Complete Story


OOS 2018 Review

President’s Message

As we wrap up another successful year for the Ohio Ophthalmological Society, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your dedication to ophthalmology and support of our professional society. Through the OOS, Ophthalmologists in Ohio continue to demonstrate a strong, collective voice both in our state and on a national level.

The OOS continues to be well-represented at American Association of Ophthalmology meetings where Ohio physicians have assumed leadership roles on Council, engage other state leaders on key policy initiatives, and discuss advocacy efforts with elected officials. Dr. Carla Ford, of Findlay, is one of just 19 ophthalmologists internationally chosen for the AAO’s 2019 Leadership Development Program.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the OOS remains a strong member of the House of Medicine, a coalition of more than 30 physician specialty societies who come together to discuss pertinent legislation and policy impacting medicine. And our “Play Hard. Don’t Blink.” youth eye safety program continues to provide thousands of children with free helmets and sports goggles.

But to maintain our standing, we need your support and that of your colleagues. If you have not already, please renew your OOS membership today and encourage a colleague who is not presently a member to join. And once you have joined, I ask that you make a donation to our political action committee to help us support candidates and issues that are in the best interest of medicine and ophthalmology. Membership and PAC donation information are available on our website:

I hope you find this and the rest of the information in this newsletter helpful. I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!


Joe Coney, MD

2019 Annual Meeting Agenda Finalized - New Programming This Year

The Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) is planning an enriching new agenda for Annual Meeting 2019. Save-the-Date and Plan-to-Attend: Feb. 23, 2019 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. You can register on-line and download the 2019 Annual Meeting Registration Brochure now. A full registration brochure will also be mailed to you in early December.

New at the daylong meeting for ophthalmologists, nurses, ophthalmic assistants, technicians, and technologists will be:

  • “Train the Trainer” Course for office managers and technicians;
  • A scientific poster abstract program for students, residents and fellows; and
  • CME that meets MOC Part II will be available

Featured speakers for the physician's clinical program, include: Karl Stonecipher, M.D., Julia Lee, M.D., Tamara Fountain, M.D. and Alice Epitropoulos, M.D.. The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company will also be doing its annual risk management seminar in the afternoon.

Legislative and Political Update

Lame Duck Session 

The 132nd General Assembly will conclude at the end of this calendar year which means Ohio’s elected leaders are officially in lame duck season – the few remaining weeks when legislation introduced over the two year period must be voted on or declared useless due to lack of attention. The Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) is focused on the development of three bills in particular.

HB 191

HB 191 would expand the scope of practice for CRNAs, allowing them to provide anesthesia without supervision of a physician. The bill received a hearing on November 14 which drew heavy opposition testimony from physicians representing various specialties including ophthalmology. Robert Derick, MD, of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates testified on behalf of ophthalmology.

HB 450

HB 450 would add significant barriers to imposing additional policy and advocacy measures against health insurance companies operating in Ohio. The OOS joined other medical specialties in opposing this measure because it is not in the best interest of patient safety and quality healthcare. We maintain that every proposal related to healthcare and patient care should continue to be fully vetted through the present legislative process.

HB 476

An Ohio bill that could threaten funding for the OOS' Play Hard Don't Blink (PHDB) program and other youth eye safety initiatives is drawing attention from legislators during the lame duck session. 

The PHDB program is funded through the Ohio Department of Health's Save Out Sight (SOS) fund. That fund is supported through $1 donations from Ohio motorists who elect to contribute when registering their vehicles. 

House Bill 476, introduced by Springfield Republican state Rep. Kyle Koehler, would add the Second Chance Trust Fund as a donation option at the time of vehicle registration. Second Chance, which funds organ and tissue donation education programs, is already well funded by diver's who can elect to contribute when renewing their driver's license.

HB 476 received a hearing in House committee on Nov. 28. The Ohio Eye Coalition, which includes the OOS, lobbied lawmakers to drop the bill. The OOS separately has made opposition to HB 476 clear to Koehler and the House Speaker, as well as the House committee chairman and vice chairman. 

After the hearing we believe the bill will not receive any more hearings or pass out of committee but we will continue to monitor the situation. 

Election Recap

The Republican ticket of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted were elected Governor and Lt. Governor of Ohio. They will take office in January. Their platform included a strong dedication to increasing addiction treatment options amid the ongoing opioid crisis, lowering prescription drug costs, and reducing administrative burden upon physicians.

Additionally, DeWine and Husted have stated that they will retain Ohio’s Medicaid expansion, and will pursue a plan to strengthen the program and control its cost by implementing more patient responsibility requirements. They defeated the Democratic ticket of Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, was re-elected defeating Republican Congressman Jim Renacci. Brown, the son of a physician, has a reputation in Washington for working across the aisle. He frequently reaches out to physicians for input on legislative proposals impacting the practice of medicine, and notably played a large role in the recent favorable revision and finalization of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s changes to the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program.

