By: Matossian Eye Associates
Organized by Wills Eye Hospital, the 71st annual Wills Eye Conference was held this past March 7 to 9 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This three-day conference is specifically designed for comprehensive ophthalmologists, specialists and allied health personnel.
Throughout the three days, reviews of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to eye problems related to all ophthalmic sub-specialties were conducted. Additionally, nationally recognized physicians presented the current trends in diseases and treatment options for retina, cornea, oculoplastic surgery and additional ophthalmic topics.
The conclusion of the conference afforded the opportunity for participants to apply new concepts in the diagnosis and management of ocular tumors, understand the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid eye disease and improve the quality of personal knowledge with regard to correction of keratoconus.
Sessions at the 71st annual conference included:
- The Free Paper Session
- The Physician Program
- Inaugural Bedrossian Lecture
- Bedell and Leopold Lectures
- Technicians Program
- Administrators Program and Academic Poster Exhibition
- Physician Program
- Ellis Lecture and Gettes Symposium
- Technicians Hands-On Workshop and Academic Poster Exhibition
In keeping our personnel on the absolute leading edge when it comes to eye care advancements, several key team members from Matossian Eye Associates attended the Wills Eye Conference – notably Jenis Laurito, Director of Clinical Services; Edwin Grubb, COT; Jennifer Orzechowski and Christine Worrell, COA. The following represents each member’s feedback regarding the conference, encompassing everything he or she took away from the event.
Jenis Laurito, Matossian Director of Clinical Services
“Each year at the Wills Eye Conference, hands-on workshops are offered for technicians, and this year’s workshop was no different, kicking off with a lecture by Dr. Wisner. The highly informative lecture focused on pre-operative measurements and the importance of each one, and his explanation of each test was extremely thorough and easy to understand.
“Following the lecture, we were afforded the opportunity to participate in hands-on trials of different IOL devices, and the representatives responsible for presenting these devices were also very helpful in explaining what made their particular technology stand out from the competition.
“My favorite had to be the Nidek, as it was extremely quick and boasts an eye tracker. While it was limited to how many lenses it could hold, the speed and aforementioned eye tracking feature were very impressive. It took literal seconds to obtain all the measurements required, and would also let the user repeat specific measurements without repeating all of them.”
Edwin Grubb, COT
“Attending the annual Wills Eye Conference in Philadelphia over the years always reminds me what a wonderful field it is we practice in. We started this year’s event on Saturday with Dr. Alex Levin, who spoke with us about Ocular Genetics. Indeed, the strides he is accomplishing in gene identification and eye disease is nothing short of amazing, and will affect how we approach these subjects in the future.
Dr. Susan Edmonds, meanwhile, spoke to us about her low vision practice at Wills, touching on the lost art of trial frame refracting for macular degeneration patients and retinoscopy. This, in particular, rang true for me, getting back to the notion that basic optics is sometimes the best option to obtain the best visual results for the patient.
“Dr. Sadeer Hannush spoke on this subject as well, explaining how vital a role the technicians play in patient history tracking, special testing and refraction – and how it takes a team to make and treat the proper diagnosis. The cataract and glaucoma updates were interesting, but I am proud to say that our eye doctor personnel at Matossian are already performing the new procedures showcased at the conference.
“Finally, we had the opportunity to touch base with all of our favorite company reps while catching up with some others who are now operating in other territories. We also got to see all of the new eye equipment from all the other companies and were able to demo the Topcon, Alladin, Lenstar, iTrace and of course the Zeiss 700. To say there are a plethora of new technologies in ophthalmology is something of an understatement. We are thankful for the opportunity to attend this conference.”
“I had the privilege of attending the Wills Eye Conference on Saturday for A-scan training, and we enjoyed a lecture that focused on calculators and tips for obtaining measurements. The fact that we were afforded the opportunity to experience a hands-on moment with A-scan equipment is something I’ll never forget. It was also fascinating to work with other eye care entities’ IOL Master machines to compare them to ours. I can honestly report that in my opinion, we have the best IOL Master, based on the fact that ours takes the fastest measurements and is far more user-friendly than many others.”
Christine Worrell, COA
“I had the pleasure of attending the Wills Eye Conference on both Friday and Saturday, with Friday being a full day of presentations by different eye doctor professionals about their specialties. I was most interested in the Blepharospasm presentation in which Dr. Sergott talked a great deal about BOTOX, and I was also intrigued by Dr. Hannush’s speech. Dr. Hannush is a corneal specialist who we have referred many patients to, and it was nice to finally meet him in person.
“Saturday afforded a more hands-on approach, as we had the opportunity to try out the different devices from different companies. It was indeed eye-opening – no pun intended – to speak to the reps and see the new technology being utilized in the ophthalmology field.”
One of the crucial factors to making high-quality eye care services available, accessible and affordable to all is the availability of appropriately trained team members. The concept of the team approach is based on the principles of working together, task-shifting and ensuring continuity of care – but for it to be effective, a team must possess attributes such as availability, competency, productivity and responsiveness.
For the Matossian Eye Associates team, continuous education – such as that afforded by the Willis Conference – is key to the care we provide.