JCAHPO EyeLights eNews

President's Message

Eydie Miller-Ellis, MD
JCAHPO President

The cold Minnesota winter creates an impulse to hibernate, shore up the gains and successes of the earlier seasons, rest, and prepare to begin the new year.

Despite the cold and the snow, JCAHPO is skipping the hibernation stage! After another record breaking year of people getting certified and the development of the Cambridge Declaration, which recognizes and promotes an accepted global workforce cadre as Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP) in support of the World Health Organization’s definition, we are forging ahead and taking on new challenges.

In 2016, we will focus on expanding our human resource capacity. The demand for ophthalmic assistants far outweighs the supply.

JCAHPO and ATPO have formed a task force to focus on helping job seekers and employers find each other. We’ve produced a brochure to assist practices in finding the right employee with the right strategy, and more new initiatives are being planned.            

We are also partnering with the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) to produce a series of instructional videos on best practices in accessible risk management education.

Thank you to the more than 2400 technicians who attended our 43rd Annual Continuing Education Program in Las Vegas. Plans are underway for the 44th ACE Program, which will be held from October 14-16 in a new venue, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Watch
the ACE website for more information.

Best regards,
Eydie Miller-Ellis, MD

Do you have interesting cases involving your patients wearing
plano decorative lenses?

The CDC is interested in learning about patient cases related to the OTC sale of plano decorative (colored, cosmetic, theatrical, circle, Halloween) lenses and in publishing your previously unpublished case studies on this topic.

We are seeking your help in identifying cases concerning patients’ acquisition of, habits of wear with, and complications due to these lenses. If you have a documented case on this topic, please submit a brief write up to tsteinemann@metrohealth.org by no later than January 30th.

The following acknowledgement must be included with your submission:

I, (your name), give the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Thomas L. Steinemann, MD permission to publish this case study and the information it contains.

WHO Recognizes Eye Care Workforce as “Allied Ophthalmic Personnel”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its Universal eye health: a global action plan 2014-2019, in which it defines the various cadres of workers: ophthalmologists, optometrists, and other eye care team members.

According to WHO’s definition, “Allied Ophthalmic Personnel” is the category of eye care team members that includes the following: ophthalmic assistants and technicians (assistants, technicians, medical technologists), optometric assistants and technicians, opticians, ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists, vision therapists, ocularists, ophthalmic photographers/imagers, and ophthalmic administrators.

JCAHPO’s Board of Directors has adopted the WHO definitions and worked with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) to draft and sign the Cambridge Declaration, an agreement by our international organizations on recognition of AOP.

The Declaration acknowledges support for the advancement of AOP, their education and training, and their recognition by governments.

New Commissioners and Member Organizations

JCAHPO’s member organizations appoint one commissioner representative. This year, we welcome two new commissioners:

Christine McDonald COE, COA, ROUB, OSC, and current President of the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, ATPO Commissioner.

Aaron Miller MD, MBA, American Orthoptic Council Commissioner.

JCAHPO welcomes the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus as our newest member organization.

Education and E-Learning

Thank you to our volunteers, vendors, suppliers, and our inspiring Keynote Speaker, Rebecca Alexander, for making the 43rd ACE program possible.

Next year, we are heading back to Chicago with a NEW program, a NEW Venue, and NEW dates! ACE 2016 will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Our Chicago program runs from October 14-16, ending on Sunday.

Congratulations to our Bookstore Daily Winners!

  Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
JCAHPO T-Shirt Jennifer Murphy

Cecilia Raymundo
Marty Tart

Jeanie Serio
Heather Arvin

Luiza Gafencu
Karen Beal
Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander   Jane Katzen

Valerie Kearns
Yodit Hailemeskel

Deborah Bartlett
Lesa Burnett

Debra Harris
Ophthalmologist Barbie   Barbara Harris Carolyn Fierson Desiree Smith
ACE 2016 Registration       Michele Whitaker

Richard J. Kolker, MD’s New Book on Subjective Refraction and Prescribing Glasses Published by JCAHPO

JCAHPO is pleased to announce our publication of Richard J. Kolker, MD’s book Subjective Refraction and Prescribing Glasses The Number One (or Number Two) Guide to Practical Techniques and Principles. Offering pearls on everything from best methods when using the phoropter, to how to work with a patient who brings in seven pairs of glasses, this comprehensive guide is a must read for beginning and seasoned optometrists alike.

Available at
EyeCareMarketplace now!

