San Diego County Optometric Society
The San Diego View
Inside this Issue:
- President’s Message
- SDCOS Announcements
- Retina Corner
- VSP Vision Premier Program Pays Even More with New Promotion
- Eye See
- CE Corner
- Volunteer Corner
This month’s message is dedicated to our wonderful Sponsors.
San Diego County Optometric Society has been recognized for so long as one the largest and successful societies in the state of California. This recognition is, in part, thanks to our long relationship with our Sponsors, and their generous financial support to our society. Their sponsorship enables us to provide continuing education events for our members, fund our public awareness projects and advocacy efforts, memberships drives, and other SDCOS events. They also extend discounts to members for using their products and provide resources for building optometric practices.
As the tradition has it, in October we hold the Sponsor appreciation dinner. The past two years were a challenge to stay in touch with them because of mostly virtual meetings, but this year we are finally getting together in-person again. The Board of Directors, on behalf of the entire society, invited all of our sponsor to a dinner to thank them and show them our appreciation for their support. I encourage you to also extend your thanks and take time to speak with them when you see them at our continuing education events, or they stop by your clinics. It is important they feel the love and they continue to support our society.
Our society is strong and successful because of our Sponsors. I will make sure the relationship with them continues, and I hope you will do the same. They are invaluable to our society, but also to your practices, and, in the end, to our patients.
Welcome, new members!!
- Allen Chung
- Steven Giang
- Jamie Bergmark
- Krystal Vanichsarn
Please update your information on www.eyehelp.org
PLEASE BE ADVISED:
Taken from the DEA website:
The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public of a widespread fraud scheme in which telephone scammers impersonate DEA agents in an attempt to extort money or steal personal identifiable information. DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment, will never request personal or sensitive information over the phone, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter. In fact, no legitimate federal law enforcement officer will demand cash or gift cards from a member of the public. You should only give money, gift cards, personally identifiable information, including bank account information, to someone you know.
For updated information and resources regarding COVID in San Diego, please register using this link. This will sign you up to receive weekly emails from the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, including weekly tele-briefings on everything COVID.
- Click here for most recent SDCOS Board Meeting Minutes
- Click here for the 2022 CE schedule!
- Click here for COA membership benefits!
Breaking News from The Academy of Ophthalmology 2022 Meeting
By Michael J. Ammar, MD
Retina Consultants San Diego
Dear SDCOS friends,
For this month’s Retina Corner I wanted to discuss some of the exciting take aways from AAO 2022 in Chicago this past weekend. AAO is often where topline breaking news is presented for the first time for many clinical trials. In addition, prospective and retrospective research on clinical and surgical approaches to disease are discussed by leaders from all over the world. These findings generate fantastic discussion and often move the needle in regard to how we approach and treat our patients. The most exciting area of discussion this year was centered around geographic atrophy (GA).
GATHER 2 Study
The GATHER2 trial is investigating a novel drug (avacincaptad pegol) for the treatment of geographic atrophy across 448 patients. At this time, there are no FDA approved treatments for GA and it is a leading cause of blindness in our population. Avacincaptad pegol is delivered by intravitreal injection and blocks the complement system which is thought to play a significant role in the formation and progression of GA. Patients in this study received monthly injections of the investigational drug vs sham injections.
The results were quite exciting, avacincaptad pegol met the primary endpoint of the study at 1 year. The rate of geographic atrophy growth was reduced by 14.3% in the avacincaptad pegol arm, which was statistically significant. The mean changes in the geographic lesion area were reduced by 17.3%. A pre-specified subgroup analysis revealed the benefit of avacincaptad pegol in all subgroups, regardless of the baseline geographic area, visual acuity, fundus autofluorescence pattern, age, and gender. This was the first clinical trial to meet the 12-month pre-specified primary endpoint in a phase 3 trial for GA. Importantly the data on safety was very reassuring with no significant complications. Patients were shown to be slightly more prone to developing CNV (6.7% vs 4.1% in the control arm) which was responsive to anti-VEGF therapy.
Given these groundbreaking results, avacincaptad pegol may become the first treatment option for geographic atrophy, FDA submission is planned for the first quarter of 2023.
