President’s Message

Did you know that August is National Eye Exam Month? It only makes sense that eye exams are spotlighted when students everywhere return to school at the end of summer—along with some new clothes, shoes, and school supplies, students can have their eyes examined to make ready for good vision during the academic year. As optometrists, we know only too well that a student’s learning is closely tied with how well they see. Learning runs tandem with clear, comfortable vision, as upwards of 80% of what students learn comes in through their eyes.

Many parents incorrectly assume that when their child has a school screening or pediatrician screening, their child has had an eye exam. Many also assume that when their child passes one of those screenings, there is no vision problem. They are not aware that a child who can see 20/20 can still have difficulty with their vision. While the most common vision problem is myopia, we know there are many more potential problems such as binocular and accommodative deficiencies.

As optometrists, we want to be sure parents know that only a full, comprehensive eye exam can provide the battery of tests needed to diagnose their child’s full visual system. A comprehensive optometric eye examination this month can help give them their best chance to excel in school and enhance their lifelong eye health and functional vision. Be sure to keep this top of mind this month as you start having these important back-to-school conversations with parents!

On another note, just past the halfway point of the year, I want to take a moment for shout outs thanking our SDCOS board members who have been very active the first half of 2019, serving our membership and the public by providing excellence in community service, education, and leadership. SDCOS has a long tradition of being a real gem among the California Optometric Association’s best societies. Our Board members have so much creative energy, and they lead the way to the highest value of membership. Thanks to professional affairs committee chair Dr. Amanda Dexter, our Board has already produced five amazing CE meetings just in this first half of the year, providing sixteen hours of high-quality continuing education, complete with food service. And with our invaluable administrative director Nancy-Jo Sinkiewicz at the helm, we have four more CE events scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Community service has long been a cornerstone of our Society, and this year Dr. Robert Meisel and Dr. Simona Grosu have been steadfast in leading the way for our Society to provide free vision care to so many needy San Diegans. Their successful, much-needed initiatives have included Monarch School exams, VSP mobile clinic, and the recent Veterans Stand Down event in San Diego. Also, we are fortunate to have the vision and leadership of Dr. David Wong this year as LOVC committee chair and he has been active promoting the clinic on Upas Street. Our Society is growing in numbers through the ingenuity of membership committee chairs Dr. David Ardakani and Dr. Jenn Chinn, while our award-winning website and fantastic monthly newsletter is made possible through the hard work and creativity of Dr. Lucia Millet, Dr. Nicolet Boermans, and Dr. Stephanie Le. Our OD relations committee is led by Dr. John Fitzpatrick, and along with trustee emeritus Dr. Byron Newman and Dr. Andrew Fasciani volunteering as health care delivery system liaison, the Board adds more valuable service benefits to our membership.

Our society’s Platinum and Sustaining Sponsors make up the best ophthalmic companies in business anywhere, and their support and enthusiasm are continually evident while Dr. David Sherman leads the way to organize them as our vendor liaison, always ensuring our members have access to our sponsor’s latest products, ophthalmic instruments, and industry innovations. Our Society has helped COA pass statutes to increase our scope of practice with the leadership of Dr. Richard Skay and his experience with government affairs. I am fortunate to work with a talented executive board that leads the Society business operations: Secretary Dr. Alex Scovill, Treasurer Dr. Wendy Gross, President-elect Dr. Michelle Biaggi, and Past-President Michael Morgan are the players in the SDCOS business orchestra. Last but not least, we welcome our new 2019 Trustees who learn our Society operations under the leadership of Dr. Marcelline Ciuffreda, Dr. Anita Koo, and Dr. Kathryn Ordonez.

Please note that August 4th is our next event, so be sure to sign up for SDCOS’s annual Golf Tournament—funds will be donated to LOVC. Our thanks to Society committee chair Dr. Paul Lavin for organizing this event.

Finally, San Diego County Optometric Society is always looking for member ODs to volunteer for the Board to make our Society a vital organization for our membership and public. If you are interested in contributing to the success of SDCOS, please send me an email.

I look forward to a fantastic remainder of the year!