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Vision Care
Section Newsletter
Fall 2007

Greetings, VCS Members!

I hope you had an enjoyable summer.

The Vision Care Section is gearing for what looks to be an interesting Annual Meeting.  We have a great program lined up.  I do hope you can join us in Washington, D.C. for the Section business meetings as well as the scientific sessions.  VCS is sponsoring two proposed policy statements that will be presented in hearings for approval.  One concerns eye care in emergency response and the other addresses the ocular risks of tobacco smoke exposure.

After years of anticipation, APHA has finally created a Web site system for the Sections.  We anticipate converting to the new system in time for the Annual Meeting.    With the new system comes an opportunity to revamp the Section Web site, so we hope to incorporate many of the suggestions we received as a result of the member survey that was performed earlier this year.  A blast e-mail will be distributed once the new Web site is up and running.

Thank you to all of you who completed the online member survey.  Your comments are very helpful.  The information will be taken to heart by current and future Section leaders to find ways to serve you better.  As always, feel free to contact the Section chair if you have any concerns you would like to raise.

This year as Chair passed quickly and there are always things one wishes to accomplish but can't.  Thank you to all of the Section leaders and volunteers who stepped forward this year to offer assistance and advice as we continually try to improve the systems in place to get the job done.  There are many dedicated individuals who year in and year out, stand ready to help APHA and VCS.  They deserve your thanks and admiration long after I hand over the gavel to our incoming Chair, Mort Soroka.

If I don't have a chance to see you in D.C. or communicate with you otherwise, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Annual Meeting Program

Stacy Lyons


The Vision Care Section of APHA is pleased to be sponsoring six scientific sessions with more than 20 scientific papers at the Annual Meeting Nov. 5-7, 2007 in Washington, D.C. Please access the Vision Care Sections Program by the link provided:


Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.



Vision Care in Community Based Programs (Oral)

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.



Vision Issues Concerning Children Including Prevalence, Screening, Identification, Impact on Academic Performance (Oral)

Tuesday, Nov.  6, 2007

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.



Evidence Based Policy, Racial Disparity and Practice In Eye Care (Oral)

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.



Preventing Eye Disease, Eye Injuries, and Future Vision Loss (Oral)

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.



Public Health and Aging: Promoting Healthy Communities for Healthy Aging (Oral)

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.



Aging and the Impact of Vision (Oral)


Governing Council Report

  Debbie Hettler


This year's Governing Council should have some interesting highlights:  

  • The Iraq/Iran resolution was again not approved by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC). This decision was again overridden by the Executive Board in an attempt to bring it to the Annual Meeting.
  • Some bylaws changes on the conference call from June will need to be discussed again.
  • JPC will be spending most of the time at the Annual Meeting reviewing comments from the open hearings on Sunday, and making any last minute revisions to bring resolutions to the floor of Governing Council. Last year, all resolutions that were brought forward from JPC were ultimately passed by Governing Council. Vision Care Section has two resolutions that are being considered. This should add to the excitement of the APHA Annual Meeting.

Awards Program

Satya Verma


The Vision Care Section Awards will be presented on Tuesday, Nov. 6 starting at 7:30 a.m. during the Eye Opener Breakfast in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom.

The following awards will be presented:

  • Distinguished Service Award:   
    Ohio's Aging Eye, Public and Private Partnership
    (to be accepted by Mr. Richard Bunner)
  • Outstanding Paper/Project Award:
     Eye Care for Kids Foundation
  • Outstanding Student Paper/Project Award:
    Visual Impairment Awareness and Training within a Consumer Establishment
    Amanda Jimenez; Meritza Frericks; Christine Giblin; Melanie Gonzalez; Karen Li; and Jessica Medina   (students from New England College of Optometry)



Election Results

Election Results

Norman Bailey


Most of our readers will have learned the outcome of our spring Vision Care Section elections before you see this newsletter.  We were fortunate to field a full slate of qualified candidates (two for each open position) for the 2007 election of officers and other Section leaders.


