SIG News

The Clinic Directors/Administrators SIG in St. Louis.

The Clinic Directors/Administrators SIG in St. Louis.

The Externship Directors SIG thanked Dr. Lester Caplan for his dedication to the group in his role as ASCO Senior Consultant.

The Externship Directors SIG thanked Dr. Lester Caplan (center front) for his dedication to the group in his role as ASCO Senior Consultant.

Biomedical Science Educators

Met: Oct. 25, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chair: Dr. Ruth Trachimowicz

Actions: At this inaugural meeting, Dr. Ruth Trachimowicz was selected as Founding Chair by acclamation and will serve a two-year term. Dr. Jan Bergmanson was selected as Vice-Chair and will serve a four-year term, which includes two years as Vice-Chair followed by two years as Chair.

Discussion Topic Highlights: A committee will be assembled and charged with collecting information on what is taught in the biomedical science disciplines at each ACOE-accredited institution in order to build a better understanding of the breadth and depth of biomedical science education at the North American schools and colleges of optometry.


Clinic Directors/Administrators

Met: Sept. 26-28, 2013 in St. Louis Mo.

Chair: Dr. Kimberly Lambreghts

Actions: Richard Stroud was elected Chair-Elect. Dr. Lambreghts will remain SIG Chair.

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Panel discussion with representatives from seven corporate sponsors, “Today’s Technology from the Industry Perspective”; AOA Executive Director Dr. Barry Barresi: virtual tour of the AOA and update on challenges facing optometry in today’s evolving healthcare system; panel discussion, “Workplace Safety, De-Escalating Hostile Patient Encounters”; Dr. Richard Soden: “Billing and Coding Update”; Dr. Chris Lievens: “Use of iPads/Tablets in the Clinical Setting”; Gary Snuffin and Richard Stroud: “Compliance and Meaningful Use.”

Sponsors: Abbott Medical Optics, Accutome, Alcon, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Carl Zeiss Vision, Compulink Business Systems, Essilor of America, EyeMed Vision Care, International Vision Expo, Haag-Streit, Heine, Hoya Vision, Keeler Instruments, Marco, M&S Technologies, Oculus, Optos, Transitions, Vision Service Plan, Vistakon and Volk Optical


Clinical Optometric Methods & Procedures Instructors

Met: Oct. 22, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chair: Dr. Mark Rosenfield (2010-Oct. 2013)

Actions: Dr. Srihari Narayanan elected as Chair. Dr. Kaila Osmotherly elected Chair-Elect.

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Dr. Narayanan: problem-based learning; Dr. Osmotherly: team-based learning; Dr. Jeffrey Perotti: flipped classes; Dr. Denise Goodwin: using recorded/online lectures; Dr. J. Randall Vance and Dr. Laura Falco: testing and grading with recording devices; Dr. Tiffenie Harris: teaching labs in the 21st century

Sponsor: Keeler


Continuing Education Directors

 Met: Oct. 25, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chairs: Dr. Melanie Crandall and Vanessa McDonald

Actions: Chairpersons for 2014 will be Dr. Doris Antunez and Vanessa McDonald.

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Dr. Michael Bacigalupi: facilitated a discussion regarding marketing events through various forms of social media, defining the audience and available reports; Dr. Nicole Patterson: software programs, such as Poll Everywhere and others, for engaging audience participation.

Sponsor: Luxottica


Development Directors

Met: Oct. 24, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chairs: Dr. Kristin Anderson, Peggy Striplin, Nancy Broude

Actions: Peggy Striplin approved as 2014 Chair. Andrea Carthew approved as Chair-Elect. Decision was made to develop an institutional contact guide.

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Dr. Mark Colip: “Developing Students into Engaged Alumni”; Andrea Carthew: “Friendraising Before Fundraising”; Peggy Striplin: “Stewardship: It’s About the Donor, Not Us”; Frances Rozner: “Building and Managing an Effective Alumni Board”; Tami Tarpley: “Engaging Young Alumni”; panel discussion, “Working Together to Advance Your Institution.”

Sponsors: Allergan and Luxottica

Contact: Christine Armstrong, ASCO Director, Development,, (301) 231-5944 ext. 3018


Educational Technology

Met: Oct. 23, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chair: Dr. James Kundart

Actions: Dean Swick is Chair-Elect (election previously conducted electronically)

Discussion Topic Highlights: best practices in optometric educational technology


Externship Directors

Met: Sept. 26, 2013 in St. Louis, Mo.