Statesmanship Awards

JCAHPO’s leadership established the Statesmanship Award in 1975 to recognize Commissioners and Non-Commissioners who have served and supported the field of allied ophthalmic personnel. Each year at the Annual Continuing Education (ACE) Program, two outstanding individuals are recognized and presented with this prestigious award. This year was no exception.

Michael W. Brennan, MD, Non-Commissioner

Dr. Brennan is a comprehensive ophthalmologist in Burlington, North Carolina. Throughout his career, he has emphasized and exemplified service, volunteerism, and advocacy.

He worked with a volunteer physicians group in Iraq, led a task force of ophthalmologists responding to the Haitian earth quake in 2010, and helped establish the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Program in 1999.

He graduated from West Point, got his master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford, and was a finalist in NASA’s space shuttle selection process, as well as an Army Aviator in Vietnam. His army career spanned 20 years.

He graduated from West Point, got his master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford, and was a finalist in NASA’s space shuttle selection process, as well as an Army Aviator in Vietnam. His army career spanned 20 years.

Dr. Brennan received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas, completed his residency in Ophthalmology at Brooke Army Medical Center, and served as Chief of Surgery at Fort Bragg. His work with leadership around the world has included the promotion, education, and certification of allied ophthalmic personnel and the advancement of quality patient care by expanding human resource capacity using allied ophthalmic personnel.

Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, Commissioner

Dr. Lindstrom, of Minnesota Eye Consultants, was the JCAHPO Commissioner for the American Ophthalmological Society from 1992 to 1994. He has been a champion of allied ophthalmic personnel, their certification, and their education. He employs 28 certified technicians.

He has been at the forefront of ophthalmology throughout his career, and is a recognized researcher, teacher, inventor, writer, and lecturer, in addition to being a highly acclaimed physician and surgeon.

He is the founder and attending surgeon at Minnesota Eye Consultants, and is an Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus at the University Of Minnesota Department Of Ophthalmology.

He holds over 38 patents in ophthalmology, and has developed a number of solutions, intraocular lenses, and instruments that are used in clinical practices globally.

Dr. Lindstrom serves on the boards of several public foundations, including the University of Minnesota Foundation, the American Society of Cataract and Reflective Surgery, and Inner City Tennis.

Continuing Education Late Fees Will Increase

Effective March 1st, 2016, CE applications received in our office less than 7 days prior to the start date of a program will be charged a $250 RUSH/LATE FEE. This fee must be included with the application before the review process will begin. CE credit applications received less than 5 weeks prior to the program start date will still be charged a $100 late fee.

E-Learning Buzz

Meet CLSA – Our New EyeCareCE Partner

The Contact Lens Society of America (CLSA) is our newest EyeCareCE Partner. CLSA is dedicated to the education, evolution, and promotion of contact lens technology.

CLSA’s library of online courses is now available on EyeCareCE.org. The EyeCareCE website's inventory has expanded to a record number of 343 total online courses, with many more still to come!

JCAHPO Webinar Series

Webinars are a great tool to earn continuing education credits at an affordable low cost. On the first three Tuesday evenings of every month, JCAHPO offers webinars for you to earn CE credit. You can log in from anywhere in the world. Our webinars are presented by leading ophthalmic specialists and professionals, presenting on current and engaging topics. To see our schedule of upcoming webinars, visit http://www.jcahpo.org/events/.

Certification News

Congratulations to All Certificants!

Using computer

JCAHPO achieved a record breaking year for certifications, with 23,475 certificants worldwide.

JCAHPO’s newly revised Criteria for Certification and Recertification the Essential Credential for Eye Care Professionals lists the new 2016 Certification examination content areas. Click here to view.

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Foundation News

This year’s recipient of the Harold A. Stein Scientific Paper Award was Sonia Zhu. She was presented with a $2,000 grant at the ACE program in Las Vegas. Her paper “Electrophysiology and Imaging Techniques in the Evaluation of Congenital Nystagmus” will appear in an upcoming Issue of ATPO’s Viewpoints magazine.

Harold A. Stein MD, FRCS(C) was President of JCAHPO in 1986 and 1987. He is the author of The Ophthalmic Assistant A Text for Allied and Associated Ophthalmic Personnel. To perpetuate the prize, Dr. Stein donates royalties from specific books he has authored to the JCAHPO Education and Research Foundation.

All certified or non-certified clinical Allied Ophthalmic Personnel are encouraged to submit an original scientific paper on any ophthalmic topic to be considered for the Harold A. Stein Award. Applications are accepted from January 1st to July 31st.