The following individuals gave us permission to put their names forward on the ballot for consideration by the membership of the Vision Care Section:


 Chair-Elect                Section Councilors               Governing Council

 (vote for one)             (vote for two)                     (vote for one)

 Sandra S. Block              Kevin D. Frick                   Concetta Daurio

 Bradley W. Taylor          Janet L. Leasher                 Stacy A. Lyon

                                     Renee Mika

                                      Jeff Todd


All of the following newly elected individuals will assume office at the close of the annual meeting of the APHA this November. 


The VCS membership elected Sandra Block of the Illinois College of Optometry as the incoming chair-elect.  Sandy is also in a leadership role with Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, which is working to develop sustainable vision care worldwide for persons with intellectual disability.  


The current VCS chair-elect is Mort Soroka of the State University of New York’s State College of Optometry.  Mort will assume the position of Chair of the VCS at the close of business this November, replacing Greg Hom, an optometric practitioner in San Diego.  Greg will become the Immediate Past Chair, replacing the author of this article.


I wish to publicly thank Brad Taylor for allowing us to place his name in nomination for chair-elect.  Brad has given much leadership to the VCS in past years.  He is currently a clinical instructor at the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences.


Janet Leasher of Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and Renee Mika of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University were newly elected Vision Care Section Councilors.   


In thanking the other two nominees for our Section Council, while not eye care practitioners, I note they were extremely qualified to serve on our Section Council, and I hope they will allow their names to be put forward in the future for the VCS membership to seriously consider them for leadership positions.  Both Kevin and Jeff are highly recognized on the national level for their leadership in eye and vision health.  Kevin is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he has gained national recognition for his study of the economics of eye and vision health.  He recently served on an Expert Panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which contributed to the CDC’s report, “Improving the Nation’s Vision Health – A Coordinated Public Health Approach.”  Jeff is the senior vice president of program & public health at Prevent Blindness America.  We all know the important role this national organization has played in the promotion of good eye health education and in encouraging government to develop public policy addressing eye and vision care needs.  Jeff has been in the middle of these activities.


Both Kevin and Jeff have promised to continue participating on Vision Care Section committees and attending VCS business meetings.  Their expertise has been essential to the VCS, from the drafting of VCS sponsored APHA resolutions addressing eye and vision health needs, to developing programs, and selecting recipients for our section’s annual awards.


Concetta Daurio, a practitioner with the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, was elected to fill the open VCS position on the Governing Council (the governing body of APHA).  Over the years, Concetta has served in most of the elected positions of the VCS.  She will bring her expertise to the Governing Council in representing VCS concerns.  Of course, she will also be taking an active role in supporting all public health matters of interest to APHA.  In the last few years, your VCS leadership has been giving ever increasing attention to the broader public health issues of the nation, placing our section in a position of respect among all the sections of APHA. 


I wish to thank Stacy Lyons, our other nominee for the Governing Council, for her participation in the election process.  Stacy is an Associate Professor and Chief of the Pediatric Optometry Service at the New England College of Optometry, and a rising leader in the Vision Care Section.  She has been particularly active in collaborating with other entities in Boston to bring pediatric vision care services into the public health arena in a holistic manner.  We look forward to her continuing participation our section.


We have been blessed with a number of developing quality participants in the Vision Care Section.  While your membership in the Vision Care Section of APHA alone is a very important contribution to eye and vision public health issues nationwide, you are also welcome to take a more active role within the Section leadership.  This begins by simply making arrangements to attend the APHA Annual Meeting, attending the concurrent business meeting sessions of the Vision Care Section, and letting the VCS leadership know of any interests you may have in serving the Section.  Over time, you will be amazed at what you will be asked to do.  I was amazed at what I was asked to do and have been honored to serve the VCS over the years.  I will be departing as an officer and elected member of the Vision Care Section leadership this November, but I plan to remain active wherever needed for years to come.