DERBY and OAKS Studies
The DERBY and OAKS studies are also investigating a novel drug (pegcetacoplan) for the treatment of GA across 1,258 patients. Similar to avacincaptad pegol, it is an intravitreal injection that acts on the complement system but by a different mechanism. Patients received monthly or every other month injections of the investigational drug vs sham injections. The 24-month data was presented for the first time and the results were quite impressive. Pegcetacoplan was shown to slow GA growth by as much as 22% versus sham injections. This was statistically significant. What was even more exciting was that early analysis showed the treatment effect appears to increase over time. The longer patients were on the drug the more their GA growth slowed down. GA growth reduction was shown to reach 30% with monthly injections and 24% with every-other-month treatment in the overall population of patients with nonsubfoveal and subfoveal lesions over months 18 to 24.
Safety data was again very reassuring. There was shown to be an increased risk of CNV formation in the treated arms which was responsive to anti-VEGF therapy.
Based on these groundbreaking results, we may have the first FDA approved intravitreal injection for GA as early as 2023! This is an exciting time for our GA patients who have been desperate for a treatment for so long.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of Retina Corner! If you have any questions or if there is ever anything I can help with, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Best wishes, and until next time,
Michael Ammar, MD
Retina Consultants San Diego
VSP Vision Premier Program Pays Even More with New Promotion
VSP® network doctors participating in the VSP Vision™ Premier Program at the Platinum and Gold levels will receive even greater rewards with the new, limited-time Premier Pays More promotion.
Now through December 31, 2022, you’ll receive increased payments on Marchon and Altair® eyewear and qualifying Unity®, HOYA, and ZEISS lenses, based on VSP® member claims as of August 1, 2022.
Here’s what you could get on top of your standard filed reimbursement:
- Gold-level participating practices can receive up to $10 per pair when a VSP member purchases a Marchon or Altair frame with a qualifying lens product.
- Platinum-level participating practices can receive up to $68* per pair when a VSP member purchases a Marchon or Altair frame with a qualifying lens product.
Don’t leave money on the table—reach the Gold or Platinum level to receive increased payments on qualifying Unity®, ZEISS, HOYA, Marchon, and Altair® products during the promotional timeframe. Visit the VSP Provider Hub to Estimate your additional value using the NEW interactive calculator tool. You can also schedule a complimentary consultation and develop a plan to realize your practice vision through the Premier Program’s business-building benefits, patient flow support, and opportunities for increased profitability. Learn more here.
*Includes existing $15 Platinum frame payment and existing Unity Savings on eligible lenses and lens enhancements.
written by Dr. Byron Y. Newman
Check out Dr. Newman’s website, www.thehumorfactory.com!!!
We are committed to helping you fulfill your CE requirements through our local virtual meetings with the support of our sponsors!
Featured Annual Sponsors
November 17, 2022, 2 hour Meeting
Location: Hilton San Diego Mission Valley 901 Camino Del Rio S. San Diego CA 92108.
Speaker: Dr. Nikolas London & Dr. Arash Mozayan
SDCOS Members: FREE
COA/AOA Members: $35
Front Desk Receptionist. A temporary, Part-time position is available with the potential for regular employment. Answer phones, make appointments, and assist the doctor with other miscellaneous tasks. Oceanside office hours are Mon, Wed & Fri from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sat 9 AM to 3 PM. Santee office hours Tue & Thur 9 AM to 5 PM. $17.00 per hour. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (11/22).
Part-Time Opportunity for Supplemental Income: We are seeking an optometrist who can work just 1-2 days a month at the San Diego County Jail for routine optometry exams. Compensation is a guaranteed $1,000 per visit with the potential to exceed based on patient flow. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to add supplemental income for just 1 or 2 days a month of work. Contact Zach at email@example.com or 570-809-2740 for more information (10/22).