New Certification Scholarships

We are very excited to announce our new scholarship, supported by Brad McCorkle and Local Eye Site. JCAHPO will offer this new scholarship for Allied Ophthalmic Personnel seeking certification. These grants will be awarded in January of 2016 and will cover the cost of a certification exam.

Many other opportunities for continuing education and certification grants become available on January 1st. Visit the Education and Research Foundation page for more information

Support the Foundation by Purchasing a Water Bottle! These collapsible water bottles are the perfect accessory for a busy Technician. For a $5 donation to the Foundation, the water bottle can be yours. On top of that, JCAHPO will match your donation, extending your generosity even further. Your donation will support grants and scholarships for Technicians' continuing education and certification exams, and to their careers. Order yours today!

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ATPO Corner

Las Vegas program was a huge success.

The Scientific Session and Grand Rounds had 114 attendees, and Keynote Speaker Geoffrey Tabin, MD presented the inspiring story of two gifted ophthalmologists dedicating their lives to restoring sight in the Himalayas, to some of the world’s most isolated and impoverished people.

ATPO’s 2015 Fellow Award recipients are Michelle Willis, COMT, OSA, and Mona Carpenter, BS, COMT. To be eligible, ATPO members must be regular, certified ATPO members for a minimum of 10 years, have demonstrated national prominent leadership in ATPO, and made significant contributions to ATPO.

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Tech Life

I’ve always liked to work with my hands and solve puzzles. This trait took me down the path of becoming an Electrical Engineer. I joined a very small start-up company in San Jose, California, but after 10 years in the high tech, Fortune 500 corporate world, I realized that I would need a career change.

I met my spouse in 2002. He had been a COT for more than 15 years already and loved his work. To me, dealing with ‘people’ versus ‘machines’ seemed impossible, but in 2008, ready for a career change, I decided to read the entire COA home study course in one weekend.

I sat up, read each chapter, did all the review content, and passed the home study course within a year. I was just so excited!

In 2012, I started at a practice where I was told I would only ever be a scribe. However, I listened to my doctors treating patients and tried to absorb as much as I could. By my fourth month, I was performing work-ups for our MDs and ODs. I would circle back around after each patient to see if what I did or concluded made any sense.

As soon as I was eligible, I handed my employer my COA application. I studied every night, reading many JCAHPO-recommended educational/study materials, including the JCAHPO Learning Systems CDs, which quickly became my best friends. I passed the exam on the first try and received my COA certification in late 2012.

I began assisting on surgical day in my practice’s ASC, then assisting my MD with the Femto laser. On days where we were short staffed, I would set-up cases and sterile fields and break down rooms after cases, which eventually led to assisting and scrubbing cases. By late 2013, I met the requirements for the OSA certification and submitted my application.

While working multiple roles was a challenge, it quickly gave me the opportunity to excel. I became the lead tech with respect to pre-surgical testing and I was performing IOL-Master and/or Immersions on a daily basis. Wanting to know more, I took a course from a well-known instructor who is well versed in Biometry. I used the ‘red book’ that Sandra Frazier Byrne recommended and put every principle and rule that I learned into my daily routines. Quickly I began to understand that every A-Scan is unique. While techniques may be similar, the patient in the chair makes the event unique.

I tackled the OSA and ROUB exams in 2013, passing each on my first attempt.

I sat for my COT in December 2013, and while I passed the written portion, the Skill Evaluation sent me back to the JCAHPO Learning Systems. My second try was a success.

Folks were just amazed when I brought all of my certificates into the office. While I was proud of myself, the goal of showing my team the certificates was to inspire THEM! When the new Ophthalmic Scribe Certification became available, I told my colleagues, “If you try, I’ll try.” Along with several of my coworkers, I obtained my OSC certification in 2015.

My career move has truly changed my soul. Three and a half years ago, I would have gone out of my way to avoid a casual conversation, but now I love talking to patients! In my future, I see possible NCLE and COMT certifications.

I am a strong believer in certification as it shows, and to a degree proves, a level of competency. Moreover, it shows a level of commitment, which often shows a level of interest, which turns into a level of caring. I treat all patients just as I would demand myself or my parents be treated. At the end of the day, our patient is our bottom line.

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Read Later
Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology
2025 Woodlane Drive · St. Paul, Minnesota 55125-2998
Phone: (651) 731-2944 · Toll Free: (800) 284-3937 · Fax: (651) 731-0410 · www.jcahpo.org
Copyright 2015 JCAHPO, All rights reserved.
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