American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Vision Care
Section Newsletter
Spring 2004

Message from the Chair

The Vision Care Section has had a busy winter, and we are looking forward to our Mid-year meeting at the American Optometric Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. The theme of the meeting is “share the magic,” and they have organized and planned a tremendous program. The World Council of Optometry (WCO) will overlap the Optometry Meeting, and many critical public health issues will be addressed. The topic of heightened trade and mobility of health services crossing national boundaries will be discussed during the first World Congress on Optometric Globalization. The meeting will begin on June 21, 2004, and will run through the start of the Optometry Meeting on June 23. We are honored to have Dr. C. Everett Koop as the key speaker for the Opening General Session. Dr. Koop served as the U.S. Surgeon General in 1981 and he continues to be a major force for public health and health education. Please plan to attend these meetings.

We are extremely fortunate to have such a major public health emphasis at a national optometric meeting in concurrence with the Vision Care Section’s 25th Anniversary. The cooperative opportunities with the World Council of Optometry and VCS will provide an excellent forum for discussion and information exchange.

VCS also unanimously agreed to be a co-sponsor of an APHA resolution this year supporting the establishment of Coordinated School Health Programs. The title of the resolution is Support for Coordinated School Health Programs: Essential Public Health Infrastructure. This proposal will be introduced at the APHA Annual Meeting in November.

The Vision Care Section also welcomed new members this year, and with the continued diligent work of Dr. Morton Silverman, we will continue to attract and retain members who appreciate the major role that public health plays for all optometrists.

The Vision Care Section will have a mid-year business meeting at the Gaylord Hotel on Saturday, June 26, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Emerald Room. We hope to see many of our colleagues and friends during the annual meeting and hope that you will ask us how you may become more involved with our section. Have a great meeting – see you in Orlando!

View from the Chair of the Executive Board

Under my administrative theme of “communication and engagement” and as a long-time member and former Chair of the Vision Care Section, I thought I would use recent observance of National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 5-11, and the opportunity afforded by this newsletter to provide the Section with a one-month overview of some of my activities as Chair of the APHA Executive Board.

During the first week of April and in support of NPHW, I had the opportunity to present comments on behalf of the APHA Executive Board at the first (Washington, D.C.) and last (Oakland, Calif.) of the five APHA-sponsored Town Hall meetings that were held across the country to highlight the week's theme of "Eliminating Health Disparities - Communities Moving from Statistics to Solutions." Last November, the APHA Governing Council reaffirmed the elimination of health disparities as one of APHA's top priorities, and the Town Hall Meetings helped address that priority by promoting the work of local communities in eliminating health disparities. The Kaiser Family Foundation Web cast and C-SPAN broadcast provided national exposure and access to the Washington, D.C. Town Hall that featured U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Nathan Stinson, President and CEO of the Hispanic Medical Association Elena Rios, and Executive Director of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center Michael Bird.

I also was fortunate to participate in several NPHW activities in my home state of Indiana, such as meeting with the fellows of the Mid-America Public Health Leadership Institute to talk about "the real world of public health," and joining the Indiana State Health Commissioner in radio and television interview discussions on the impact of health disparities in Indiana.

During the following week I was one of several invited panelists on an Indiana State Department of Health sponsored videoconference and live Web cast devoted to a statewide discussion of "Strengthening the Health Care Infrastructure: Disparities in Care." The panel included Brian Smedley, Study Director of the Institute of Medicine's "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare," and was the central focus of a two-hour discussion that provided call-in access from 12 community-based satellite viewing stations around the state.

The next week I represented APHA as one of the keynote presenters during the opening plenary session of the National Minority Health Month Leadership Summit, sponsored by the Alliance of Minority Medical Associations and the National Minority Health Month Foundation in Washington, D.C. Also participating in the opening session was HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and former CMS Administrator Thomas Scully.

The day after my National Minority Health Month presentation, I visited Capitol Hill to testify on behalf of APHA before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. My testimony was in regard to the Public Health Service components of the President's Budget, supporting the need for an adequate PHS budget in FY 2005.

In spite of the busy schedule, it is an extreme pleasure and honor to serve as Chair of the APHA Executive Board, and I hope this little snapshot of my activity in April gives you a broader perspective on my duties as Executive Board Chair.

