This November, the Retina Consultants of Hawaii (RCH) staff and physicians traveled to Las Vegas to attend the annual meetings for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Ophthalmic Photographers Society (OPS), and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).
Retina Consultants of Hawaii strives to improve the quality of life of patients by delivering compassionate care, providing access to the most current treatments, and creating a forum for education in the Hawaii ophthalmic community. To further the educational pursuits and promote an environment for learning, the entire RCH staff was able to participate in many meetings and presentations this year.
The ophthalmic photographers Jaclyn Pisano, Michael Cheeseman, and Andrew Yuen attended lectures at the OPS meeting. Jaclyn gave presentations to other ophthalmic photographers on the Basics of Fundus Photography and was part of the Zeiss OCT Angiography Imaging Case Presentation Conference. This was particularly interesting for Jaclyn, given OCT angiography is a new technology in ophthalmology in which few have experience. Jaclyn says, “It was a new challenge and very rewarding to help others and show my colleagues how to use the equipment to take good photos and ultimately treat patients. It was nice to be a part of educating the small field of ophthalmic photographers to grow for the future.”
The ophthalmic technicians Kelli-Ann Lum, Cat Ruizo, Dana Ocol, Irene Bitonio, Lani Loyola, and Maria Won attended many instructional courses at the JCAHPO meeting that included an ophthalmic dissection lab, a class on systemic diseases that have ocular manifestations, ophthalmic pharmacology, ICD-10 review course, overview of glaucoma, and various others. Maria particularly enjoyed the glaucoma course. “It was a great opportunity to learn about all areas of ophthalmology.” They all want to bring the skills and information they learned back to RCH to help continue to support effective retina clinics.
The front office coordinators Brenda Viloria, Kori Canales, Sirena Bennett, and Shierah Silva attended lectures at the JCAHPO meeting involving topics on ocular emergencies, medical ethics, and ICD-10 review course. They are all working together to provide the best patient care and facilitate patient and physician requests.
One way RCH promotes education is through their Retina Fellowship Programs. Current fellows, Dr. Alex Pisig and Dr. Jessica Shantha, were able to attend the annual AAO meeting. Dr. Shantha presented her work at the symposium entitled “Ebola and the Eye: A Story of Survivors.” Dr. Pisig, an international fellow from the Philippines, described the meeting as follows, “This is my first time to attend the 2-day AAO Retina Subspecialty Day Meeting, I’m amazed how all the leaders and great minds of this subspecialty from around the world come into a single place and share up-to-date information and expert opinions on management of retinal diseases. This is one of the best academic conferences that I have ever attended so far.”
Every two years Dr. Kokame along with his staff, Sheila Chamian, Mish Chun, and Selina Mattos, host the Gass Fellowship Society Meeting, in which retina experts trained by Dr. Gass present complex cases to the esteemed audience for feedback on diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. This year was the 6th meeting and celebrated the 10th anniversary of Dr. Gass’s passing. There were 40 members in attendance with many thoughtful discussions about retinal disease as well as remembering the great life of Dr. Gass. To read more about the Gass Society Fellowship Meeting please click here.
Dr. Kokame, Dr. Lai, and Dr. Wee all attended the AAO meeting. Dr. Kokame was part of many programs and presentations. To highlight a few, he served on the Advisory Board for Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy (PCV), he was an invited guest for “An Interview with the Experts” for the American Society of Retina Specialists, gave an instructional course on PCV, and served as a Retina Poster Guide Discussant. Dr. Lai attended the Ron Michels 25th Anniversary Meeting and continues to serve on the selection committee for the Foundation. Dr. Wee attended the Gass Fellowship Society Meeting, Heed Society luncheon, research organizational meeting, and the Retina sub-specialty day. To read more about the physicians’ involvement at AAO please click here.
The Retina Consultants of Hawaii believes in continued education for its staff and fellows. Interacting and attending international meetings is one way to share ideas, encourage learning, and acquire new information and skills that can be implemented and brought back to the practice in Hawaii, which ultimately promotes great patient care.