Chairs: Dr. Etty Bitton and Dr. Maria Parisi

Actions: Dr. Harue Marsden and Dr. Cheryl Ervin were elected Co-Chair Elects. The group acknowledged Dr. Les Caplan, who has announced he is retiring from his position as ASCO Senior Consultant, for his leadership, guidance, mentorship and dedication to education over the years. (See “Dr. Caplan, Longtime ASCO Senior Consultant, to Retire.”)

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Dr. Beth Harper, Dr. Erik Weissberg and Dr. Greg Nixon: how to set up a preceptor meeting (budget, agenda, objectives and educational tools); Dr. Patricia Modica and Dr. Maria Parisi: how to attain adjunct faculty status for externship preceptors; Dr. Marsden, Dr. Ralph Herring and Dr. Bitton: coordinated a breakout session to discuss best practices for handling clinical enhancement programs for student externs. Dr. Nixon and Dr. Parisi: Medicare compliance issues as they apply to externship programs; Dr. John Townsend: overview of the impact that optometric services (both student externs and residents) have on meeting the needs of veterans.

Sponsors: Abbott Medical Optics, Accutome Inc., Alcon, Allergan Eye Care, Bausch + Lomb Eye Health, Carl Zeiss Meditec/Vision, Compulink Business Systems, Essilor of America, EyeMed Vision Care, Haag-Streit USA, Heine, Hoya Vision Care, International Vision Expo, Keeler, M&S Technologies, Marco, Oculus, Optos, Inc., Transitions Optical, Vision Service Plan, Vistakon, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Volk Optical Inc.


International Optometric Educators

Met: Oct. 25, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chairs: Dr. Michael Heiberger and Dr. Hector Santiago

Actions: Dr. Jeff Perotti was elected Chair-Elect. Dr. Santiago assumed chairmanship at the close of the meeting.

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Results from the survey of international activity of U.S. and Canadian schools are expected in approximately four weeks; a survey of schools of optometry in Latin America is being planned; Dr. Gerald Lowther: WCO activities in the area of optometric education; Dr. Andres Pagan: overview of optometric education in Latin America; Dr. Mel Shipp: report from the ASCO International Optometric Education Committee.

Sponsor: Walmart


Low Vision Educators

Met: Oct. 24, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chair: Dr. Tracy Matchinski

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: The group was updated on its ongoing Advanced Competencies and Learning Objectives project, which is nearing completion. Future SIG projects were discussed, with possibilities including: skill testing of competencies, teaching strategies, methods of presentation of case studies, interdisciplinary education, and updating the survey of low vision education at the schools and colleges. Interactive discussion: Optelec’s Low Vision Diagnostic Tool, explained by company representatives Robert Auger and Dr. Lori Grover.

Sponsor: Optelec


Residency Educators

Met: Oct. 24, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chairs: Dr. David Loshin and Dr. Doug Hoffman

Discussion Topic Highlights/Speakers: Dr. Andrew Buzzelli: Residency Affairs Committee update; Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Debbie Hettler: VA residencies update; Dr. Bart Campbell: Accreditation Council on Optometric Education update; Dr. Wes DeRosier: AAO Residents Day update; Dr. David Loshin: ORMatch update; Dr. Lori Vollmer: pros and cons of residency expansion; Dr. Susan Leat: update on visas for Canadian-trained optometrists.

Sponsor: Alcon

Contact: Paige Pence,, (404) 545-6159, or LaShawn Sidbury,, (301) 231-5944 ext. 3012


Vision Science Librarians

Met: Oct. 23-25, 2013 in Seattle, Wash.

Chair: DJ Matthews

Topics Discussed: growth and change of the SIG, impact factors, social media, assessing the impact of research

Speakers: David Epstein, NAEVR/AEVR; Joanne Olson, ARVO

Sponsor: ASCO


Unless otherwise indicated, the ASCO contact for all SIGs is Program Manager LaShawn Sidbury, CMP, or (301) 231-5944 ext. 3012.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were created within ASCO as a primary means of implementing the ASCO mission of “fulfilling the leadership role in the optometric education enterprise.” The purpose of SIGs is to provide forums for professional staff, administrators and faculty with common responsibilities to communicate directly with each other and to provide advice and counsel to the ASCO Board of Directors on issues related to their areas of interest. Participation is open to individuals designated by the deans and presidents of active ASCO member institutions. See the ASCO Web site,, for more information.