Build Ownership in a Growing Optometry Practice, Even as a New Grad. Growing Practice at the Heart of San Diego with a 25+ Year Veteran of the Optometry Profession, with a successful history of growing multiple practices, is seeking a motivated, self-starter, entrepreneurial optometrist to join a growing optometry practice in City Heights. Practice is in a custom modern office setting, with great visibility, with a proven track record of success for medical practices. Working knowledge of Spanish is preferred. Opportunity to get involved (even as a New Grad) in a growing eye care practice from the ground up, earning equity toward part or full ownership. Please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (10/22).
Associate Optometrist for Saturdays Urban Optiks Optometry is currently interviewing for an outgoing and energetic optometrist to join our professional team for one day per week on Saturdays. This would be an excellent opportunity for an optometrist who has full-time employment and is looking to supplement their schedule with an additional day. Our digital, tech-centric practice & upscale optical boutique showcases one of the finest collections of luxury eyewear in San Diego. With a reputation for providing exemplary personalized customer service, along with the finest products and latest lens technology, Urban Optiks provides an unparalleled optical experience. Learn more about us at www.uoosd.com Qualities that make the ideal candidate stand out: •Experience in a high-end independent practice with a focus on providing quality, individualized routine eye care. • Strong communication skills with an ability to build patient trust and confidence in order to facilitate premium lens sales. • Excellent refractive & diagnostic skills. • Proficiency with contact lenses. • Familiarity with OfficeMate/ExamWriter EHR, Topcon CV5000 refraction system, Topcon CA-800 corneal analyzer, and Topcon Maestro 2 retinal imaging device. If you are a motivated individual with a passion for delivering a superb patient experience in an unhurried boutique environment, please email your cover letter and resume to email@example.com (11/22).
Former Optometrist office space built out in Carmel Valley for lease- 1755 sq feet available immediately in Trader Joe’s anchored center. Prior tenant merged practices and space is in “Move-In” condition. For Information please contact Reg Kobzi at 858-546-4604 firstname.lastname@example.org (10/22).
Practice for sale: Long-time established practice for sale in La Mesa–seller wishes to retire–Seller has set a very low purchase price to facilitate an immediate sale—don’t miss out on this great opportunity to own your own practice. Contact Dr. Levy at 619-743-1442 or email at email@example.com (10/22).
Please contact Dr. Dave Sherman, Society Optometrist Relations Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-208-3456 to be put on an official list for the following:
- fill-in/part-time work
- full-time work
- purchase/partner in/sell a practice
This service is offered free of charge to SDCOS members.
Monarch School Screening
Contact Dr. Bob Meisel for more information at email@example.com ; www.monarchschools.org
VSP Mobile Clinic Event
In partnership with the San Diego County Department of Education (JCCS), VSP Mobile Clinic will be offering free eye exams to those in need. Two volunteer doctors are needed for each of the following dates/locations:
North County Regional Education Center
San Marcos, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
East Region Community School of Greater La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
Lindsay Community School
San Diego, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
South County Regional Education Center
National City, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
If you are able to help, please contact Linda Kendrick: firstname.lastname@example.org | Cell: 916-215-4491, or Dr. Bob Meisel at email@example.com or Dr. Simona Grosu at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lion’s Optometric Vision Clinic
VOLUNTEER DOCTORS needed for flexible shifts throughout the year. 9-1:00 pm. Monday -Friday 1805 Upas St San Diego, CA 92103. Can’t volunteer at the clinic? See patients in your office. Call 619-298-5273.
The LOVC has Reopened!!
Please call or email the clinic if you are interested in volunteering:
Alterations to the schedule to accommodate social distancing are in place and PPE will be provided for all volunteers/staff/patients.
New flooring was installed with the donation from the SDCOS 2019 golf tournament and a special thanks to Dr. Phil Smith!
Please think of the LOVC for your end of year charitable giving, visit our website: lionsvisionclinic.org
Please contact the society office at 619-663-8439.
SDCOS keeps a list of all doctors willing to speak in front of groups about various topics, do home visits for patients, and assist in student mentoring. ODs interested in the Speakers Bureau, Home Visits, Student mentoring, and Low Vision OD’s, please contact the society office at 619-663-8439 or email email@example.com
Phone: 619 663 8439
Fax: 800 643 8301