of Optometry.” The marketing campaign includes Virtual Career Fairs, the Eye on Optometry blog, search-engine optimization, paid media initiatives, e-mail and direct mail communications and the Inspiring Future ODs Program, which is a practitioner-based effort to encourage people to consider pursuing a career in optometry.
Glaucoma Solutions Portfolio Expands
Zeiss has added Ganglion Cell Guided Progression Analysis (GPA) to the glaucoma diagnosis and management applications for Cirrus HD-OCT. Ganglion Cell GPA enables doctors to assess changes in the macula that may be associated with glaucoma. This new analysis complements Cirrus HD-OCT optic nerve head (ONH) GPA and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) GPA and can reveal progression that may not be apparent in the other GPA analyses. According to Zeiss, with ONH, RNFL and Ganglion Cell GPA analyses, doctors have a comprehensive progression assessment for key anatomies known to be affected by glaucoma.
Education and Training Program Marks Milestone
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Alcon hosting optometry students and residents at its global campus in Fort Worth, Texas, for immersive, hands-on education and training. In 2016, more than 600 students and residents will participate in the company’s Academy for Eyecare Excellence in the new Alcon Experience Center. The center features a fully equipped optometric exam lane, an enhanced wet lab for training in the ophthalmic surgical environment, and a variety of interactive technologies to create a world-class training experience in eye care. Since 1986, more than 10,000 students and residents have completed the Academy for Eyecare Excellence program.
10-Week Student Internships Available
Walmart is accepting applications throughout the year for its Optometry Intern Program, which is designed to prepare the company’s next generation of ODs for practice within Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.
According to Walmart, the 10-week hands-on training program, which includes an OD mentor, is in-depth and provides experience across a range of areas from basic visual services to diagnosis, management and treatment of visual problems and ocular disease, contact lens fitting, patient education and clinical business strategies. The intern program is open to first- through fourth-year students, but the company says first- through third-year students may benefit most because the experience is geared toward entry level clinical management. Start and end dates are flexible to accommodate the interns’ school curriculum timelines.
Interested students should contact Gayathiri Pathmanapan at (479) 277-6621 or via e-mail.
VP of Sales Appointed
Bausch + Lomb appointed Greg DiPasquale as Vice President of Sales for its U.S. Vision Care business. DiPasquale brings more than 25 years of experience in sales management, business development and strategic planning in eye care and other industries. In this role, he is responsible for managing the independent, retail, national account and doctor alliance segments and growing the contact lens and solutions businesses.
DiPasquale will be based at the company’s headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J.
New Image Management Software
Volk Optical released Pictor Workstation, an add-on software platform designed to increase the power and convenience of its Pictor Plus handheld imager. Pictor Workstation improves workflow and makes it easier than ever to take and manage high-resolution images of the retina and anterior segment in any setting. With wireless connectivity and DICOM file support, Pictor Workstation enables records management without immediate access to a desktop computer. Pictor Workstation, which is Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 compatible, also functions as powerful standalone software for image management and includes review tools such as color filters and contrast enhancements.
A free 60-day demo is available. For more information and to access the demo, visit Volk online, call (440) 942-6161 or contact your authorized Volk distributor.
Device Streamlines Slit Lamp Imaging
Now available from Marco is the Ion Imaging System, an all-in-one anterior segment imaging device that combines an intra-optics beam-splitter/camera adapter with the computing and imaging power of the latest Apple technology to create a highly sophisticated “mainstream” imaging system that emphasizes image quality, simplicity and efficiency. The Ion combines all of the components (digital camera, adapter, computer, monitor, multiple cables, keyboard, mouse, etc.) of the traditional photo slit lamp into one streamlined device.
Marco says the Ion enables eye doctors to “capture, integrate and educate” with every diagnosis. It includes an app dedicated to anterior segment imaging that consists of patient demographics, pre-set photography modes for maximizing various lighting techniques for video or still images, and auto storage to the Cloud or to a local network for EMR or PACS integration. Find more information online.
Partnership to Benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America
In line with its company vision — “We believe everyone deserves to see their best to live their best” — National Vision has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to provide free vision screenings, and, if needed, access to free comprehensive eye exams and eyeglasses through America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses locations. The multi-year partnership includes a contribution from National Vision of $1 million annually over the next three years to support BGCA and its preventive care and wellness initiatives.
“For many kids, a pair of glasses can change their life,” says Bruce Steffey, National Vision’s President and COO. “With 94% of our America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses stores located within 10 miles of a Club, this partnership is a perfect match.” Learn more about the partnership online.
Young Professionals, Students Out in Force at Vision Expo East
Among the 16,049 attendees at this year’s International Vision Expo East conference were 3,979 who were under 34 years old. Vision Expo’s Young Professionals Club (YPC) for young optometrists, opticians/dispensers and industry professionals has 1,600 members and 20% of them attended this year’s conference. Vision Expo offers a range of benefits for students and the new generation of eyecare professionals that includes registration and education discounts, lunches, networking events and other free programs.
New CEO for North America Business
Safilo Group appointed Henri Blomqvist as CEO of Safilo North America. As CEO, Blomqvist is responsible for the Group’s Global Sports Commercial Channel, and he is a member of the Safilo Group Executive Committee.
During his three years as Safilo Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, Blomqvist repositioned Safilo’s commercial strategy with a focus on distribution quality and sustainability. He established global commercial policies and global account management and led the renewal of commercial talent around the world. Blomqvist takes the North America role with the objective of enhancing partnerships with customers to build market share and accelerate profitable growth.
Partnership with NOA Aims to Improve Eye Health Among Ethnic Minorities
The National Optometric Association (NOA) and Transitions Optical have entered into a partnership to help improve the eye health of growing ethnic minority populations, a priority for both organizations and the Transitions Cultural Connections initiative. Through the partnership, Transitions Optical will support the NOA in its efforts to provide ongoing education and resources to eyecare professionals to help them serve their diverse patients. To kick off the partnership, Transitions Optical participated in the 2016 NOA Annual Convention in July in Chicago. In addition to providing information and resources to the approximately 350 optometrists and NOA members in attendance, Transitions Optical co-hosted a “Multicultural Millennial Matters” panel event to explore the needs of today’s multicultural Millennial patients.
In addition, the NOA has agreed to co-brand Transitions Optical’s popular and newly refreshed “What to Expect” brochure series and promote use through its membership. The brochures are available electronically through the NOA’s website, and free print versions can be ordered here.