Both Democratic candidates for Ohio Supreme Court won their races. Judges Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly will join the bench as the high court’s only Democrats, having defeated Republican candidates Judge Craig Baldwin and current Justice Mary DeGenaro. Judge Stewart is the first black woman elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Donnelly will take the seat previously occupied by Justice Terrence O’Donnell, who was unable to run for re-election due to age restrictions.

The Ohio General Assembly will remain in Republican control as the GOP retained its grip on both the Ohio House and Senate chambers. The 133rd General Assembly will start in January with Republicans holding a 63-to-36 edge over Democrats in the House and a 25-to-8 margin in the Senate.

OOS Physicians Recognized at AAO Annual Meeting

Bernie Perla, M.D. - Completes his term on the Academy Council

Bernard Perla, MD, of Cleveland, was recognized for his longtime participation on the Council of the American Academy of Ophthalmology during AAO 2018 in Chicago. Dr. Perla represented the Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) as a Councilor for six years.

Representatives to the Academy’s Council are elected by each state ophthalmology society and by ophthalmic subspecialty societies and specialized interest groups. On December 31, Dr. Perla will officially conclude his term on the Academy Council. 

Dr. Walker Motley, of Cincinnati, immediate past-president of the OOS, has been elected by OOS members to replace Dr. Perla as an AAO Councilor and will begin his term on January 1. Jeff Perkins, MD, of Wooster, remains the OOS’ other Councilor.

The Council serves as an advisory body to the Academy’s Board of Trustees. More than 100 Academy members serve on this body as liaisons between their society and the Academy. Councilors bring issues identified by their societies to the attention of the Board through Council Advisory Recommendations (CARs). CARs are debated annually during the Council’s spring meeting, and ultimately recommendations are formulated for Academy Board consideration.

This year, one of the Council recommendations that was forwarded to the Board for consideration emphasized the importance of Patient Advocacy via the AAO. At the state level, the Academy continues to partner with state ophthalmological societies to engage patients as needed where we face optometric surgery initiatives. Through state-specific social media pages and other digital platforms — including the Academy’s email advocacy tool “Voter Voice” — patients can connect directly with their state legislators. 

Another Council recommendation forwarded to the Board for consideration proposed an AAO Policy on Sexual Harassment. At the time the CAR was proposed, the Board had already approved a new policy on sexual harassment.  

The Council has also recommended that the Academy recognize ophthalmologists for outstanding efforts in the state and/or federal advocacy arenas via a CAR that was considered and ultimately approved by the Academy’s Board. 

Carla Ford, M.D. - Selected For Leadership Development Program

Carla Ford, MD, of Findlay, is one of 19 ophthalmologists selected for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Leadership Development Program, class of 2019. Dr. Ford, currently the secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS), was recognized in October during the AAO’s Annual Meeting in Chicago where the class held its first orientation session.

In January 2019, Dr. Ford will take part in a 2 ½ day interactive session in San Francisco with a visit to the AAO headquarters to hear from AAO physician leadership, including 2019 Academy President George Williams, MD, on a wide variety of leadership topics.

The class will then meet at the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum in April 2019 in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Ford will schedule visits on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their healthcare staffers to discuss issues relevant to the medical profession. During the advocacy session, Dr. Ford and her classmates will hear from members of Congress on how best to build effective relationships with legislators and advocate on behalf of their patients.

The class’ final session will be held in San Francisco in conjunction with the 2019 AAO Annual Meeting.

Congratulations, Dr. Ford.

Play Hard. Don't Blink Accepting Applications - Spread the Word 

The Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) is now accepting applications for free protective baseball and softball helmets and fielder’s masks for the 2019 play year. The equipment is available through the OOS’ Play Hard. Don’t Blink. Sports Safety Program.’

OOS members are encouraged to help youth athletic leagues in their communities apply for this equipment. Applicants can be found on our program website:

The ‘Play Hard. Don't Blink.’ program works with leagues and individuals in Ohio to promote the use of protective eyewear to reduce the number of sports eye injuries in Ohio's young players. From baseball and softball helmets with face masks to sports goggles, including prescription sports goggles, you can get the eye injury protection you need to prevent youth sports eye injuries at no cost!

Eye injuries are often the result of a high-speed ball, aggressive body contact, or a swinging/moving piece of sports equipment. Young players often lack the reflexes, coordination, strength, or experience to avoid these eye hazards. For example, children often misjudge balls in flight, causing them to take a blow to the face or head.

Fortunately, we can prevent most of these injuries by encouraging players to wear eye protection.

Follow Us on Social Media!

We have found new ways to share the tremendous work ophthalmologists do in Ohio. The Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) has all-new social media tools. Join the digital age and follow us today:

  • Twitter: @OhioOpSociety
  • Facebook: Ohio Ophthalmological Society
  • YouTube: Ohio Ophthalmological Society

And, don’t forget about our website:

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