Best regards,

Edwin C. Marshall, OD, MS, MPH
Professor of Optometry
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Administration
School of Optometry
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Adjunct Professor of Public Health
Department of Public Health
School of Medicine
Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Voice: (812) 855-6682
Fax: (812)855-7045

Education Board Meets in Washington, D.C.

The APHA Education Board met in Washington April 25-26, 2004, and I was privileged to be attending my first official meeting as an appointed member. There was action on quite a few items, including attempts to improve APHA record keeping for Continuing Education for nurses, revisions of the Continuing Education programs that precede the Annual Meeting, updates on Public Health Accreditation activities, and utilization of the survey results of members attending the annual meeting last year. The Action Plan for the completion of the charge of the APHA Executive Board to the Education Board was set up. This
board will meet again at the Annual Meeting in November.

If you have specific questions about the Education Board, I would be happy to share any additional information with you.

Debbie Hettler Arbeitman, OD, MPH, FAAO
Chief, Optometry Service
Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital
800 Hospital Drive
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 814-6000 page 421
(573) 814-6575 Direct

Student's Voice

Student involvement in APHA is crucial to the advancement of optometry as a primary care health profession. Interaction with other health care professional students provides broader insight into health issues, critically impacting optometry on many levels. Student members of APHA can become members of the Public Health Student Caucus (PHSC). The PHSC is an organization of students within APHA representing a wide variety of health related fields. This sub-organization provides an opportunity for students to network with other health care professionals to address common issues and concerns. The Student Health Alliance (SHA) is a subgroup of the PHSC. The SHA facilitates collaboration of health care professional students in keeping with the changing face of health care. The most current project of the SHA is a trans-disciplinary student leadership workshop. Essentially, the proposed workshop is a training program designed to increase the public health workforce development of students in health related fields who are graduating and entering communities as new health professionals. The goal of the workshop will be to develop effective, trans-disciplinary, multiple discipline health professional teams working in communities providing collaborative, adaptive leadership to improve individual and community health. Understanding the ecological model of health and the value of working in teams would be critical to these groups of new professionals. Content of the workshop would include self awareness through analysis of personal leadership skills and abilities, team building via a ropes course experience, collaborative/adaptive leadership, power dynamics and negotiation, networking, and coaching and individual leadership development planning (ILDP), including mentor identification, selection, mutual expectation setting, and utilization.

Optometry students interested in joining APHA have a unique opportunity provided by Vistakon. For the past seven years, Vistakon has graciously donated a grant to provide free memberships to 40 optometry students out of the 19 optometry schools that comprise the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA). Each local AOSA public health liaison receives a membership grant. The local liaison and the public health staff member at each school then appoint one more student who exhibits interest and dedication to public health to receive a second membership. Involving students at an early stage in their professional health care career will open doors early for future APHA involvement. Dr. Mort Silverman, VCS Membership Chair, has played a significant role in the recruitment of deserving students to receive the grant. Any optometry student interested in joining the APHA should visit the PHSC Web site at <>.

Proposed APHA policies now online, review process begins

APHA's 2004 proposed policies are now on the APHA Web site and are open for comments from Association members.

The 23 proposed policies, which were authored and submitted by APHA members, focus on a range of public health issues, including youth alcohol advertising, overtime pay, nutrition and sex education.

The proposals will become official APHA policies if adopted by the Association's Governing Council, which will meet during the 132nd APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6 -­10. APHA policies serve as the Association's official stance on a public health issue and guide APHA's advocacy and work on a topic.

APHA members are encouraged to read the policy proposals online and submit their comments. This is a way that APHA members who are unable to attend the annual meeting can participate in the policy process.

Members should send their comments on the proposed policies to the head of their respective Sections, Special Primary Interest Groups or Caucuses, as input on the proposals will only be accepted collectively from APHA constituent groups.

Additionally, available this year on the APHA Web site are a group of APHA policies that are being examined as part of the Association's annual policy review process.

Under the policy review process, members identify subject areas within the Association's policy database that may be in need of review. A list of policies that apply to each subject area is then generated and is open for comment from APHA members, with a goal of ensuring that APHA policies are relevant. Twenty-one policies developed over the years by the Vision Care Section are part of this review process this year. They will be reviewed for identifying policies which are 1) no longer relative and should be archieved, 2) need updating or 3) indicate there that a gap in policy exists.

In the next step in the process, volunteer review groups from APHA's Sections will examine the identified policies and recommend which of them should be archived. For the Vision Care Section this review is being spearheaded by the VCS's six Section Councilors: Drs. Gary Chu, Greg Hom, Bernie Maslovitz, Kelly Nichols, Concetta Daurio and Wende Waggnonner-Wu. If the Governing Council approves the recommendations in November, the policies would then be archived. Once they are archived, the policies will not be actively used to guide APHA actions.

For the policy review process, members should submit their comments to the contact person listed with each group of policies that are proposed for review. Comments on the proposed policies for review should be submitted to the listed contacts.

Both the proposed polices and policies proposed for review can be accessed with a member password at <>.
To learn more, e-mail <>.

NEW! E-ssentialLearning: Expanded Access to Annual Meeting Sessions

APHA is expanding the educational experience of both presenters and attendees at the APHA Annual Meeting by investing in LCD projectors, computers and new Web-based technology for all scientific sessions. This new technology will enable voice and PowerPoint presentations to be recorded and uploaded to the APHA Web site following the meeting, thus extending the life of the meeting and providing access to hundreds of actual scientific session presentations that Annual Meeting registrants may have missed while attending other sessions.

Annual Meeting attendees can receive full access to these expanded sessions by registering for E-ssentialLearning on the Annual Meeting registration form. Special introductory discounted fees are $25 for Annual Meeting session presenters, $50 for APHA members (who are not session presenters), and $100 for non-members and are in effect for anyone registering for the full APHA Annual Meeting by the Oct. 1 pre-registration deadline. These fees will increase substantially for anyone registering on-site at the Annual Meeting in Washington.

Log-in information and password access to these E-ssentialLearning sessions will be provided to registrants immediately following the Annual Meeting.

NEW! Presenters Able to Upload PowerPoint Presentations in Advance
LCD projectors and computers are now included as part of the standard audiovisual package in each session room. This new technology will enable presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations in advance of the meeting and have them pre-loaded on the APHA session computers. Individual presentations then begin with a click of the mouse. The cost and inconvenience of bringing a computer to the Annual Meeting has been eliminated for presenters allowing them to take advantage of new technologies and be a part of the E-ssentialLearning experience.

World Council of Optometry News

During its 2001 Annual Meeting, APHA passed a resolution endorsing the World Health Organization's VISION 2020: The Right to Sight global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness. Since then, the World Council of Optometry (WCO) has been working with international partners to raise awareness of the broad societal impact of blindness and visual disability, and to develop programs that address the global challenges of eye care. Our efforts will culminate with the World Congress on Optometric Globalization (WCOG) June 21 - 24, 2004 in Orlando, Florida.

The WCOG will address critical issues stemming from the heightened trade and mobility of health services, goods, knowledge and practitioners across national boundaries. International experts will describe the theories, trends, models and strategies affecting every sector of the optometric profession and ophthalmic industry. The essence of vision and eye care will take new form as leaders tackle five key issues - all of which have significant public health implications:

· Regulation and mobility of optometrists across national borders;
· Optometric education and assessment strategies at the global level;
· International standardization of ophthalmic goods and services;
· Globalization trends and issues for the ophthalmic industry; and
· The impact of globalization on improving access to vision and eye care.

Dr. Serge Resnikoff, Director of the Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Programs for WHO, will address attendees during two sessions on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. His presentations, combined with those of other keynote speakers, will motivate the health care profession to form new strategies, partnerships and initiatives to eliminate avoidable blindness.

We have attached a complete description of the program and registration materials for your consideration. We welcome you to this dynamic forum in which leaders will question, debate and develop a new world view of optometry. Together, we will confront the global challenges and create opportunities for public and professional growth.

Damien P Smith, AM, MScOptom, PhD, FAAO
President, World Council of Optometry

Related Files:

Dr. Siu Wong Recognized by U.S. Public Health Service

Sui Wong, OD, MPH, is the 2004 recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service, Asian Pacific American Officers Committee, Samuel Lin Award. The award Citation reads: "made significant contribution to the advancement of the Nation's health, demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and has displayed dedication and involvement in health-related professional, community organizations or activities."

The award was presented in May at the 2004 Public Health Professional Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

New England Eye Institute Marks National Healthy Vision Month; Bestows Prestigious Awards to Community Health Pioneers at its Second Annual Boston Healthy Vision Conference

The New England Eye Institute, affiliate of the New England College of Optometry, announced it has awarded Dr. Jack Geiger the Leadership Excellence Award for his pioneering work in community health and the care of vulnerable populations. New England Eye has also recognized Dr. Andre Quamina, a leading Boston ophthalmologist and clinical teacher at the New England College of Optometry with the Community Clinician Award, in recognition of his highly competent and compassionate care at several of Boston’s community health centers. The awards were presented on May 12 during New England Eye’s Second Annual Boston Healthy Vision Conference at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. The conference took place in conjunction with National Healthy Vision month, sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Eye Health Education Program. The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Doctors Gieger and Quamina embody the ideals that we embrace with regard to community service and social responsibility,” said Dr. Barry Barresi, president of New England Eye. “We honor these doctors as part of our overall belief that a community-based eye care model is the right one to serve Boston’s vulnerable populations. The event, with more than 50 community organizations and public agencies in attendance, is further proof that New England Eye’s leadership in collaboration and reaching out to people in need is the only way to improve the visual health of Boston neighborhoods. We congratulate Doctors Geiger and Quamina on this recognition and for their ongoing commitment to social justice and health care for all.”

H. Jack Gieger, MD: The 2004 Leadership Excellence Award
Dr. Gieger is currently the Arthur C. Logan Professor Emeritus of Community Medicine, City University of New York Medical School. He received his MD from Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1958 and trained in internal medicine at the Harvard Service of Boston City Hospital from 1958-64. During this period he also earned a degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, was a Research Fellow at the Channing and Thorndike Laboratories, Harvard Medical School, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Joint Training Professorship at CUNY Medical School in 1968. He was chairman of the Department of Community Medicine at Tufts University Medical School (1968-71), Visiting Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (1972-73), and Chairman of the Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stonybrook (1973-78). In 1983-84 he was Senior Fellow in Health Policy at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, Calif.

Most of his six-decade professional career has been devoted to the problems of health, poverty and human rights. He initiated the community health center model in the United States, combining community-oriented primary care, public health interventions, and civil rights and community empowerment and development initiatives, and was a leader in the development of the national health center network of more than 900 urban, rural and migrant centers currently serving some 12 million low-income patients. From 1965-71 he was director of the first urban and first rural health centers in the United States, at Columbia Point, Boston, and Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Benjamin Andre Quamina, MD: The 2004 Community Clinician Award
Dr. Quamina has devoted his medical career to the betterment of community and the eye health of Boston’s neighborhoods. Beginning in the 1970s, Dr. Quamina has treated tens of thousands of Boston residents, providing the highest of quality and compassion in care and skill, offering those services regardless of patients’ background or financial status. Dr. Quamina is an Associate Clinical Professor-Boston Medical Center and Adjunct Clinical Faculty at The New England College of Optometry. Dr. Quamina is a consulting ophthalmologist at four New England Eye Institute affiliated community health centers, Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, Codman Square Health Center, South End Community Health Center and Dimock Community Health Center. In all these community care settings, Dr. Quamina has been a superb clinical teacher and mentor to thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists, at all times showing by example the power of teamwork and cooperation in clinical eye care.

About New England Eye Institute
New England Eye Institute is a network of eye care centers and programs that reach out to the community with tailored programs for diverse populations. The teaching affiliate of the New England College of Optometry, New England Eye offers specialized services for whole-person, comprehensive eye care through its ongoing collaboration with area health professionals. Delivering excellent eye care for all, with distinctive programs for children, the elderly and the homeless, New England Eye is playing a leading role in the Healthy People/Healthy Vision 2010 national health agenda.

For more information about NEEI, contact:
Barry Barresi, OD, PhD. President
Tel: 617-236-6311
Web site:

Article courtesy of NEEI

Equitable, available low vision care is an optometric public health issue

The American Optometric Association, Low Vision Rehabilitation Section (AOA LVRS) is sponsoring "Low Vision State Leader Symposium" at the 107th Congress in Orlando, Wednesday, June 23, 2004, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., at the Royal Caribe Hotel.

Optometric Low Vision Care: Tradition and Emergence (2:00 - 3:00 p.m.) will be presented by APHA VCS members Susan R. Gormezano, OD, Chair, AOA LVRS, and Joan Stelmack, OD, MPH.

The National Eye Institute's National Eye Health Eduction Program for 2005 Vision Rehabilitation is the primary emphasis. The APHA VCS continues to works to disseminate the essential nature of access to quality low vision care and rehabilitation, with the low vision policy statement approved by APHA in November 2003.

APHA VCS members and others who attend the AOA Congress are also invited to attend the AOA LVRS Low Vision State Leader Symposium.

Equitable, available low vision care is a public health issue and doctors of optometry are in an excellent position to help achieve the nation's public health vision and eye care objectives as presented in Healthy People 2010.

Reservations are encouraged: Please contact the AOA LVRS at (800) 365-2219, ext. 225.

Related Files:

Grant Announcements

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Invites Applications for Access Grants
With a mission to expand access to health care, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation makes grants in program areas that will have a significant impact on the health of Massachusetts's low income and uninsured residents.
Deadline: Sept. 23, 2004 (Letters of Inquiry)
Posted: March 25, 2004

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Offers Grants to Expand Faith in Action Volunteer Healthcare Program
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is offering grants to expand Faith in Action, an interfaith volunteer caregiving program that helps to better the lives of people with long-term health needs.
Deadline: Open
Posted: March 19, 2004

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Invites Proposals for Local Initiative Funding Partners Program
To be eligible for this program, projects must offer community-based services that are new and innovative for the community, if not for the county, state, or nation.
Deadline: July 14, 2005
Posted: March 3, 2004

Lakitia Mayo
Director of Grassroots Advocacy & Affiliate Affairs
American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

(202) 777-2515
(202) 777-2532 fax

VCS Member Celebrates 40th APHA anniversary

Congratulations to Wallis E. Reagin, OD, of Decatur, Ga., for 40 continuous years as a member of APHA!!!

Mark Your Calendar! APHA Vision Care Mid-Year Meeting

The Vision Care Section will be holding the mid-year meeting during the upcoming AOA Congress in Orlando. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Date: Saturday, June 26
Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Place: Gaylord Palms Resort, Meeting Room Emerald #6

Hope to see everyone there!

Your VCS Leadership

Section Chair:
William Monaco, OD, PhD
Caring Vision, Inc.
23 Lynam Drive
Newark, DE 19702
Office: (302) 598-3698

Past Chair:
Valarie Conrad, OD, MPH
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
Office: (312) 949-7304

Ian Berger, OD

Gregory Wolfe, OD
University of Illinois at Chicago
3055 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60616
Office: (312) 791-2212
Fax: (312) 791-2211


Membership Chair:
Morton W. Silverman, OD
NOVA Southeastern University, HPP
College of Optometry
3200 S. University
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33328
Office: (954) 262-1440

Awards Chair:
Satya B. Verma, OD
Pennsylvania College of Optometry
8360 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Office: (215) 780-1345
FAX: (215) 780-1327

Program Chair:
Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD (‘05)
The Ohio State University College of Optometry
320 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Work Phone: (614)688-5381

Nominations Chair:
Valarie Conrad, OD, MPH
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
Office: (312) 949-7304

Newsletter Editor:
Gregory Wolfe, OD
University of Illinois at Chicago
3055 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60616
Office: (312) 791-2212

AOSA Liason:
Sima Lal, MPH
c/o Illinois College of Optometry


R. Norman Bailey, OD, MPH ('02)
3120 Holly Hall Drive
Houston, TX 77054
Office: (713) 743-1916

Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, DrPH
New England College of Optometry
Boston, MA

APHA Action Board Representative
Norma Bowyer, OD, MPH
244 Wagner Road
Morgantown, WV 26501
Office: (304) 291-5051

APHA Education Board Representative
Debbie Hettler, OD, MPH
Truman Veterans Hospital
MailStop 112-Eye Clinic
800 Hospital Drive
Columbia, MO 65201
Office: (573) 443-6519-pager 421
(573) 814-6575
FAX: (573) 814-8800


Greg Hom OD, MPH (’04)
11230 Sorrento Valley Rd, Suite 115
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 858-535-9835

Gary Chu, OD (‘04)

Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD (‘05)
The Ohio State University College of Optometry
320 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Work Phone: (614)688-5381

Wende W. Wu, OD, MPH, MS (‘05)
Albequerque, NM

Bernard Maslovitz, OD, MPH ('06)

Concetta Daurio, OD, MBA (’06)
Chief of Optometry
Harvard Vanguard Medical Assoc.
77 Hagen Rd.
Newton, MA 02159-2730
Office: 617-421-2509
Fax: 617-421-6009

Web Page Editor
Greg Hom OD, MPH (’04)
11230 Sorrento Valley Rd, Suite 115
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 858-535-9835